by Josh Swank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc.
For off-highway hauling, the right truck body can greatly boost efficiency and profits for your operation. Volumetric capacity, weight distribution and the type of materials being hauled can limit the productivity of many standard OEM truck bodies. To get the most out of your fleet, consider these options.
Add a Tailgate. While it may seem like a small feature, not having a tailgate typically results in loads that are 10-15 percent below rated capacity. By increasing haul volumes to meet a truck’s rated capacity, tailgates can quickly and easily boost an operation’s profitability. For example, a 100-ton-capacity truck with a tailgate hauls nearly 15 more tons per load than a 100-ton truck without a tailgate. If a fleet of eight trucks adds 15 tons to each of their respective 10 loads per day, an additional 1,200 tons of material moves daily — comparable to adding another truck to the fleet.
Consider Rear-Eject Bodies. Rear-eject bodies can improve off-loading efficiency by pushing materials out with a blade while leaving the truck bed down. By eliminating the need to raise the body, the truck can safely dump materials while in motion and in the presence of overhead barriers. This versatility increases efficiency without reducing stability by providing a lower center of gravity and allowing dumping on downhill slopes and conditions with a soft footing. While you can purchase many articulated off-highway trucks with rear-eject bodies, aftermarket solutions can be easily adaptable to any make and model of articulated truck as well as a number of rigid frame trucks.
Look for 450 Brinell Steel. To ensure durability and extend the service life of both the truck and body, consider opting for reinforced bodies made with 450 BHN steel. Due to the steel’s hardness, abrasion resistance and lack of ductility in both warm and ultra-cold climates, it can increase the life of a truck body by 25-30 percent. For added reinforcement, look for bodies with floor bolsters that run from side to side under the body’s floor, as well as load distribution cones around the “sweet spot” of the center floor section. The added strength from this floor support structure allows for maximum payload capacity by supporting the full weight of materials while not stressing the truck’s chassis.
By boosting haul truck efficiency and extending the service life of off-highway equipment, operations can increase revenue in the short term, as well as over the life of each truck.
About the Author
Josh Swank, vice president of sales and marketing for Philippi-Hagenbuch, oversees their global sales team and has been with the company for more than 20 years. His previous roles within the company include global sales and marketing manager and account manager. Outside of Philippi-Hagenbuch, he participates in multiple industry and philanthropic organizations, including the National Stone Sand and Gravel Manufacturers & Services Board, the NSSGA Young Leaders and the National Mining Association Board of Governors. He is a trustee of the JWAS Foundation and active within the Peoria, IL, technology startup community.