In the industries that use off-highway trucks, having a truck down for maintenance can throw a wrench in productivity - and we all know any lag in productivity cuts into profits. When that truck is at an operation where minutes make the difference in tens of thousands of dollars, the incentive for keeping your truck body out of the maintenance facility is huge. We've come up with a list of three basic areas of prevention and a few solutions that will keep your truck bodies - and operation - running smoothly.
#1: CONTROL YOUR SPILLAGE
Spillage from the rear of open truck bodies as they transport their loads can cause some major problems in the long run. Tires can be unnecessarily damaged much sooner than they should after driving over material that is on the haul road that shouldn't be there; haul road maintenance increases the more spillage you have coming out of the back and sides of your trucks.
#2: KEEP YOUR HAUL ROADS CLEAR
Making sure haul roads are maintained and clear is another way to keep your trucks out of the shop. Any material or debris left unattended on the haul roads can damage tires, which is not only inconvenient because of the downtime of that truck, but also because tires for off-highway trucks are not cheap. Getting new tires sooner than necessary can be a costly problem cutting into profits - if you can even get tires. Over the past several years, there has been a global shortage on many mining-class sized tires for off-highway trucks; could you be effected by this?
A grader cleaning off a haul road.
#3: BALANCE YOUR LOADS
Where the load is placed in a truck body can really cause major problems in the long run, twisting the frame of the body and wearing out the area of the body that takes the brunt of the mass impact again and again. Making sure the loads are balanced can give your body the lifespan it was intended to have - not to mention the truck chassis itself. Each truck OEM designs their bodies to carry the load in a specific weight distribution on the chassis. When a load is heavily carried up front towards the front slope, without much material towards the ear of the bed, it puts a greater burden on the hoist cylinders and truck frame than they were designed for.
You may be thinking that taking care of these three things can be just as costly or time consuming as hauling a truck into the shop. However, there are a few simple and efficient solutions that can take care of all three challenges. Sometimes, the easiest solution is to add a tailgate specifically designed for the material being hauled. Other times, a custom body may be in order. Either way, the best solution for the challenges experienced at your quarry or mine should usually have a quick return on investment (ROI).
Tailgates keep material from spilling out the back of trucks while providing a wider loading target that will allow the truck to be loaded in the center of the body, not towards the front. Less spillage means a longer tire life and less haul road maintenance. With the balanced loads you get the added benefit of increasing your haulage capacity. Not only do tailgates keep operations more productive by decreasing truck maintenance, they can also increase productivity and profits!
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