Articulated dump trucks are some of the largest and most durable vehicles available for construction. They are designed to withstand heavy usage and extreme conditions making them perfect for rugged jobs. Despite being sturdy, they do need to be well maintained for peak performance. Below you’ll discover a handful of tips as to how you can maximize an articulated dump truck.
7 Tips for Maximizing Articulated Dump Trucks
Make Sure the Truck is Fit for the Job
If the dump truck isn’t designed to complete the job it’s doing this will end up damaging the vehicle and cost you quite a bit of money. For instance, if you need to haul big loads for a long distance you need to make sure your dump truck can handle the task.
Look at the Tires
Another thing to check is the tire performance. Dump trucks work in harsh conditions and will come into contact with sharp rocks, glass, and other piercing items. This means they should be made with strong synthetic materials that won’t pop easily.
You’ll also want to look at the tread pattern which indicates the type of surface the truck is able to move on. One of the most commonly used designs for dump trucks is directional/asymmetrical. This type features V-shaped grooves that push water away and help the tires to have a good grip on the ground. The tread pattern should have a self-cleaning feature that prevents mud and other debris from getting clumped into the tire grooves, something which can make it lose traction.
The ply rating, also known as the tire load range, is another thing to consider. This rating shows how much weight the tires can safely hold based on the thickness of its layers. The more layers a tire has the more durable it will be. The load range is classified by letters that range from B-F. A tire with an F load range has the highest ply rating (12) and maximum load pressure (95 PSI).
It’s also vital that the tires are properly inflated. Poor tire pressure can greatly affect how well the truck moves. Because of this, check that the pressure is correct for the type of tire you have and always test it before you use the vehicle.
Review the Brakes
If the dump truck’s brakes aren’t designed to quickly stop on slippery or uneven surfaces, it can cause the driver to put excessive pressure on them. This isn’t only dangerous for the driver but can wear out the brake system, especially because most use air pressure to halt the vehicle. Reviewing the brakes helps to ensure they are designed to withstand heavy-duty conditions and will stop immediately when pressure is applied.
Check the Torque
The torque, or the turning power of a vehicle, will determine how quickly the engine runs which increases the dump truck’s power. If you plan to use the articulated dump truck on hills and rough surfaces or need it to efficiently move heavy loads, confirm that the vehicle has enough torque to do so.
Consider the Pivot Point
A truck that has a high pivot point allows the bed to quickly lift itself up and let the contents inside slide out. If the pivot point is too low, it can put strain on the axles lifting it and end up taking more time for the items to be dumped out.
Keep Up On the Maintenance
You’ll want to keep up on your dump truck’s maintenance. This includes doing regular exterior and interior inspections to ensure everything is running correctly. Some things to examine include the driveline and air filtering system. In addition to this, keep an eye out for leaks and strange sounds which can indicate a major problem with an interior component.
Another key part of maintenance is washing the truck off because it will stop oil and other substances from building up on it. The best way to remove these is usually with the help of a pressure washer.
Don’t Overload the Truck
Many articulated dump truck drivers make the mistake of overloading their truck because they believe it will be able to easily withstand the load. Dump trucks vary in their weight limits with some being able to transport more than others. If you constantly overload the truck it can wear out the engine and tires.
The best way to avert this is to establish machine limits with the operator. This will prevent them from accidentally overloading it.
Implement Safety Training
Safety training will help drivers better understand their dump truck so it has a long lifespan. Some aspects of safety training to implement include making sure the driver doesn’t do quick starts and stops, take sharp turns, and doesn’t go over the intended speed limit.
Review its Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency specifies how many tons per gallon of fuel is used. An articulated dump truck that is able to transport many loads per day without using an excessive amount of fuel is ideal because it encourages it to be more efficient while saving money.
Match Components Together
Sometimes components, such as gears, are mixed together inside the truck. While this isn’t always a problem, it could make it harder for a few dump trucks to operate because these components are of a different variety. This is why it’s important to make sure the pieces match and resist the urge to go with ones that might be economical. By doing so, it can increase the dump truck’s productivity.
Use Good Sight Lines
Many dump trucks have compromised sight lines which can make it hard for the driver to see, especially when they’re backing up. This not only endangers their life but can cause scratches and major damage to the vehicle. By implementing good sight lines around the truck, including with rear-view cameras, it can improve its performance while protecting it from destruction.
Articulated dump trucks are heavy-duty vehicles but they can wear out quickly if not used or maintained correctly. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to maximize yours so it stays productive and continues to have an impressive performance.