THE LATEST INNOVATIONS FOR MOVING MATERIAL AND EQUIPMENT OUT THE GATE AND UP THE ROAD.
By Mark S. Kuhar and Josephine Smith
While the bulk of an aggregates operation’s equipment and technology focus is the equipment down on the quarry floor, producers are also seeking the latest innovations for moving material and portable machinery out the front gate and up the highway. Here are some recent product launches focusing on trucks, tires, trailers, diagnostics and vehicle scales.
Earlier this year, Caterpillar held a new product launch focusing on the next generation of its Cat vocational truck – the CT680, which joined the CT660 and CT681 in the lineup.
There are plenty of detailed descriptions and specifications to review, but let’s make it easy for you. Here are the top three things Caterpillar wants you to know about this Class 8, set-forward-axle truck.
It works hard and looks good doing it. The CT680 stands up to big loads and tough applications without sacrificing comfort and appearance, thanks to a rugged exterior, attractive automotive styling and industry-leading materials, fit and finish. Its bold design will definitely set you apart from the crowd.
Plus, it comes with two exterior trim level options – L and LG – so you can choose the features that best fit your budget, style and serviceability needs. There’s also a dual external air cleaner option that lets you achieve efficient air management – and a stylish appearance – even in dirty, dusty applications.
It sets new standards for comfort and ride quality. With its set-forward axle, parabolic taper leaf suspension, tuned cab air suspension system, and premium sound insulation and trim, the CT680 delivers industry-leading ride quality. And its wide, spacious interior offers all-day comfort, productivity and safety. It has all the features you’ve come to expect from Cat Truck cabs, including:
- An ergonomic dashboard and center stack.
- Easy-to-read gauges.
- Multiple seat options, including the Cat Comfort Seat.
- Tilting, telescoping steering column with leather-wrapped steering wheel.
- Plenty of storage and work-area lighting.
- Excellent visibility.
It saves you service time. The CT680’s modular components – grille, grille surround, bumper and fender extensions – can be replaced individually and go back together looking brand new. Key service points like coolant, washer reservoirs and air filters are easy to access, too, and you can quickly replace headlight bulbs and windshield wiper blades without any tools.
Of course, like all Cat Truck models, the CT680 features a performance-matched engine and transmission, complimentary Cat Product Link, bumper-to-bumper service at Cat dealers across North America and much more.
Mack Trucks recently enhanced its Uptime solutions through the expansion of its partnered services offering, enabling faster, more accurate diagnostics and improved communication so customers can get their vehicles back on the road quicker. Partnered services allows Mack to integrate innovative service providers into its unparalleled customer support environment.
The improved diagnostics results from the integration of Mack ASIST, Mack’s web-based fleet service management platform developed by Decisiv, with Truck Diagnostics System (TDS), a JPRO-based software solution from Mack’s partner Noregon that diagnoses engine, transmission, aftertreatment systems and all vendor components. Once TDS or JPRO software identifies a vehicle fault, a service case is automatically opened in ASIST and the customer has a quicker diagnosis of what’s wrong with the truck.
Customers will also know the severity of the problem and how long servicing will take, enabling them to make critical business decisions about what they need to do to handle the issue.
“The further integration of our Uptime Solutions offers customers an overall better experience,” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North America. “Customers receive faster, more accurate information so they can make a repair decision, and the repairs are also started sooner because the case is automatically opened.”
The faster diagnostics expedites the check-in process at the Mack dealer and complements Mack GuardDog Connect, Mack’s proactive diagnostic and repair planning telematics solution.
GuardDog Connect has been standard on the Mack Pinnacle, Mack Granite and Titan by Mack models since 2013 and TerraPro concrete pumper models since early 2015. The solution monitors fault codes that could potentially shut down a truck or lead to an unplanned visit to the dealer. GuardDog Connect enables quick diagnosis of issues, proactive scheduling for repairs and confirmation that needed parts are in stock and ready to install, all while the truck is still on the job.
GuardDog Connect now monitors more than 25,000 Mack models and has maximized customer uptime by reducing diagnostic and repair times by 70 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
Mack also opened its Uptime Center near Mack headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., in 2014, housing personnel from every customer support function and tying them to Mack customers and dealers through Mack ASIST.
Mack Trucks, www.macktrucks.com
Bridgestone Commercial, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, introduced its newest retread product, the Bandag B760 FuelTech. The B760 FuelTech is a premium drive retread designed for tandem axle tractors in truckload and less-than-truckload applications.
The Bandag B760 FuelTech product is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay verified and California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant, providing truckload and less-than-truckload fleets with a retread solution that offers a balance between tread life, traction and fuel efficiency.
“We have an ongoing commitment to deliver technology and innovations that meet the needs of our fleet customers,” said Ben Rosenblum, director of Bandag Marketing. “Due to its advanced tread design and proprietary compound, this product delivers up to 20 percent longer wear life when compared to the ultra-fuel efficient Bandag B710 FuelTech retread. Combined with dense siping for traction and fuel efficiency benefits, the B760 FuelTech retread is a smart solution for fleets focused on lowering their total operating costs.”
Other features of the Bandag B760 FuelTech retread include:
- Optimized groove width: combats the retention of casing-damaging stones and improves drilling resistance, leading to increased casing life.
- Highly-siped tread design: provides strong traction on wet and dry surfaces.
- Tie bars: control movement of tread blocks for long, even wear.
- Multiple gripping edges: promote traction.
The new B760 FuelTech is available in four tread sizes in the U.S. and Canada – 210 mm through 240 mm. The sizes accommodate nearly any standard-width casing size used for truckload and less-than-truckload applications. The B760 FuelTech product extends the Bandag portfolio of SmartWay verified tread patterns for the drive position, which already includes the ultra fuel-efficient Bandag B710 retread.
Bridgestone Commercial, www.retreadinstead.com
Michelin Americas Truck Tires, a division of Michelin North America Inc., launched the 455/55R22.5 Michelin X One Multi Energy T, a next generation wide-base single trailer tire for regional operations that is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay verified.
Complementing the previously launched 445/50R22.5, this addition to the X One family delivers a significant reduction in irregular wear and outstanding fuel economy, all while allowing fleets to carry more than 700 lb. of additional freight versus dual applications.
The Michelin X One Multi Energy T Pre-Mold retread is also now available in two sizes, 375/425 and 385/435. The trailer retread features Advanced Technology Compounds for a 7 percent reduction in rolling resistance. In addition to microsipes and a solid shoulder to fight irregular wear, the retread has 15/32 tread depth for outstanding removal mileage.
“Whether in its first life or as a retread, the Michelin X One Multi Energy T offers the right balance of fuel efficiency, weight savings and long tread life in regional applications,” said Bianca Hogan, director of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “The latest X One introductions continue our leadership in wide-base single innovation and provide an attractive total cost of ownership throughout the tire lifecycle.”
The new Michelin X One Multi Energy T offering replaces the existing Michelin X One XTE products.
Michelin Americas Truck Tires, www.michelintruck.com
Fairbanks Scales Inc. announced the model FB6011 high performance, user-friendly digital instrument for legal-for-trade, inbound/outbound weighing applications. Equipped with Intalogix digital load cell communications technology, the FB6011 is packaged in a NEMA 12 desktop enclosure, and specially designed for office environments.
With all the essential functions found in a sophisticated, high-traffic vehicle weighing instrument, the FB6011 is a great way to create a new basic weighing system at an affordable price. It features three modes of operation, built-in traffic controls, multiple communication ports and transaction export functions. The bright red, 16-segment, LED display allows for easier-to-read text compared to traditional seven-segment displays.
The FB6011 uses Intalogix digital load cell technology, which works by converting a weak analog load cell signal to a stronger, more reliable digital interface. No matter the application, Intalogix facilitates an unsurpassed degree of resolution and accuracy, along with a high level of lightning/surge protection. With Intalogix, all load cell trimming, sectional adjustments and final scale calibration are performed through the instrument.
Take advantage of three different operations modes for maximum flexibility. Gross-tare-net mode (GTN) allows the scale operator to process weighments with or without the use of a keyboard-entered tare or autotare by simply pressing the print key. Inbound/outbound (in/out) mode allows the operator to weigh in a vehicle and temporarily store the transaction, then press the out key to recall the inbound weighment and complete the transaction when the vehicle returns to the scale to exit the facility. The basic in/out mode (one-button weighing) is designed for applications in which only gross and tare weight are needed.
The FB6011 instruments transmits weight data through a serial connection that can be interfaced to a (PC), and has the ability to export transaction files directly to a USB flash drive with csv format. It can match up inbound and outbound vehicles, store up to 1,000 tare weights, capture truck identification, and integrates with all manufacturers’ analog scales and popular traffic light controls.
Fairbanks Scales, www.fairbanks.com
Talbert Manufacturing updated its Traveling Axle (TA) Series by increasing its hauling capacity by 5 tons. Three of the new trailer models – the 4048TA, 4050TA and 4053TA – have a 40-ton hauling capacity, and the new 5548TA and 5553TA trailer models haul as much as 55 tons. The five new trailer models will replace the others within the TA Series.
The added capacity on the new TA Series trailers equates to increased hauling flexibility. For example, the 4050TA now has an 80,000-lb. evenly distributed capacity or a concentrated load capacity of 50,000 lb. in 10 ft. This allows haulers to expand their range of load opportunities and maximize transportation efficiency, while complying with U.S. state and Canadian province hauling requirements.
The TA Series trailers feature a state-of-the-art, 36-in. loaded deck height. This industry-leading low deck height provides additional clearance for bridges and tunnels when transporting tall equipment. The 4050TA was the first model released in the updated TA Series with this excellent low deck height feature, and it is also California-legal, making the 4050TA an ideal West Coast hauling trailer.
The five new TA Series trailer models feature Talbert’s signature piggy-back cylinder, now with a larger diameter for faster axle travel. The new models also have an increased number of keyholes across the rear of the trailer for additional flexibility for tying down loads; an improved, lockable curbside gooseneck toolbox that includes a weather resistant door seal; and a chain rack and other hardware upgrades.
Another key advancement with the new TA Series trailers is the standard metal e-chain for the air and electrical lines, which now makes it both easier and less expensive to add optional dock levelers as an aftermarket option.
The TA Series trailers feature key trailer components for easy loading on its 7-degree load angle. Talbert’s standard equipment for the series includes a 15,000-lb. planetary winch with a two-function, wireless remote. It assists in moving equipment on and off of the trailer by making it possible for one person to load a piece of equipment without leaving the vehicle.
Talbert also offers two other upgrade options: a six-function remote and a 20,000-lb. planetary winch. The six-function remote provides the operator with the ability to adjust the movement of the axles, winch and deck while loading.
The TA Series trailers come standard with double keyhole tie-down slots on top of the outside beams and recessed in the center of the main deck. For recessed tie-downs, Talbert includes a metal basket that is mounted below the deck to protect the main cylinder from excess chain.
Talbert has multiple, optional features to enhance the TA Series trailers. Available coating selections include the standard Valspar R-Cure 800 paint in Talbert’s signature red and optional Valspar Aquaguard for corrosion protection.
Additional optional equipment includes a 48-in. aluminum/steel bulkhead with strobe and work lights, a centralized lubrication system and a Right Weigh load scale.
Talbert Manufacturing, www.talbertmfg.com
XL Specialized Trailers introduced the Lightweight XL 80 Low-Profile HDG Trailer. This Hydraulic Detachable Gooseneck (HDG) trailer is rated at 80,000 lb. overall and 80,000 lb. concentrated in 10 ft. The model provides a needed transport solution for lighter-duty equipment that contractors use and move every day.
The XL 80 Low-Profile HDG features an 11-ft.-long hydraulic gooseneck with XL’s low-profile design, which is popular for its front-loading advantage. A five-position ratchet-style variable ride height allows users to adjust the neck height to fit their various loads.
This new two axle construction lowboy is available in three options: a 44 ft., 6-in. overall length with 24 ft. in the well, a 46-ft., 6-in. overall length with 26 ft. in the well, or a 48-ft. overall length with 27 ft., 6 in. in the well. The short gooseneck allows for the main deck to stay as long as possible, an important factor for many users who may need to fit a long load or multiple small pieces of equipment onto the main deck.
The XL 80 Low-Profile HDG’s main deck is constructed with four 14-in.-tall, fully-cambered I-beams as well as 8-in. and 4-in. stubbed junior I-beams on 12-in. alternating centers. The robust main deck features a 22-in. loaded deck height with eight in. of ground clearance. With standard features including 31-in. front flip ramps, six bent D-rings per side, chain drops, 12-in. swing-out outriggers on 24-in. centers and raised apitong decking, this model is ready for work.
The bucket well at the rear of the main deck is made from the recessed last three cross members of the deck and includes a plate on the bottom, ideal for the bucket of an excavator to sit low in without damaging the cylinder. The boom trough in the rear bridge also comes with a plate on the bottom and provides a place for the arm to ride safely. The rear bridge transition of 32 degrees features traction aids for loading, while the 9-ft., 6-in. long rear deck has a 40-in. loaded deck height and is prepped for a flip axle. Optional bolt-on wheel covers are available as load bearing – for parking on – or semi-load bearing – for driving on – and can be removed when not in use for weight reduction.
“As construction equipment gets heavier, it is easy to keep building bigger trailers,” said Rodney Crim, vice president of sales at XL Specialized Trailers. “But jobsites are full of smaller equipment too, so we wanted to design a trailer that was lightweight, sturdy and full of bonus features for those everyday hauls. Our new XL 80 Low-Profile HDG trailer achieves that.”
Specialized Trailers, www.xlspecializedtrailer.com