Online Equipment Focus on Haul Trucks: The Big Haul
A Canadian producer lowers operational costs and improves site safety while test-driving a new dump truck.
An operator in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada, found that the right articulated truck could reduce its internal roadbuilding requirements, improve visibility, and increase operator comfort. Hopkins Construction Ltd., a construction company specializing in the aggregate business, is using a Hydrema 922C articulated dump truck to handle materials transportation for its mobile stone crushing services.
Hopkins Construction consists of more than 100 employees and handles both governmental and private work. Its large mobile equipment fleet of more than 300 pieces allows it to service its wide customer base throughout Western Canada. It currently has six mobile crushing plants which consist of screeners, cone crushers, loaders, and gravel trucks, all of which can be quickly relocated within a few hours to accommodate the needs of various job sites.
For the past few years, Hopkins has relied on its gravel trucks to handle much of its stone hauling. These gravel trucks are on-road, tandem-axle dump trucks that have to be retrofitted by Hopkins for off-road pit applications. The trucks can handle up to 20 tons per load.
In an effort to reduce retrofit costs, as well as parts and labor throughout the year, Hopkins turned to its local equipment dealer for suggestions. “Alberta Construction Equipment Sales and Services first told us about Hydrema’s line of articulated dump trucks,” says Joe Nolan, Hopkins Construction’s fleet manager. “We then visited Hydrema’s tradeshow booth during the last ConExpo to see their equipment first hand and speak with a Hydrema representative.”
After ConExpo, Hopkins rented a Hydrema 922C articulated dump truck to see if it would function well in its mobile operation. “Our mobile system is designed for quick setup and breakdown on each job,” Nolan says. “It became apparent almost immediately that the 922C seamlessly fit into our current method of operation.”
Meeting the Hopkins mobility spec was just one of the requirements for the truck. It also had to gain the support of Hopkins’ operators. “Our equipment operators are very impressed with the…visibility, controls, and comfort,” Nolan says.
The truck’s cab sits high on the dump truck body and has an inclined narrow hood, giving the operator all-around visibility. It also features broad mirrors for added visibility when in reverse or while tipping. The manufacturer also offers an optional back-up camera. “We had the camera added to the 922C,” Nolan says. “We are constantly backing up at our project. The camera helps us see what’s going on in blind spots, thereby eliminating incidents.”
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