You know what they say about the weather in New Zealand – If you don’t like it, just wait five minutes and it will change. For many of us, that changeability is part of the charm of living here, but if you’re trying to run a big construction or mining site it’s probably keeping you awake at night. One dump of rain and you can be looking at a yard of dump trucks not going anywhere for fear of cutting up the haul roads.
There’s another saying as well – there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. The same goes for machinery; if what you are using can’t do what you need it to do, it’s time to find a better way.
Articulated dump trucks have their place on such projects but a more versatile and efficient alternative is a dump trailer mounted behind a tractor. In this blog we look at this trailer and tractor combination and why this is a smart earthmoving option.
Trailers vs. Articulated dump trucks: What’s the difference?
Trailers mounted behind tractors haul just as much dirt as a dump truck, and more importantly they can operate safely in conditions that would either ground a heavy articulated truck or lead to considerable track damage.
This is because a tractor and trailer combination can weigh up to 8 tonnes less than an articulated dump truck of similar size and load capacity. A tractor/trailer combo also has an extra axle to spread the load on the road.
This reduced ground pressure is what makes a tractor and trailer combination a better all-weather option than an articulated dump truck. Also, the traction advantage of a tractor over a truck reduces damage to a site’s roading infrastructure, which will help keep a lid on repairs and maintenance costs.
You might think there must be a trade-off in performance but that is not the case – in fact a tractor/trailer can carry the same amount as an articulated dump truck and do so faster. It will tip more quickly due to its single hydraulic ram, and it will return for another load faster than a similar-sized truck.
Herron Engineering Ltd, based in County Down, Northern Ireland, makes market-leading trailers for the agricultural and construction industries. Its traditional HDT dump trailers and the latest H2 models are more than a match for the harsh demands placed on them in everyday use. A stable chassis, robust build, durability and functionality mean they are highly reliable. Models range from 12 to 25 tonnes.
Herron dump trailers are easy to tow due to a sprung drawbar and optimally spaced axles and pivots. Their heavy-duty suspension and design give better ground flotation in difficult conditions, and load-sensitive brakes improve safety margins.
Herron’s H2 wide-bottom dump trailer has a load capacity from 15 to 20 tonnes. Standard features include a multi-stage single tipping ram, commercial axles, sprung drawbar, slimline hydraulic high-lift door, hardened-wear plate floor and LED lights. The wide variety of options include extension sides, air/hydraulic load sensing valve, electric/hydraulic brake fail system, hydraulic weight transfer, and choice of wheels.
The latest model is the 25-tonne Industrial Fast Tow Tri-Axle trailer with heavy-duty rear steering axles, air brakes, sprung drawbar and 36-tonne commercial spring suspension.
Switching from articulated dump trucks to Herron dump trailers on your construction site will mean less fretting over the weather forecast, less downtime due to rain, and overall a safer and more efficient operation.