Ten Tips for Maximizing ADT Life
Like the sage investment advice, "buy low, sell high," articulated dump trucks, or ADTs, have a greater return on investment when a low total cost of ownership is paired with high use.
While an ADT's longevity is impacted by a wide variety of variables, you can control many of your outcomes through selecting the right machine, tending to the right maintenance and following the right operation, says Brian Bereika, Doosan ADT Product Specialist.
"Today's equipment owners are looking to capitalize on technologies and best practices that will drive down the total cost of ownership. By focusing on the fundamental fleet strategies that most directly influence your assets, you can improve operating efficiencies, extend life cycles and get the most out of your ADT," Bereika says. He recommends these 10 tips to maximize the life of your machine, regardless of make or model:
The Right Machine
Select a Machine Correctly for the Application
Whether doing site preparation, capping landfills, removing overburden at mines, or moving material in sand and gravel pits, you need a durable machine and options with the capacity to match the type of work you're routinely performing. For example, if you need an off-road truck for short hauls and own a mid-size excavator, you would probably consider a 25- to 30-ton-size ADT. If you have to move large volumes over long distances, a 35- to 40-ton ADT would probably fit your requirements. It is just as important to size the excavator or wheel loader to the size of ADT. Also, using similar sized ADTs on the same haul road, especially if deeply rutted, will usually put less strain on the driveline.
Core articulated truck specifications that should be taken into consideration include:
· Engine horsepower
· Brake system
· Load over height
· Width of vehicle
· Ground pressure
Properly Partner Options to Site Conditions
Match tire size, type and width to site conditions. Hard packed haul roads or sharp edged rocks, such as shale, will shorten tire life. Being able to minimize tire sinking will put less stress on the driveline. Impact damage or abrasion will shorten the life of the dump body, so a body liner may be necessary for hauling large rocks.
Know Safety Requirements for the Site
Many ADTs work in environments that are required to meet OSHA or MSHA regulations. Properly equip the vehicles with the necessary safety equipment to minimize the risk of accidents that may shorten the machine lifetime.
The Right Maintenance
Follow Routine Maintenance Schedules
Perform daily lubrication duties in addition to other key maintenance intervals recommended by manufacturers in the Operation and Maintenance Manual. Auto-lube systems may be advantageous to ensure proper lubrication of expensive components. Fleet management systems designed to help track maintenance intervals and check engine codes can help improve maintenance by reducing guesswork. Routine maintenance should also include visual inspections of the tires, driveline, and structural members for damage. Also inspect for leaks and any abnormal sounds or noises.
Modify Maintenance Intervals to Accommodate Special Conditions
Extremely dusty applications may require more frequent air filter cleaning and use of engine pre-cleaners. Double shifting will require more frequent maintenance. Very hot or cold temperatures may demand special oils and lubricants for protection of major components such as the engine and transmission.
Limit Excessive Idling Time
By reducing excessive travel time on the jobsite or between jobsites, operators can improve fuel efficiency. Likewise, limiting the amount of idling that can occur during ADT loading and unloading operations is a good practice to increase profitability.
The Right Operation
Provide Training for Safe and Proper Operation of Equipment
Having a solid understanding of all the various functions of an ADT not only increases productivity, but it can help avoid accidents. At the same time, by receiving hands-on training, operators can learn an ADT's controls faster and distinguish which features will produce better results in certain applications.
Operators and owners should understand that there might be short-term gains from overloading ADTs, but in the long term, this will result in higher repair costs and shorter machine life. Tire life will also be adversely affected by overloading.
Establish Machine Limits
Operators who are trained in the proper operation of an ADT develop a better understanding of a machine's limits and the consequences for activities that push machines beyond rated capacities. Operators must be aware of stability limits during dumping and when turning too quickly and abruptly, which can contribute to rollovers. Another example would be braking limitations while traveling downhill with a loaded dump body. Runaway trucks can result in damage and personal injury.
Strive for Optimum Sight Lines
Many manufacturers have addressed compromised sight lines with front-sloped hoods, better fender design and center-mounted cabs. Views to the rear are just as important for safety. Large, well-placed and properly adjusted rearview mirrors and rearview cameras all make backing up much safer and can lead to longer ADT life.
Maximizing an articulated dump truck's life from the moment you purchase it can pay big dividends through increased productivity, the reduction of maintenance surprises and safer, more efficient operation. When a highly productive life cycle is achieved in tandem with a lower total cost of ownership, it's a win-win for you and your customers.