Getting Your Transfer Act Together
An efficient transfer vehicle is more than a collection of parts: It’s a system.
When it comes to speccing your transfer fleet, where efficiency, productivity, safety, and maintainability are crucial to your success, augmenting your trailers and prime movers with the appropriate tarps, lifters, floors, onboard scales, and wheel products will help you achieve those goals.
“The low bid that meets the specifications normally gets the award,” says Russell Warren Sr., president of Warren Equipment. “Everybody’s looking to how can we get the waste moved at the lowest possible cost but yet still get it moved efficiently and timely.”
Warren Equipment manufactures a diversified range of aluminum and steel transfer trailers, both with a moving floor and with an ejector. “We make open-top and closed-top, compactor compatible, you name it,” Warren says. Suspensions are customer-driven with the standard being a four-spring suspension, although the company has also built trailers with air rides or other types of suspensions.
While his company’s offerings may not be that much different from others in the marketplace—which Warren says is fairly mature at this point—for manufacturers it comes down to meeting governmental agency’s bid specifications.
“Safety is a big issue right now with fleets and all end users,” points out Shawn Fredritz, product manager for transfer trailers for Mac Trailer. “Municipalities want ways to keep the driver from having to climb over the top of the trailer and in and out of it.”
Mac Trailer makes a welded aluminum sheet and post trailer with side skins to a gauge of .250 or a smooth-sided Mac Vertical Panel (MVP) Maclock configuration incorporating two-and-one-quarter-inch hollow core aluminum extruded panels. Both can be configured with live floors or for use with tippers.
For those seeking maximum payloads and are unloading using a tipping platform, the Mac Tipper is designed to lengths of 53 feet and volumes of up to 148 cubic yards. It is designed with either a fully welded sheet and post or a larger capacity MVP Maclock extruded aluminum panel construction. The company also manufactures multi-axle transfer trailers from triaxle to eight axles, and multiple spreads and lifts or sliders.
One of the most requested features by end users is the Mac man door, a bulkhead access giving drivers the freedom to not have to walk the top rails or jump out of the rear of trailers. Another is the airflow gate, a door within a door designed for the inner panel to be locked against the inner sidewall, allowing for the airstream to be unrestricted when traveling empty to help increase fuel economy.
“The bulk-end man door has been huge,” says Fredritz. “The driver can walk right from the deck of the truck into the trailer and doesn’t have to climb out the front or back of it to get in and sweep it out. The airflow gate with the price of fuel has been huge. It’s a gate that opens up to the inside of the trailer and locks on to the sidewall—that way if the guy is traveling back empty, there is less wind resistance for the air to go through and he can save fuel costs.”
End users looking to haul more volume prefer the smooth-side trailer, says Fredritz. “You gain roughly 6 more cubic yards on a smooth side than a sheet post,” he adds.
Hilco Transport in Greensboro, NC, uses 150 Mac trailers in its operation, which includes hauling municipal waste and other materials. The company uses the live-floor Mac trailers and tippers.
Chief Executive Officer Gurney Long says he favors the Mac product because “They spec it heavy enough to do the job and are extremely good on warranties.
“It’s built heavy enough for all different conditions that you run into in either the transfer station or the landfills,” he says. “If anything, they over-spec it a little bit. We’ve always felt they’ve done an extremely good job of that while still keeping in mind the weight factor.”
Long also likes that Mac has been willing to change elements on its standard design to accommodate his company’s needs.
Titan Trailers offers trailers custom-built to customers’ needs, says Mike Kloepfer, president of Titan Trailers.
Inspired by customer requests, the company has introduced a number of elements to its trailers, such as Thinwall aluminum panels, a liftable shredder to simplify maintenance and cleanout, a stainless-steel liner, one-piece front gusset, anticorrosion bi-metal, front access door, protective light housing, stainless steel lines, cross braces, and a V-Plow cleanout system.
Kloepfer notes that in the last three years there has been a movement away from the use of tipper trailers for dumping waste toward the use of live floors.
“Materials have been shifted to a different region in the country, and the recycling has taken effect,” he says. “Where once you used the tipper trailer to just haul garbage one way, they now want to take a walking floor, haul garbage to the dump site and pick up a load of recyclables to go to another part of the country. Most guys are starting to get loaded both ways instead of straight one way.”
Example: Verspeeten Cartage. Based in Ingersoll, ON, the company provides just-in-time service to automotive assembly plants throughout North America. In January 2011, the company added 37 new Titan Trailers moving floor trailers to its fleet to handle an increased load of delivering municipal trash to fulfill a contract to haul from Toronto to the city’s new Green Lane landfill site 120 miles west near the city of London. The company had already been delivering waste since 1998 in a Toronto to Michigan run.
Verspeeten’s general manager, Scott Verspeeten, says his company sought a 10-year trailer. He was familiar with Titan’s Thinwall body construction of lightweight interlocking extruded aluminum panels. Verspeeten bought its first Titan trailer—a traditional steel-post and panel construction—in 2003.
As the business model changed, Verspeeten changed with it. At the old Michigan landfill, the site maintained a clear lane for trailers to unload on a tipper stand; the new landfill is set up so trailers drive the trash to their designated unloading area to self-unload with a moving floor.
Also, customers are now paying its contractors by the truckload, not by weight. With maximum weights demands for each load, the payload capacity of the trailer has become a critical factor.
Highway distances, site conditions and payload requirements led to Verspeeten’s choice of Titan’s Thinwall trailers. The extruded panels are assembled horizontally, allowing the trailer to resist twisting stresses as it flexes over uneven ground. The all-aluminum body is designed to achieve significant weight reductions while the extruded hollow-core panel allows higher cubic capacity than traditional post and panel trailers.
At the Toronto transfer station, Verspeeten’s closed-top trailers are loaded using compactors, which can add significant stresses to the sidewalls and bulkheads.
Verspeeten says he believes the Titans will take the pressure for the 10 years he’s expecting to get from them, based on his observation that while the bulkheads were bowing under the pressure, they returned to form as soon as the load came off with no visible stress cracking.
Verspeeten works with transfer station operators to moderate compaction pressures and to distribute loads more evenly, with focused concerns on too much wet material concentrated at the front.
The company also has worked with Titan to modify components on the trailer to meet specific challenges, such as the operation of steering axle suspension.
Because the steering axles were still rubbing over the ground while in the lift position as the trailer rolled through a hole, Titan modified the axles with longer shocks and switched to low-profile super single tires providing suspension with 10 inches of up-travel.
East Manufacturing Corp.’s transfer trailers for the refuse industry are favored for their 2-inch extruded panels, says Mark Sabol, director of retail and refuse sales.
“Our Genesis model gives eight times the strength to the sheet post model. We weld both inside and outside on our extruded panels for more strength and durability,” says Sabol. “We use a deeper cross member for more resistance to bending movement in the top load
The East Manufacturing Corp. serves the refuse market with four trailers, including:
The Genesis Smooth-side Tipping Platform Trailer, a 120-cubic yard trailer that can be as light as 12,985 pounds and is aerodynamically designed to offer up to 10% better mileage.
The Genesis Smooth-side Live-Floor Trailer features Hallco and Keith floors. The Genesis trailers’ smooth side is designed to maximize payload capacity, durability and operating savings. Its aerodynamics is designed to offer 5% to 10% improved fuel mileage. In both the tipping and live-floor trailers, the 2-inch-thick extruded sidewall panels are supported by internal ribs every 3 inches. The rib spacing offers eight times the support of external posts positioned every 25 inches. The width is increased 4 inches for up to 5.75 cubic yards of extra payload. The trailer features double-wall construction as well as floor-to-wall attachment with cross-members and floor plates that interlock into bottom rub rail, which forms a pocket to accept sidewalls.
East’s Unloader trailers feature thick walls with continually welded posts. Extruded 7-inch bottom rail allows maximum strength welding of side posts and side wall sheet directly onto the bottom rail before the dirt-shedding wedge plate is added. A heavy-duty 5.5-inch by 9-inch by five-eighth-inch top rail has integral rail reinforcement to help eliminate side bow and damage to side wall from overhead loading. Stronger 5.25-inch extruded I-beam floor cross-members offer 30% more bending resistance than typical 4-inch cross-members.
Western Trailers offers a drop center and express floor trailer for the refuse industry, as well as tipper trailers.
|Photo: Western Trailers
A rollover tarp and a dump door make this trailer easy to load and unload.
The aluminum drop center trailer has a rollover top and dump door at the rear. Upon arriving at the dumpsite, the operator releases the locked door and the site's hydraulic dumper continues the work as the load slides out the back.
The trailer is manufactured for a variety of floors, lengths and axle configurations. The top hinge rear door features a replaceable, stainless steel bolt-on lower wear strip; grease fittings and a ratchet adjuster on all door paddle latches; three-quarter-inch exterior grade plywood liners and heavy-duty aluminum door framework.
The dent-resistant steel flooring is huck-bolted to heat-treated five-inch deep aluminum crossmembers. Stainless-steel rivets attach the impact and wear resistant one-eighth-inch aluminum overlapped side skin to the chassis and side posts.
“We do sheet and post construction as opposed to welded construction, so if the side of the trailer is damaged, the operation can buy pre-punched sheets and posts from us,” says Dan Taylor, national sales and marketing manager for Western Trailers.
Taylor adds that sheet and post is more commonly used in the West, where welded is more popular in the East.
“It minimizes the downtime, makes repairs quicker and you can localize the repair,” Taylor says of sheet and post.
The trailer comes with either Hallco or Keith Walking Floors according to customer preference.
The Refuse Express Floor trailer is manufactured with either an open or solid top. It features a Keith Walking Floor Pressure Seal Floor with heavy-duty extruded, full-length aluminum slats. The floor is sealed either by pressure or seals and is anchored to a unitized, high-tensile steel frame.
The trailer has a Western Rollover Tarp with ratchet-style tarp latches, with rollover tarps taking customer preference over flip tarps, Taylor says.
All of Western Trailers’ straightforward trailers are compactor-compatible.
“We seem to see more people heading towards tipper-style trailers,” Taylor says. “It seems like if you’re in a fleet above 10, we’re seeing more tipper trailers due to trailer volume. It’s lighter. There’s less to maintain. Fewer moving pieces.”
Among the products offered by KNL Holdings for the municipal solid waste industry is the Peerless Live Floor Refuse Transport Trailer.
Designed to empty an entire load in eight to 12 minutes, the trailer is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum side posts, skin, and live floors.
All 24 channels move 10 inches to the rear to unload and every third channel sequentially retracts until all are in original position, ready to move 10 inches to the rear again.
The channels slide on polyethylene bearings located at each cross member and across the wheel wells. I-Beams on 12-inch centers provide support for capacity loads while keeping trailer weight at a minimum. Wet kits, including a PTO unit and a hydraulic pump to power the live floor when necessary, are available for live floor transport.
“The lightweight trailer gives you more payload, more volume and fewer loads to be made,” notes Phil Williams, sales and marketing manager for KNL Holdings.
Ruan Transport Corporation utilizes KNL’s Peerless trailers in its operations.
Mitch McFarland is operations manager in the Dallas/Fort Worth region for Ruan.
“The decision was made to go with that trailer because we had success utilizing that equipment before at another operation, so we purchased those units for the operation that I’m currently running for Republic Services,” he says.
“The trailers are low maintenance and does the job we need it to do in a very efficient manner,” McFarland says. “It’s very user friendly for the drivers, and we really haven’t had any major issues at all.”
The four units at the operation include a walking floor and Roll-Rite tarp system, he adds.
As for prime movers, municipal solid waste operations have many choices in the market.
Freightliner Trucks supplies the municipal waste hauling segment with a number of different platforms depending on the application need, says Mark Faro, the company’s vocational segment manager and product marketing.
For example, the Freightliner Business Class M2 106 and M2 112 chassis are regularly used for truck-body neighborhood waste collection; the Cascadia and Coronado tractors are commonly utilized for larger construction dump and refuse transfer trailers.
In 2011, Freightliner Trucks introduced the 108SD and 114SD severe duty vocational trucks, designed for rugged vocational applications and environments.
“These new heavy-duty work trucks were developed specifically for tough service demands like landfill operation as well as close-quarters duty in tight urban environments,” says Faro.
The key tradeoff decision for transfer station utilization versus direct haul is the facility operation costs and the cost of the transfer haul, says Faro.
“This is driven by the transfer haul payload capacity, which factors to the trucking cost in dollars per mile,” he adds. “From the truck OEM side, we can influence these costs by increasing fuel economy and maximizing available payload for the end user.
“This means using lighter-weight components, improving aerodynamics and maximizing engine and power train efficiencies.”
The 114SD severe duty platform is standard with the Detroit Diesel DD13 12.8L engine, available from 350 to 470 horsepower and from 1,250 to 1,650 lb.-ft. torque.
The DD13’s BlueTec emissions technology is designed to provide up to five percent better fuel economy over EPA 2007 engines with comparable engine ratings and load weights, “which is important due to ever-increasing fuel costs and their impact on the bottom line,” notes Faro.
Additional lightweight power train component options can further reduce chassis weight and increase available payload, he adds.
“Aerodynamic roof and chassis fairings, as well as cab side extenders, are available on Freightliner’s heavy-duty tractor products to further reduce drag and increase fuel economy,” Faro says.
A larger, more efficient air cleaner system on the SD product holds up to 20% more dust and debris and an available hood-plenum mounted passive pre-cleaner provides additional engine protection in severe conditions while also reducing maintenance intervals,
Freightliner’s M2 and SD products both utilize a rugged steel-reinforced aluminum vocational cab that reduces weight without sacrificing strength, Faro says.
“The cab interior focuses on ergonomics and is designed to increase safety and reduce driver fatigue,” he says. “Critical switches and controls are within easy reach and are positioned to keep the driver’s eyes on the road. A tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column adjusts to drivers of all sizes to maximize driver space and comfort.”
A key factor for this type of operation is safety, not only for the operator but also for transfer station personnel, Faro says.
“The SD chassis provides up to a 50-degree wheel cut depending on wheel-end equipment, maximizing maneuverability and eliminating the need to backup and reposition,” he says. “The M2 and SD both feature an aerodynamic, sloped hood that provides superior visibility. Step-in heights and well-placed access grab handles were purpose-designed for applications requiring frequent entry and egress from the cabin to increase safety and reduce repetitive injury issues.”
Selecting the right suspension is key in all vocational applications, including transfer trailer hauling, Faro says.
“The industry utilizes a number of trailer configurations including closed and open top ejector-type, tipping platform, and moving floor designs, and can operate in varied terrain conditions,” he says. “In assessing an application, we work to achieve the right balance between ride quality, roll stiffness, articulation, load characteristics and serviceability. Freightliner Trucks offers a number of multi-leaf spring, air ride, rubber-bolster and walking-beam rear suspensions to meet any application as well as standard and wide-track rear axles.”
Peterbilt offers several prime movers for the municipal solid waste market. For roll-off and rear- or sideloader applications, the company offers the Model 348 with PACCAR PX-8, Model 382 with Cummins ISL9, Model 365 with PACCAR MX or Cummins ISL9, ISL-G, ISX11.9, and Model 367 with PACCAR MX or Cummins ISX11.9 or ISX15.
The company also offers Model 320 low cab forward with Cummins ISL9, ISL-G or ISX11.9.
To maximize productivity for the customer, Peterbilt offers a variety of components, says Charles Cook, Peterbilt product segment
That includes the standardization of air disc brakes on all Peterbilt Class 8 Models. “Air disc brakes offer the shortest stopping distances in the market today and provide a compact design, minimizing weight, reducing maintenance and improving both vehicle and operator efficiency,” says Cook.
The PACCAR MX engine provides a horsepower range of 380 horsepower to 485 horsepower and torque outputs up to 1,750 lb.-ft. with a displacement of 12.9 liters. It is the only commercial diesel engine to use Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) in both the cylinder block and head for light weight and noise reduction properties, says Cook. “CGI is 20% lighter and 75% stronger than traditional gray iron,” he says. “The MX utilizes a fully encapsulated wiring harness and a unique lubrication module that contribute to a B10 design life of one million miles and by using Selective Catalytic Reduction, the Model 587 meets the 2010 EPA diesel engine emissions regulations. The fully integrated systems with modular components reduce design complexity, resulting in longer service intervals, increased uptime, lower operating costs and higher resale value.”
Peterbilt’s SmartNav system, designed for Peterbilt trucks, features a navigation application providing truck-specific routing maps that factor in trucking parameters, including bridge heights and weight restrictions. The in-dash, technology system utilizes a high-resolution, 7-inch touch panel display. SmartNav also includes hands-free phoning with Bluetooth, back-up camera options, vehicle diagnostics data and audio controls, including satellite radio, AM/FM, CD, MP3 and USB. When a truck is not in motion, the driver can access the Internet and send and receive e-emails to enhance communications with dispatchers, logistics providers and shippers.
Peterbilt’s Front Air Leaf Suspension “is lightweight and features a 20% improvement in ride quality over taper leaf suspensions for an extremely soft ride and is compatible with air disc brakes as well as reduces tire wear,” says Cook.
Peterbilt’s SmartSound reduces noise by up to 50%. “Noise reduction not only improves driver concentration but also dramatically reduces driver fatigue through reduced external stress and distraction,” says Cook.
The company’s lightweight option package provides customers the ability to increase efficiency, maximize payload, enhance performance, and reduce operational costs, Cook says. The package includes a variety of weight-saving components that provide customers with day cabs as low as 14,200 pounds and sleeper configurations as low as 15,800 pounds.
Peterbilt is utilizing an increasing number of natural gas engines in conventional and low cab forward models, Cook says.
“Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Peterbilt’s Model 367 LNG, ideal for vocational applications, and Model 386 LNG, ideal for line, bulk, and tanker hauling, are both equipped with the Westport HD GX engine and offer up to 475 horsepower and 1,750 lbs.-ft. of torque,” he says. “The 15-litre engine uses high-pressure direct injection technology, specialized cryogenic fuel tanks, and associated electronic components to facilitate robust performance and reliable operation.
“This technology uses a low-cost, cleaner-burning fuel than diesel without compromising engine torque, power, fuel economy, or drivability, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%,” he adds.
Peterbilt Models 320, 365, and 384 are equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL G engine, and can be coupled with either compressed natural gas (CNG) or LNG fuel systems.
Peterbilt also received accreditation for developing the industry’s first SmartWay designated alternative fuel vehicle, Cook says.
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Program has recognized Peterbilt’s Model 386 liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck as meeting the established fuel-saving, low-emission equipment requirements set for Class 8 trucks,” says Cook.
Safety and efficiency also critical factors in the choice of a floor.
Scott Cloud, regional sales representative for California and Canada for Keith Walking Floor, says that while there are other systems of moving waste around from transfer stations that unload faster, the Walking Floor’s ease of maintenance and unloading capabilities are favored by end users.
“A tipper style platform definitely unloads faster, but there’s one place to unload,” he says. “If you catch it right, you can drive right onto the platform and unload in a couple of minutes, but a lot of times you have to wait in line. With the Walking Floor, you can unload at the face of the landfill or wherever you need to unload.”
The load does not move for the first three stages of the four-stage process. In the first stage, the first group of every third slat/plank moves under the load.
The second group of every third slat/plank moves under the load during the second stage. During the third stage, the final group of every third slat/plank moves under the load. At the fourth stages, all slat/planks move together and the load moves toward the discharge end.
The system’s drive unit located underneath the slats while offering full-length bearing and full-length slat pull-down are key components, Cloud says.
“Those are important because any type of reciprocating slat system rides on plastic bearings,” he says. “We used to sell a system where we had a 6-inch bearing every foot or 16 inches and we found over the years that the more bearings put in there, the longer the slat lives, and the happier the end user is.”
Cloud points out that flats get bent upwards.
“Heavy objects get dropped on the sides and after a period of time, they start bending upwards and that poses a bunch of challenges to maintenance and keeping the system lasting as long as it ought to,” says Cloud.
Walking Floor’s most recent technology is the V-Floor, particularly the V18.
Advantages to the end-user focus on the full-length bearing support, full-length slat hold-down and the system’s leak resistance.
“With the system being designed as it is to stay down on the sub-deck, it’s going to ride in the channel it was designed to ride in and extend the life of the floor slat,” says Cloud.
Walking Floor’s V9 system is designed as a more robust product for operations that deal more with construction and demolition debris or steel or scrap metal, says Cloud.
“If guys are hauling standard MSW, recyclables or any light-duty stuff, we typically recommend the lighter-duty V18,” he says.
One of the trends that Cloud and his colleagues are noting is that smaller landfills and transfer stations are hitting capacity and morphing into “super” landfills. That is lengthening the distance between the transfer station and landfill, he adds.
Wilkens Industries manufacturers transfer trailers among other products, and its X Series is used in the solid waste market to transfer waste from a route truck into the trailer.
The transfer trailers are manufactured with a steel substructure and an aluminum body.
“In certain states, they allow permits for transferring the loads from one vehicle to another vehicle,” says Mike Snyder, the company’s general manager. “The nice part about this X Series trailer is that it gives them the freedom to do that. It reduces their cost for transportation permits and the building facility and gives them some flexibility on how they can handle the transfer.
“Instead of driving the route truck to a landfill miles away, they can dump three route trucks into our X Series trailer and make one trip to the landfill versus three. It reduces their costs. Their permitting costs are down. Their hauling costs are down.”
Hallco Industries manufactures the Live Floor Conveyor, a hydraulically powered system using a series of moving slats to move material across its surface. A two-way, variable speed hydraulic module moves the floor and allows for controlled loading, unloading and precision metering.
The Live Floor Conveyor is designed to allow bulk loads to be unloaded under low overhangs, on uneven ground and on soft ground; repositioning of loads for best axle loading; move wet loads without drips; handle any width, length and weight of load and move at speeds of 11 feet per minute, among other features.
“The deck is the key,” says Charles Russell, sales manager for Hallco. “When we know going in what people are planning to haul, we have a deck design to fit what they want do to. People hauling wood chips and mulch, for example, do not need the heavy-duty deck. Everyone is weight-conscious because of the weight laws.”
With some trailers being compactor compatible with waste compacted and loaded into a bale onto the trailer, some waste haulers face challenges with wet loads, depending on the climate in which they are hauling.
“We’ve run into this over the years when we found a variation in weight in garbage,” Russell says. “The moisture content makes the
Like others, Russell is noting a trend toward doing two-way hauls that may incorporate recyclables.
“If they have a long haul and want to back haul, we can also haul pallets on a live floor. On a Live Floor, you can bring the pallets to the rear and unload them without the forklift going onto the trailer, which can eventually damage the trailer.”
An increasing number of laws regarding tarps is bringing greater attention to this element in collection operations.
Erl Henry, sales manager for solid waste and recycling for Roll-Rite, says his company notes an increase in tarping.
“There are stricter laws being written and enforced about tarping loads responsibility,” he says. “The trash hauling and scrap processing company’s operations department as well as the safety department are adding tarp systems to their fleets to reduce their exposure to liability. They do not want material falling out of their trucks and trailers causing harm to persons or property.”
Roll-Rite manufactures a wide variety of tarping systems for single axle, tandem axle and multi-axle trucks and trailers used in solid waste and scrap hauling applications.
Roll-Rite DC Series tarp systems are designed for all detachable container system applications, including roll-off, hooklift and lugger vehicles. Roll-Rite Side-To-Side and Front-To-Back systems are available for tarping a variety of transfer trailers, gondola trailers and dump trucks and trailers.
Roll-Rite tarp systems provide users an overall low cost of ownership through simple system design, including factory pre-assembled and load-tested components, says Henry.
“Aluminum extruded components provide the tarp system maximum strength and minimum weight for carrying larger payloads. Tarp system towers are powder coated instead of painted for longevity and appearance,” he says. “Four-inch halogen work lights are included as standard on most DC Series systems. Wireless remote keyfob operation offers the operator safe 360-degree visibility during tarping operations.”
A ‘No Tap-In’ independent tarp power unit is provided with DC Series systems along with a standard SuperTough mesh tarp.
OmniSource, one of North America’s largest scrap haulers, not only uses Roll-Rite tarps, but helped to design them, says Greg Miller, maintenance manager for the company’s northern division.
“There are DOT laws that say we must have tarps over loaded trailers so the freight does not blow out. The other thing is drivers not getting hurt,” says Miller, adding that his company used to have a tarp that the truck operators had to climb up on top of the trailer to move it, sometimes resulting in injuries.
Miller points out that in Ohio, trailers with loads must have tarps. In Tennessee, a tarp must be employed whether the load is empty or loaded.
“It’s becoming a law almost everywhere that almost every open-topped trailer that you haul scrap in must have a tarp on it whether it’s loaded or unloaded,” he adds.
Miller says OmniSource has helped develop a tarp system with Roll-Rite “where the driver’s feet never leaves the ground so there are no injuries. There’s no liability and it’s all run off of the truck, powerwise.”
Donovan Enterprises offers two fully automated system for the transfer trailer market. The most popular of its offering is the Sidewinder. Operated from the ground, it is hydraulically-driven with a single lid cover over the entire trailer that hinges on one side.
The lid rotates 270 degrees from the top of the trailer to completely flush along the side of the trailer.
“It’s been the most popular automatic system for transfer trailers in the US over the past 10 years, mainly because of safety,” says Scot Fuhrman, vice president and division manager for Donovan Enterprises.
Transfer trailers are usually 13 to 13.5 feet off of the ground, Fuhrman says.
“If an operator is trying to cover that from up on top, it’s extremely dangerous, so the ability to allow the operator to cover the trailer from the ground where he’s safe and can see what’s happening and knows everything is clear was the driving factor,“ he adds.
The lid rotates in 17 seconds.
“If the driver is pulling into a transfer station, he could pull up to the area where they untarp, and while the other guys are climbing up to roll the tarp back or pull a handle down to roll it from one side or the other, the Sidewinder operator can flip the switch and in 17 seconds it’s down on the side,” Fuhrman says.
“He can get back in the cab, pass a lot of guys who got there before him, get into the transfer station, receive the load and pull out,” he adds. “What started off as a purchase based on safety also became a way to haul a few extra loads because there was time savings.”
It also offers refuse operations a larger pool of drivers from which to choose.
“If you have someone who is on light duty or isn’t physically capable of doing some of the other operations, they could do this now,” says Fuhrman. “It really doesn’t take anything physically. It’s just making sure everything is clear overhead and then flip the switch.”
A few years after introducing the Sideliner, Donovan Enterprises rolled out a double-flip system. Similar to the Sideliner, it covers two lids, hinges on both sides and overlaps in the middle.
“The driver is operating a valve or a switch to rotate both sides down 270 degrees against the side of the trailer,” says Fuhrman. “Those are two automatic systems that save a lot of time and they’re much safer. Since they do rest completely flush against the side of the trailer, they can pull into the narrowest transfer stations without any difficulty, get loaded and come right out.”
Donovan Enterprises also offers more traditional systems, such as a side roller and a cable system called the Bowslider that can be manually driven with a ground level crank or electrically with an electric motor and bows through the tarp on cables from the front of the trailer to the back cover.
The weight of what is being hauled is now monitored by increasingly technologically advanced weighing systems.
Among the many markets served by Vulcan On-Board Scales is the municipal solid waste market, with scales used for rear loaders, front loaders, roll-offs and other equipment.
Jerry McCurry, East Coast regional manager for Vulcan On-Board Scales, says his company is seeing a surge of interest in transfer stations and scales on transfer trucks and trailers.
A case in point: Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County.
“SWA has been moving our systems on their transfer trucks and trailers since 1997. The issues were that they needed to know the weight of the garbage that’s being processed to the transfer station and into the trailers for its transport up to the main landfill in one location in the county,” says McCurry.
“The problem was that they were getting hit with overweight fines and the fear of liability of having accidents with their trucks being overloaded. There’s also the fear of underloading as well. It’s expensive running with diesel fuel and paying the drivers, so if you’re underloaded, you’re not using your equipment to its fullest capacity.”
In the late 1990s, SWA had contacted Vulcan, indicating they needed a technology that would prove effective in working with the platform and pits in the transfer stations.
“Every time a thunderstorm comes by in the summer—which is pretty much every afternoon in south Florida—there were lightning strikes and water filling up the platform scales,” McCurry says. “Trash would fill up the platform scales and there were constant maintenance issues. SWA wanted to know if we had anything that would work on transfer trucks and trailers.”
Vulcan On-Board scales already had such a technology for the logging industry and used that as a solution for the municipal solid waste industry. After helping SWA with that problem, it started catching on, McCurry notes.
It also addresses the time challenges, he adds.
“They’re loading up these garbage trailers with municipal solid waste and typically at the exit of the transfer station, they have to weigh before they hit the road and they hit that certified scale before they go on the interstate,” McCurry points out.
“They still could be over or under. If they’re over, they’ve got to go back in line and take some off. If they’re under, they’ve got to get back in line and put a little bit more on. The problem we identified for them is that they needed instant information about exactly how much they’re loading as they’re loading and the proper way to do it is with onboard scales.”
Vulcan has devised a system to where the scales are on the trucks and trailers—with air or spring suspension—and are sending a wireless signal up to a scoreboard above where the loader is pushing the garbage around.
“The loader operator is watching that scoreboard as he’s pushing the garbage into the trailer and he can see it exactly as he’s loading it,” says McCurry. “He can get within a couple of hundred pounds with a little bit of variance. He knows exactly when to stop loading it. It’s fully loaded to capacity but not overweight.”
The system’s efficiencies saves the operation from having to purchase extra equipment and saves labor hours, including overtime hours to transport garbage, McCurry says, adding that states such as Florida have come to embrace the system with enthusiasm.
There’s still a demand for traditional scales, says McCurry.
“There is a need for weighing for auditing purposes,” he says. “If you’ve got 10 customers and each of them has an 8-yard container, how do you charge each customer a price and still make a profit?
“You really don’t know unless you’re actually weighing the cans to properly determine what to charge a customer. You’re being charged by the ton at the landfill and transfer stations, so you need to charge the customers within reasonable weight.”
While there is a multitude of configurations for trucks and trailers, the onboard scales have three common denominators: the meter in the cab, the wiring and harness that processes the information and the sensors located on the trucks and trailers.
What’s popular with end users of Rice Lake Weighing Systems is rolloff kits, says Thomas Kendall, the company’s director of strategic accounts for onboard weighing.
“We have a system we use in transfer stations that’s pretty popular,” he adds. The system transmits data from the tractors and trailers in the pits to a receiver that displays weights on scoreboards up above in the pit area where the garbage is being pushed into the trailers.
“We’ll show it typically with the trailer separately so they could load the trailer from each end and get the weights up to where they want them to be to a legal point and then signal the driver to take the trailer out.”
Rice Lake considers the suspensions on a tractor and the trailer, scaling them different ways, Kendall notes.
“When the customer identifies to us that there’s a transfer station, then we offer the option to go wireless because you could have one transfer trailer or you could have 30 transfer trailers. We’ve got different solutions on that basis, but they all have to go wireless at that point to be effective. We have that option, but the basic tractor trailer scaling doesn’t change no matter what application is.”
Rice Lake offers end users the option to look at either truck scale solutions or onboard scale solutions, depending on the size of the operation, scaling according to economics, Kendall says.
“Where trucks to be weighed, it may just be viable to spend the money on a truck scale,” he says. “But with a smaller transfer station, which is more common now, onboard scales are a better solution. An operation with between 10 to 20 trailers would work best with onboard scales; over that you might want to use truck scales.”
Phelps Industries manufactures materials handling equipment, including container dumpers, tilter and container loaders, landfill tippers, portable and semi-portable units, and hoppers, among other products.
The Phelps Low Profile Landfill Trailer Tipper is designed for over-the-road transportation, when several major components are unpinned and removed, comprising a second trailer load.
The tipper is designed to raise itself in front for coupling to a truck/tractor or converter dolly for relocation in the landfill, which takes about 15 minutes. As such, it is designed to save the costs of long distance pushing of materials away from the tipper.
With portable and semiportable units, the standard elevated unit utilizes an extended approach ramp. The low profile design uses short approach ramps for applications with limited space or where an extended approach ramp is impractical. The portable units may be equipped with either electric or diesel-powered hydraulic power units. The low-profile style portable unit may also be used in combination with a live floor hopper.
“We’re the first one in the market to do the 65-ton,” says John Phelps, sales manager. “We’ve got a power steering metal slide on our portable unit, so there’s no movable parts for additional debris build-up on top of the dumper deck.”
The refuse segment has been a critical market for Alcoa Wheels in recent years, notes Brian E. Thomas, who handles marketing communications for the Americas on behalf of Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products.
The company has launched a wheel specifically designed and built for Class 7 and Class 8 refuse truck.
“Aluminum wheels are stronger and lighter than steel wheels and do not rust,” says Thomas. “Since they do not rust, they eliminate refurbishing steps and costs required for repainting of steel wheels. More critically, Alcoa aluminum wheels provide a more robust mounting surface to reduce wheel-offs and improve safety and security. In addition, aluminum wheels run cooler and improve vehicle performance and ride quality.”
The wheels have a thicker mounting surface to increase lug nut torque retention for improved grip strength and improve safety, Thomas adds.
“Dura-Bright wheels from Alcoa provide a proprietary wheel surface treatment that rinses easily with mild soap and water, eliminating the need for polishing and allowing the truck to appear newer for longer,” he says.
Thomas notes that most of the larger national refuse fleets have either switched from steel to aluminum wheels or are in the processing of testing aluminum wheels for their fleets and service centers.
Carol Brzozowski specializes in topics related to stormwater and technology.