How custom rear-eject bodies can increase safety and productivity

By |  March 14, 2022
Rear-eject bodies can further increase efficiency by providing 100 percent material offload, eliminating carryback. Photo: Philippi-Hagenbuch

Rear-eject bodies can further increase efficiency by providing 100 percent material offload, eliminating carryback. Photo: Philippi-Hagenbuch

A key to long-term success in any business is maximizing efficiency.

For aggregate operations, maximizing efficiencies might seem like a complex game of chess. A strategy can involve managers carefully maneuvering employees, equipment and materials to reach the perfect balance of productivity and safety.

Unfortunately, hauling and offloading efficiency are often overlooked factors in these calculations. With the proper equipment, aggregate operations can maximize the capacity and offloading efficiency of each load. But when a mismatch between material and equipment occurs, it can cost operations greatly in terms of lost productivity, component wear and extended maintenance.

As a safer and more efficient alternative, many operations in the industry invest in rear-eject truck bodies for their haulers. The technology has several benefits, including eliminating various time-consuming aspects of the standard dumping process and increasing operator safety. And, depending on the manufacturer, further productivity can be found with low- or no-maintenance rear-eject designs.

Eliminate ups & downs

One hindrance of end dump trucks is the time it takes to stop, dump and wait for the body to completely drop back down before driving away.

It takes roughly 12 seconds for bodies to lift and another seven seconds to drop back down. And that doesn’t include the time it takes to find steady ground and empty the truck.

On paper, this may not seem like a significant amount of time. But in reality, when trucks take dozens of trips each day, those seconds add up.

Alternatively, rear-eject bodies eliminate the need to stop and lift during the dumping cycle, saving time with each dump and increasing efficiency by up to 25 percent. They provide operators with complete control of discharge and the ability to dump materials on the go – something highly discouraged with end dump trucks due to increased safety risks.

Incorporating rear-eject technology allows operators to push material out of the truck body at a steady rate. The action can occur while the vehicle is moving, offering a uniform distribution of material to fall behind the truck.

Compared to the large piles left by end dump trucks, this even spread requires significantly less dozing and spreading time. Rear-eject bodies can further increase efficiency by providing 100 percent material offload, eliminating carryback.

Additionally, a rear-eject body allows for safe offloading in conditions that would be impossible or unsafe for standard trucks, such as on slopes, uphill and in locations with a softer footing. On these uneven surfaces, the rear-eject design provides a low center of gravity allowing for safe offloading – even with the truck at rated capacity. This gives operators more flexibility when it comes to where they offload, resulting in less maneuvering with other vehicles – including dozers and loaders – to get the material where it ultimately needs to go.

Heighten employee safety

In addition to increased productivity, rear-eject bodies offer safety advantages compared to traditional end dump trucks.

Standard dump trucks put a significant amount of a truck’s load over the rear axle while unloading – sometimes causing the front of the truck to raise off the ground due to the improperly balanced load. As the load drops out the back, the truck and driver can be lifted, only to come back down abruptly once the dump is complete.

This repeated process stresses the truck chassis, as well as the operator, who, over time, can suffer from back and neck issues caused by the repeated impact. Because the blade of a rear-eject body pushes materials out at a steady rate – unlike the uncontrolled mass that drops from a gravity-fed dump body – the truck maintains a lower and more balanced center of gravity.

And because rear-eject bodies eliminate the need to raise the body, the truck can safely dump materials near overhead barriers, such as electric lines, bridges, pipelines and support beams, as well as in enclosed areas or underground mines. This makes them an ideal solution for crowded jobsites with strict height restrictions.

Less maintenance, less downtime

Having equipment unavailable due to maintenance can put the brakes on any operation. Staying up to date on routine maintenance is essential, and equipment that requires little maintenance goes a long way to minimize downtime.

Some OEM end dump bodies possess several hydraulic controls, pins and grease points that work together to lift the body, drop the tailgate and bring the body back down. Even some OEM rear-eject bodies come stacked with moving parts, making them susceptible to breakdowns.

Custom body manufacturers know that fewer moving parts means minimal breakdowns and maximum uptime. So they’ve engineered models with low-maintenance hydraulic controls, no grease points and tailgates that rise and fall at the rate of the ejector blade.

When a body is custom designed for a specific operation, there’s no guessing how long it will last. In fact, some rear-eject bodies last more than 20 years.

Making the right move

Settling for a one-size-fits-all approach can be a costly mistake when it comes to haul trucks. Instead, operators should discuss their options with a custom manufacturer to make sure the vehicle they’re running offers the best solution for their aggregate operation. Working with specialists to maximize efficiency allows an operation to reach its full potential.

Josh Swank is vice president of sales and marketing at Philippi-Hagenbuch.

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