Articulated dump trucks, with their ability to efficiently move dirt throughout the jobsite, are in high demand these days. Bell spare parts. General information about the range of online catalog: AGA Parts Company. Dealers report they can’t keep them in their rental fleets, and customers are scrambling to find someone, anyone, who can meet their need for artics.
While there have been steady technological advancements, the “wow” factor isn’t as high with ADTs. They keep doing what they’re doing, and contractors keep using them.
“Other equipment has apparent technology,” says Scott Thomas, product application specialist, Caterpillar. “With ADTs it’s, ‘Yeah, OK, so it has payload,’ and the conversation ends there. With ADTs, most of the technology is behind the scenes.”
Thomas says Cat has had traction control since 2011; six sensors monitor wheel slip and adjust torque accordingly. Cat also has stability control on all but the 725C2, their smallest model. Auto-retarding has multiple levels and will also apply the service brakes if additional braking is needed. Lift assist gives fingertip control to the dump cycle. Hit the switch when traveling under 4 mph in either forward or reverse and the system shifts to neutral, applies the service brakes for a controlled stop, raises engine rpm and raises the bed. The switch is on the joystick right next to the transmission controller to minimize operator distraction. “It’s as simple as raising a power window in a pickup truck,” says Thomas.
Komatsu also provides a host of advanced technology. Komatsu’s traction control system monitors wheel speed and automatically engages and disengages the service brakes at individual wheels to limit tire slip. The operator can lock the center differential for a 50/50 front/rear torque split. Power and Economy work modes emphasize either power or efficiency as conditions require. Likewise, the operator can adjust the transmission logic to start in first or second forward gear to match conditions.
Some technological advances have been small but steady, explains Mark Shea, product consultant, ADTs, John Deere. “Our telematics system, JDLink, is fully configured as it is but still sees regular, incremental advances.” Mostly this means acquiring more data more often and doing more with it. “We want to provide our customers with the best usable data to help them make decisions and minimize downtime,” says Shea. Other behind-the-scenes technology includes axle temperature monitoring and flow control to cool only the axles that need it and a hydraulically driven cooling fan with a reversing option that responds to the demands of the cooling system.
Bell is anticipating the intelligent worksite. “There’s growing demand for an interconnected worksite where machines communicate with a centralized point and eventually with each other,” says Neville Paynter, president, Bell Equipment North America. He says the evolving field of the Internet of Things (IoT) helps advance both interest and the enabling technology.
The ability to follow a GNSS course without a driver and brand-neutral communication are essential parts of this, says Paynter, but there are some safety fundamentals that must come first. “The first commercially practical step for Bell ADT operations in this regard is in the area of Pedestrian Detection Systems (PDS) and Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) where the truck’s brake system is electronically activated should there be a risk of collision.” One challenge will be designing brake systems to meet these needs without affecting the systems’ ISO certifications.