Most dump trucks used in landfills have a rated capacity of 35 to 40 tons and hold 30 cubic yards. But as anyone who’s loaded refuse knows, nowhere near 40 tons fits in standard original equipment manufacturer (OEM) dump bodies.
Municipal solid waste (MSW) is light and fluffy, weighing an average of 650 pounds per cubic yard. A 30-cubic-yard body on a 40-ton truck filled to volumetric capacity usually equals 10 tons, one-fourth rated capacity.
Let’s say you have five trucks processing 3,000 tons per day and that, based on standard off-highway tank capacity and miles per gallon, each load costs $500.
At rated capacity, each truck would make 15 passes. But because the standard OEM dump body provides one-third that volume, each truck must make 40 trips per day. Instead of $7,500, hauling 3,000 tons costs $20,000.
As you see, standard bodies are inefficient. Most OEMs don’t offer them, though, because they cost more to make. That gives landfill managers two options: Accept inefficiency or seek custom solutions.
Body manufacturers have devised a solution that provides three times the volumetric capacity while meeting rated capacity. The same amount of refuse is moved, but at a faster rate and for less money.
If the five trucks above had 90-cubic-yard bodies, each would make 20 trips per day. Assuming a 3-mile trip per load, custom bodies can save more than $70,000 in fuel per year, plus the maintenance and service savings that come from fewer trips.
Increased volumetric capacity doesn’t mean the truck can haul more than the rated capacity, however. That could cause damage or violate the truck’s warranty. Because each load size is different, an onboard scale should be used to ensure a truck isn’t overloaded.
Not only do the custom bodies boost volumetric capacity and fuel economy, they speed up cycle times and simplify overall operations.
Next page: Rear-eject vs. standard dump bodies