Trucking company dumps shoddy vibrators


A global leader in the manufacture of high quality electric vibrators for improved bulk material flow has helped a fleet of dump trucks improve material removal and efficiency with more durable and reliable industrial vibrators for ensure that every load is delivered completely and safely. To avoid the potential risk of operator intervention to break up stubborn materials and facilitate complete unloading,

Herman’s Trucking Company of Wrightstown, New Jersey, orders their truck bodies with vibrators supplied by OEMs. Company officials, however, were disappointed with the units’ short lifespan, which only lasted around a year.

To resolve the issue, they replaced one of the failing vibrators with a heavy-duty Cougar® DC 2500 truck vibrator from Martin Engineering. After six years, the high-performance Cougar 12-volt vibrator continues to perform as well, helping the company avoid frequent replacement costs and associated downtime. The units have been so successful and reliable that company officials now replace competing vibrators with Cougar models whenever a failure occurs.

Since 1973, Herman’s Trucking Company has served the Burlington County area in central New Jersey. With a large fleet of over 25 dump trucks, the company hauls everything from landscaping materials to construction products. Commonly transported loads include slate, slab, rocks, limestone, recycled aggregate, earth and sand.

Build-up of material on the walls, floor and tailgate of the truck bed can reduce the capacity of each load, prolonging unloading time and reducing efficiency. “Sand and gravel absolutely must be cleaned after every load,” said Bruce Stelljes of Herman’s Trucking Co. “The driver must make sure that the body of the truck is clean and if it is not, he must up there and hammer the truck body or even climb into the bed with a shovel and manually dislodge any remaining material.

Drivers commonly use a number of other methods to evacuate the cargo bed, all of which can present problems. One is to stop and start the hydraulic elevator to shake off the buildup, slamming the cylinder open and closed to dislodge the load, which can put stress on the elevator shaft, hydraulic fittings, and other components. Another is to move the truck back and forth in a stop / start action with the bed raised. This wears out the brakes and engine, and trucks with raised beds can become severely unbalanced on uneven surfaces. Even on level ground, if one side of the platform empties and material sticks to the other side, the cart may tip over.

Perhaps the most dangerous approach is the operator who climbs and manually cleans the build-up. Often performed with the bed at a slight incline which introduces the possibility of slips or falls, the loosened material can suddenly drain away, dragging the worker with it, which can lead to injury.

“We first discovered Cougar vibrators about six years ago when we received a new truck body fitted with a Cougar 2500,” Stelljes continued. “We noticed that the unit was consistently delivering the strength we needed without exhausting itself. Stelljes said the original unit still performed like new.

“At the time, we didn’t know much about truck vibrators,” Stelljes said. “We bought new trucks with vibrators from another manufacturer installed. But after barely a year of service, these units started to deteriorate. Stelljes said they were suffering from a drop in production or had stopped working altogether. Operators originally replaced the failing vibrators with new ones from the same manufacturer, but the short life of the equipment persisted, again forcing operators to take action to clean the material. After seeing the side-by-side comparison of performance and equipment life between the Cougar DC 2500 and competing units, the company decided to use Cougar designs exclusively.

“The actual cost of these vibrators is directly related to their lifespan,” said Allen Twidell, Mobile Market Manager at Martin Engineering. “The Cougar family of truck vibrators features rugged windings and insulation, with bearings lubricated for life and sealed inside a weather-resistant housing. The motors are custom built to Martin Engineering specifications, ensuring the highest level of quality control. The units also come with a two-year warranty, which is double that of other 12-volt truck vibrators.

“We have found that some competing designs do not actually achieve the strengths claimed by the manufacturer,” Twidell continued. “In contrast, our units generally produce more power than the model numbers indicate.” The Cougar line of DC truck vibrators also includes a larger unit, which produces a whopping 3,700 pounds of force.

Placed on the top spine of the truck bed support frame, the compact unit on Herman trucks requires minimal space. The design measures only 10-3 / 8 “x 9¾” x 6-7 / 8 “and weighs only 36 lbs. Due to the lightweight aluminum housing, resulting in a high performance-to-weight ratio. 55 Amps, the powerful vibrator delivers 2,500 pounds of force at 4,000 rpm Competitive products typically draw significantly more current (well over 100 amps), which means Cougar units draw less current on the truck’s electrical system.The duty cycles are also longer, generating less heat, which contributes to their long life.

In addition to a safer working environment, reliability means there are no unexpected interruptions to the workflow due to a faulty vibrator. With complete cargo evacuation, 100% of every load is delivered efficiently to the job site, reducing labor and risk. All of this translates into a lower operating cost and a better return on investment. “Now we use one brand of vibrator and they only need to be installed once,” Stelljes concluded.

Martin Engineering is a global innovator in the bulk material handling industry, developing new solutions to common problems and participating in industry organizations to improve safety and productivity. The company’s Foundations book series is an internationally recognized resource for safety, maintenance and operations training, with more than 20,000 printed copies in circulation around the world. The 500+ page volumes can also be downloaded as free PDFs from Martin’s website. Martin Engineering’s products, sales, service and training are available at 18 facilities worldwide, including business units owned by factories in Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, in India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom.


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