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Dump truck design moves forward

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
January February 2013
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RD 017 dump truck
The RD 017's rear-mounted steering wheel allowed the driver to control the machine while backing up to a dump point

Rigid dump truck design has come a long way, writes Mike Woof

The rigid dump truck was a US development, with the Euclid Trac-Truk of 1931 being the world’s first, purpose-built off-highway dump truck.

Prior to WWII, US firms such as Euclid, as well as Dart and Mack, were the undoubted pioneers of the rigid dump truck sector.

The Trac-Truk was small and crude to modern eyes but was quickly followed by larger and more powerful vehicles, with these three manufacturers leading the way.

Post WWII the development in US rigid dump truck design continued. However manufacturers in other countries were also quick to enter the market. Aveling Barford in the UK; Belaz in Belarus; Faun in Germany, and Komatsu in Japan were amongst the key names from other countries launching purpose-built dump trucks.

These new machines were, in many instances, noticeably different from the US trucks as well.

The UK firm Aveling Barford had been manufacturing off-highway machines such as compaction rollers, a market in which the brand was at one time amongst the leaders, and its foray into the rigid dump truck sector started with its diminutive RD 017 model. Smaller than many US trucks of the time, it was nonetheless a purpose-built rigid haul truck suited to use on construction sites and quarries. Compact in size for a rigid chassis dump truck, the RD 017 measured nearly 5.8m long by 2.74m wide.

Of note was the fact that it was built as a right hand drive vehicle, primarily to suit UK market needs. This limited its export potential to much of the international market, although the truck pictured was actually used at an operation in France.
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RD 017 Dump truck
The RD 017 was offered with cab protection attached to the dump body, although it is not fitted on this particular example
The design of the Aveling Barford RD 017 was novel in other respects also and most notably due to its provision of an extra steering wheel. This was mounted at the rear of the cab and the seat could be swivelled for its use, when backing up to a tipping point or reversing on a congested site, or on an operation where working space was restricted.

Power came from a naturally aspirated, six-cylinder Leyland UE680 diesel that delivered 149kW at 2,200rpm. This engine drove through a remote-mounted, constant mesh transmission with helical gears and which offered five forward and no less than three reverse gears. The unusually large number of reverse gears was presumably due to the novel steering system as this allowed comparatively safe operation when backing up in comparison with other trucks.

However, despite the presence of a grille in the rear of the dump body and immediately behind the cab, the driver’s rearward sightlines would have been restricted by the lip and sides of the dump body, and even more so when this was filled with a heaped load.

Weighing in at 11.4tonnes unladen, the truck had a payload of 15.4tonnes (17 US tons) and a GVW of 26.8tonnes, while its body offered a capacity of 7.6m³ (struck) and 9.5m³ (heaped).

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Now a division of Hitachi

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