A gravel truck that has a box installed generally is more versatile and can multi-task for different projects. They can also pull a gravel trailer where applicable, to increase their pay-load.
The gravel box is usually built from steel. Aluminum is also used for weight savings. A hydraulic cylinder is the most used method of raising the box to dump material. Attached PTO (power take off) from the main engine will drive the auxiliary components.
Longer hauls will see trucks combine with larger trailers and more load capacity. New engine design and cleaner emissions make the trucks more environment friendly while producing better mileage and power. Most truck manufacturers started using ECM
[electronic Control Module ] on diesel engines after the year 2000.
Automatic transmissions and advanced synchronism in shifting parts make the late model equipment more enjoyable to run. Air bag suspension for drive axles along with air ride front axle smooth the road. For even more shock dampening, air flotation cabs and air cushion seats increase the operators ability to put in long hours at driving.
Terrain and climate greatly affect the operating functions of a gravel truck. Hydraulics need different oil to lift properly and the unit must be winterized in harsh conditions. You will often see a "cold-front" attached to a gravel truck in cold weather. This restricts cold air from blowing through the entire radiator and allows the engine to run warmer.
The cold front also helps to generate more warmth for the operator by allowing more engine heat to penetrate the operator cab.
Air conditioning is nice feature to have as many construction sites can be a hot dusty work place in summer. A comfortable driver can deliver good equipment performance.
TYPES OF GRAVEL TRUCK
Straight Truck - single axle or tandem drive with gravel box
Truck & Pony - straght truck with tandem axle or tri-axle trailer with box
Transfer Box - Tandem or tr-axle truck with tri-axle trailer. Trailer box is transferred onto truck for dumping.
Tri-axle - Tandem or tri-drive truck with tri-axle trailer. Both have boxes that are hydraulically raised.
Quad - Tandem or tri-drive truck with 4 axle trailer. Hydraulic dumping
End Dump - Tandem or tr-drive truck with longer end dump trailer. Hydraulically raised and great care is needed for unit stability while unloading.
Side Dump - Tandem or tri-drive truck pulling single or combined trailers that unload by tilting boxes to the side . Very safe and fast removal of material.
Belly Dump - Also known as an "Omaha" Tandem or tr-drive truck pulling a trailer that unloads out the bottom through gates. Fast safe unloading.
Prone to dump gate malfunction in colder weather.
Clam - Tandem or tr-drive truck that pulls a trailer that unloads underneath. Same as belly dump except bottom gates move to the sides allowing easier unloading of material.
Adaptable to changing requirements on the construction site, the gravel truck is equipment that fits the needs of most contractors. Road building is usually the principle place you will find gravel trucks. Stock piles of material are often moved from one location to another by these machines.
A special class 1 license is needed to drive the larger units and an air brake endorsement is also required. Operators may have other qualifications as well. With D.O.T. regulations and hours of service the industry is more regulated than in the past. Commercial vehicles are required by law to have safety inspections done by certified personal. Periodic checks are done by weigh scale inspectors for axle weight and log book regulations while units are in-route