W.K. Dahms Mfg. Ltd. has successfully launched a new generation of remote controls for Stone Slinger truck conveyors that can dramatically reduce the time to unload and place aggregate loads with precision.
The new Stone Slinger Creep Drive system provides operators with a remote control feature that not only controls the speed and direction of the conveyor, but allows the operator to remotely maneuver the truck itself around the jobsite. The operator now has a single set of controls to run the conveyor and reposition the truck for ideal placement of the material, without returning to the truck. The truck and the Stone Slinger become a fully integrated material delivery system.
Scott Nelson, Manager of W.K. Dahms, reports that the first of the new Stone Slingers equipped with Creep Drive was delivered at the end of August to John Da Silva of Rock Concrete Forming Ltd. in Mississauga, Ontario. After putting the Stone Slinger through its paces for a full season, Da Silva says, “If I was buying another truck, I wouldn’t get anything else – no question.”
According to Da Silva, his investment in the Creep Drive feature has paid off well. “On a typical weeping tile job, the driver has to go back and forth to move the truck four or five times. And, each time, when you get into the truck, you have to turn the PTO off, drive the truck, put the air brakes on again and restart the PTO. It’s the time-saving that pays you back.”
The right place to be
By using the remote control to move the truck, the operator remains outside the cab to keep the material flowing until the load is completely delivered. Da Silva says that getting out of the truck is the right place for operators to be. “You get out here and you can see everything. We are always working in very tight spaces. You can watch the wheels and the ground more closely than if you’re steering from the cab. You won’t ever put the truck into a pothole or a ditch, so you never have to wait for another truck to come and pull you out.”
The Stone Slinger Creep Drive adds a complete hydrostatic drive system to the standard powertrain of the truck. A hydraulic driven gearbox is inserted into the driveline. A CAN Bus panel controls all hydraulic and operating functions and communicates with the remote, which the operator carries in a sling.
Jobsite safety designed in
Nelson explains that safety was a key factor in Dahms’ design of the system. “The maximum speed the truck can achieve under hydraulic power is 2.5 km/h – a comfortable walking speed. The control circuitry receives constant feedback on the actual wheel speed from the truck. If the truck’s on an incline, the hydraulics will brake its speed automatically. Several fail-safes are built in as well. If the wheel speed exceeds 4 km/h, the CAN Bus will shut down and stop the truck completely.”
Lower costs, better results
Da Silva finds that the Creep Drive leads to better job quality, too, with less wasted material. Operators naturally tend to avoid extra walks back to the truck if they possibly can. By making it easy to move the truck into the best location, Creep Drive helps operators to distribute the material more precisely and consistently with no extra time or inconvenience. For a contractor like Da Silva, that translates into lower costs for clean-up and for material.