These answers will help increase machine profitability and customer productivity

Purchasing an articulated dump truck, commonly referred to as an ADT, can be one of the biggest yet most profitable investments for a rental company. Before purchasing an ADT, you should carefully research brands, truck size and performance features such as durability and operator comfort. Consider the following questions before purchasing an ADT to help increase machine profitability and keep your customers productive on their jobsites.

Who is the target customer for an ADT?

ADTs are designed to move large amounts of material quickly, even in soft-ground conditions, making them useful for many heavy construction tasks and some mining applications. However, using an ADT for one application might not be the best fit in another, so it is important that rental companies match the truck to each customer.

“Rental companies should assess what material type will be moved, how far the material will be transported, the truck’s capacity, and the physical size to make sure they have an ADT that is best for the end user,” Brian Bereika, Doosan ADT product specialist, says.

Analyze your marketing area and determine whether you need to rent smaller ADTs (30 ton), larger ADTs (40 ton), or both. Keep in mind, multiple ADTs are typically required on a jobsite to minimize waiting time and maximize productivity. This means that ADTs are generally rented in pairs, so you will need to have multiple units in your inventory.

Does the machine have enough traction?

To become a profitable item in a rental fleet, an ADT should have enough power and traction to withstand even the toughest jobsites. Front and rear limited-slip differentials, and an interaxle differential improves truck performance by splitting power one-third to the front and two-thirds to the rear. A front-mounted turning ring and tandem bogie rear are two ADT features that maintain maximum traction and stability when traveling over very rough or soft terrain.

According to Bereika, auto-traction control — a newer ADT feature that automatically modulates the correct level of interaxle and cross-axle differential lock engagement — is becoming more popular in the industry because it can improve productivity and machine cycle times.

“Since a rental machine is used from jobsite to jobsite, rental companies should purchase an ADT that has good power and traction,” he says. “A machine that has better traction and traction-control features gives the customer better jobsite performance.”

Is there a good power-to-weight ratio?

Rental companies should purchase a high-performing, productive truck for their customers. Buying an ADT that has a good power-to-weight ratio allows operators to quickly accelerate under load and can help ensure productivity on jobsites.

“If a rental company can offer an ADT with a higher power-to-weight-ratio, the more likely they are to rent the machine out,” Bereika says. “Contractors want a productive ADT so they can move more dirt efficiently and more quickly during their workday.”

An ADT should have an abundance of horsepower and torque to help operators haul more and travel faster during a single cycle. Ideally, the dump truck bed should be filled in three to 10 passes, Bereika says, with a wheel loader or an excavator.

In addition to stocking the correct size of ADT, Bereika says rental companies should have the right size wheel loader or crawler excavator in their rental fleet, so contractors can rent a package.  “This eliminates the need for a contractor to rent a wheel loader or excavator from a second rental company,” Bereika says. “It is important to pair the right size bucket on a wheel loader or an excavator to maximize machine productivity.”

Is the ADT equipped with options and accessories?

When deciding to purchase an ADT, make sure it has multiple options and accessories to help increase its rental potential. According to Bereika, there are five options rental companies should consider before buying.

  • Tailgate
  • Heated body kit
  • Cold-weather starting aid
  • Heated rear mirrors
  • Automatic lubrication system

Many contractors require ADTs with tailgates to help minimize spillage from the truck’s dump body. “Contractors trying to retain a load with rocks, dirt, even watery materials like clay, cannot do so without a tailgate,” Bereika says.

A heated body kit is also important because it helps divert the engine exhaust through the channels in the dump body, keeping materials from freezing in winter. Cold-weather starting kits and heated rear mirrors are other useful options for rental companies in the northern portion of the United States and in Canada, Bereika adds.

Another option to consider is an automatic lubrication system, which can help cut down on regular maintenance tasks, operator downtime and improve component life.

What comfort features are available in the cab?

Along with choosing a well-performing ADT, consider cab comfort features, including display panels, fingertip control levers, air conditioning and an air-suspension seat.

“Contractors tend to be mostly interested in the rental rate and how productive the machine will be on the jobsite,” Bereika says, “but they also look at comfort features for their operators. If their operators are going to be in a machine eight to 10 hours a day, contractors know they need to rent a comfortable machine to keep their operators productive.”

What do I need to know about Tier 4?

Choosing an ADT that has a Tier 4-compliant engine is becoming more important as emission standards become stricter. For instance, Doosan ADTs incorporate a clean diesel approach with after-treatment technologies that do not compromise the machine’s performance, durability and reliability, while not requiring a diesel particulate filter (DPF) or regeneration.

Is the ADT easy to service?

An ADT that has good serviceability, easy access to the engine on all sides and transmission are important features to assess before purchasing an ADT.

“ADTs are used in difficult and sometimes extreme conditions, which requires rental companies to perform routine maintenance on the machine each time it is returned,” Bereika says. “If rental companies can get the ADT in rental-ready condition quickly each time it is rented out, then it will help save them costly maintenance down the road. It is easier for rental companies to regularly maintain their machines in their own facilities than on the jobsites which could be many miles away.”

Additionally, rental companies should make sure all service technicians are properly trained and staffed to provide service and support to their customers. They should also have the proper maintenance equipment and a large enough facility to service their rental fleet.

Is the machine equipped with a GPS tracking service?

Purchasing a machine that has a GPS tracking service, such as Doosan Telematics, is more important at some rental companies than others, Bereika says. Still, many rental companies should look into a system because of its downtime-reducing benefits.

“The cost to repair a machine is much different than the cost of downtime,” Bereika says. “Downtime is very expensive, so any way rental companies can minimize that is an advantage to them and their end user. Telematics can help minimize cost of ownership as well.”

Doosan Telematics is a device that communicates wirelessly through cellular or satellite data, providing a wide range of machine information available to owners and dealers. Machine information can include fleet status, location, operating hours, fuel usage, engine idle versus work time, error codes, engine/hydraulic oil temperature, loads and tonnage hauled, and other data points.

“Fault codes are extremely useful because they can give mechanics a heads-up of what and where the problem might be located,” Bereika says. “Rental companies may only need to make one service call instead of sending a service technician multiple times, which helps prevent costly downtime.”

By taking the time to research and ask the necessary questions, rental companies can better select the appropriate ADT manufacturer, size and performance features that work well in their surrounding environment.

 

Provided By:   Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment America, West Fargo, N.D.