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Using Math to Calculate Heavy Haul Numbers

Truck with Caterpillar on trailer

When it comes to the transporting of construction materials, debris from demolition or heavy equipment in general, being a whiz at math can give you an advantage. Safe hauling often includes the ability to make accurate calculations of cargo weight and size, or even camber angle of a trailer. Construction & Demolition Recycling Magazine ran an interesting column about this in their July/August issue.

Don’t fall short

Contractors can fall prey to using equipment that is not tough enough for the demands of demolition. For example, aluminum dump trailers work well for hauling soil, dirt, sand, and uniform-sized gravel, but not for large pieces of concrete with rebar that is often associated with demolition. Roll-off trailers and trucks are better equipped for this application, and at a substantial cost savings over aluminum trailers.

Weigh your options

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) minus the weight of the chassis, hoist and container equals the maximum payload allowed. Knowing these figures becomes increasingly important when it comes to federal, state, and local highway and street weight regulations across the US. Again, mathematics plays an important role. Along with truck scales and other measuring systems, demolition and material density calculators are available to help.

What is a camber angle?

Geometry becomes essential when dealing with the camber angle. A well-designed trailer has an arc (called a camber) that forms in the center, which helps prevent excessive deflection in the main beams. As the trailer is loaded to capacity, the arc will flatten and loaded deck height will be achieved. High end trailers can be custom designed with an adjustable camber to meet an operator’s specific needs.

Load concentration

Finally, math becomes important to figuring out load concentration. The article quotes Troy Geisler of Talbert Manufacturing, a company in Indiana that builds heavy-haul and specialized trailers. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to trailers,” states Geisler. “It’s not enough to know a 55-ton lowbed can carry 55 tons. While some trailers will need the entire deck length to haul 55 tons safely, a trailer from another manufacturer might only need half the deck length for the same weight.”

Click here to read the entire article at Construction & Demolition’s website. Image above courtesy of cdrecycler.com.

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