Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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i 54 HDT • SEPTEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com this type of truck for deliveries. They tend to proliferate where they're introduced, though in some areas producers are stick- ing with less costly rear-dis- charge mixers on conventional truck chassis. Like any truck, the S has been greatly improved over the years. The one I drove for this story has a roomy, comfortable cab, good leg room, modern suspended pedals, and a few gauges that tell the driver all he needs to know. To the right of the steering wheel are handy con- trols to operate the drum and chute. Greg Steffens, a project engineer, knelt on the fender to my left and showed me how to use them. A lever activates a pair of hydraulic cylinders that unfold the chute, which is long enough for close-in pours. The driver has to get out to hang extensions if the chute needs to reach farther, and of course to clean it out and stow the extras afterwards. Climbing into and out In business, time is money, and that's especially true in concrete hauling and placement. Concrete is perishable: A chemical reaction begins almost as soon as cement is added to aggregates and water, and the batch starts to set. Barrels on mixer trucks therefore get warm, but the rotating motion and the baffles inside keep concrete in a slurry while thoroughly combining the ingredients. Drivers must hurry to work sites and pour the concrete quickly, and exactly where contractors want it. The fastest way to do the hauling and pouring is with a front-discharge mixer, say those who make and sell them. An example is this S-Series, made by Oshkosh Truck Corp. in eastern Wisconsin, where I went to drive it. With a powerful engine and automatic transmission, it accelerates fast and runs down the road smartly. The truck rolls right up to where the concrete is needed and its driver operates the front-facing chute with in-cab controls, moving it exactly to where the crew wants the concrete poured and at just the right rate. Depending on the job, the contractor can elimi- nate one worker from his crew, so many request Precise concrete placement is a traditional feature; relatively new is natural gas power. Oshkosh S-Series Mixer Tom Berg Senior Editor test drive The front-facing barrel and chute on this Oshkosh S-Series allow the driver to place the concrete right where the crew wants it, and front-driving axle helps get it through sand and mud. Here the chute is stowed for travel, with its extensions flipped up.

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