Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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56 HDT • SEPTEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com of the cab takes some bending and crab-walking, but gets easy with practice, Steffens said. A joystick moves the chute left or right and up or down. Push buttons speed or slow the drum to regulate the pour rate. An Allison automatic transmission is standard in the S Se- ries, as it is in all modern front-dis- charge mixers. The driver punches D or R and feathers the accelerator and brake as required while moving the chute. When the pour is done, the chute is parked at an angle to the right. It's important that it not be swung too far or it would extend beyond legal width limits and might collide with trees, poles and other things that line a street. So a rubber bungee cord hangs down from the top of the chute as a marker, Steffens explained. When the right side of the chute touches it, the truck doesn't exceed 8 feet wide — low-tech but effective. This truck had the latest in power: a Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine. Natural gas is not new for Oshkosh and its McNeilus subsidiary over in Minne- sota, which between them have built more than 8,000 such trucks since 2008. But this four-axle chassis was the first with two large verti- cal compressed natural gas tanks mounted to the left- and right-front of the rear engine compartment, instead of four smaller tanks stacked horizontally ahead of the hood. The new configuration saves about 500 pounds and allows easier access to the engine and transmission. There was no concrete in the drum so I couldn't practice pouring — or placing — it. However, the truck was very drivable, so I released the parking brakes, punched D and off I went. With the gas engine out test drive Climbing up and onto the fender, then ducking into the cab, takes a little practice. The aluminum cab is 45 inches wide. McNeilus, an Oshkosh subsidiary, built the drum and assembled its drive and control systems. Engine compartment cantilevers beyond the tandem on this four-axle truck designed for axle-weight states, but it doesn't cause the nose to bounce. Oshkosh and McNeilus also offer multi-axle chassis, including a swing-down booster axle behind the en- gine, for bridge-formula states. Senior Editor Tom Berg operates the chute with the joystick; on it are push buttons that speed or slow the drum. White-face gauges have a classy look and are easy to read. Cab is roomy and its many windows make for excellent views whether pouring concrete or driving.

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