The Many Facets of Transfer

Feb. 20, 2014

The transfer station is the heart of any solid waste operation.

As such, it takes a body of equipment, scales, trucks, and trailers to keep it running smoothly. Throughout North America, MSW operations are discovering which kinds of technology work best to ensure just that.

One key factor in maintaining a cost-effective transfer station is its floor.

American Restore offers a variety of services geared toward maintaining and developing a floor system to provide for specific facility needs.

“The floor is often the center of activity in a transfer station and extended downtime is not an option,” points out Jim Andrews, president. “American Restore offers high-strength topping installations that can be done over a weekend with the floor returned to service on Monday.

“These materials with micro-cement, iron, and hardened aggregate technology offer vastly improved wear characteristics to traditional concrete, allowing the floor to last much longer between maintenance calls.”’

Facility operators are getting smarter about the use of different materials in different areas, Andrews says.

“Not all areas of the floor receive the same work load, and it is advantageous to utilize better materials in the heavier areas,” he points out. “Specially designed “˜hybrid’ floors meet this goal by putting better material where it is needed and saving cost where the load is not so great.”

Monitoring wear is a growing trend.

“Whether it be by installing wear indicators or theodolite elevation models, facilities are able to better predict the life cycle of a floor,” he says. “This prevents waiting for exposed rebar, structural concerns, or failing port edges to create unbudgeted emergency repairs-a burdensome necessity.”

Mike Grumbo, operations manager for Rainbow Disposal in Huntington Beach, CA.

Rainbow Disposal is an employee-owned private company with 350 employees that operates a transfer station and MRF serving seven California cities in Orange County.

Rainbow Disposal uses American Restore products in its operation, which hosts a 100,000-square-foot transfer floor.

“Our transfer floor, where the material is unloaded from our collection vehicles and from public vehicles that come in to drop off their waste material, sees a lot of abuse in terms of waste liquid, foodwaste, and all different types of debris,” says Grumbo.

“What American Restore does for us is have special concrete toppings-specialty products that help retain the integrity of the floor. The wear is only part of the problem in maintaining the floor. A much bigger issue is acid eating away at the floor. Regular concrete can degrade very quickly.”

Rainbow Disposal’s transfer floor is like a patchwork quilt that receives mostly restaurant waste and post-consumer waste. It’s designed that way to avoid having to shut down a transfer station for repairs.

“The trucks unload their material on a certain area of the floor, which has different material in different areas of the floor,” notes Grumbo. “The trucks that would come in from multifamily condominium complexes-which are generally more rich in recycling-we’ll have them unload on a different part of the floor. We have all of these piles of material that have different places to go to get recycled.”

The part of the floor onto which restaurant foodwaste is disposed will have a significantly nonporous material better suited to resist the acid or chemical degradation. Drier trash such as construction and demolition waste is dropped off onto more abrasive-resistant flooring material.

“In this case, we’re not worried about the liquids or acid. We’re worried about putting metal on concrete-the bucket on the loader rubbing on the floor,” Grumbo says.

Grumbo says American Restore demonstrates a level of knowledge about the business that assists an operation in meeting its needs.

“A lot of people think we just pick up trash,” Grumbo points out. “Our business has evolved into a much bigger arena over the course of time. Fifteen years ago, there wasn’t much thought about how much recycling you were going to do, and today it’s a major part of the operation.”

The longer floors can be kept in good shape, the fewer the disruptions to business, Grumbo says.

“If I have to repair the floor, that means part of the operation gets shut down, and that creates all types of expenses,” he says.

“Now instead of having 100,000 square feet, we’ve got 20,000 square feet to work in. If you see a part that’s damaged, you’re going to make sure you take a wide enough path around it so you get rid of all of the damage.”

While American Restore products may cost more, compared with concrete, the benefits are evident, according to Grumbo. “When you understand the science behind the material we’re dealing with, American Restore does make a lot of sense,” he says. “Every company is monitoring their floor wear, because it is a big cost and it’s a major inconvenience. We’re monitoring how fast that floor degrades.”

Another way of extending the life of a floor is through the choice of cutting edge.

Among the products the Schuyler Rubber Co. makes from recycled tires is a laminated cutting edge for wheel loaders that operate in transfer stations.

The product is mounted on the bucket of the wheel loader to prevent chipping of the concrete floor.

“These floors within the transfer stations are very expensive floors,” points out Greg Armfield, company co-owner. “They are made of a high-density concrete, so any chipping or maintenance to these floors is expensive.”

Made from 100% post-consumer recycled products, the rubber cutting edge alleviates that for the operators, adds Armfield, whose company allows transfer station operations to sample the product.

The rubber cutting edge is designed to last longer with the resilience based on the cord within the tire so that it holds the integrity of the rubber together much like rebar does for concrete, Armfield points out.

Another benefit: By recycling them, the tires are kept out of the landfills.

The Schuyler Rubber Co. provides its end users a “green report” about their use of the rubber cutting edges.

“We do a calculation based on a formula we’re presented by the solid waste industry on how to calculate how many gallons of oil, how much CO2, and how many tires are diverted from the landfill based on one cutting edge,” says Armfield. “It’s something they can use internally to offset carbon credits for using a totally sustainable product.”

Schuyler’s rubber cutting edges are used at Waste Management’s Eastmont Transfer Station in Seattle, WA.

“We have them on there where our cutting edges are,” says Scott Humphries, a mechanic at the operation. “It helps scrape everything up off the floor. They pick up almost everything. It keeps our concrete from being worn out so bad if we just had the steel cutting edges on there. They add life to the floor and pick up a lot of debris that’s stuck on the ground that steel can’t pick up.”

Keith Walking Floors builds the Walking Floor in a kit form that is installed in transfer trailers by the trailer dealers to unload solid waste at the landfill, says Rick Wilson, sales engineer for Keith Walking Floors.

The trailers are normally used to haul waste to the landfills.

The company also builds a Walking Floor stationary conveyor that is installed into a framework in transfer stations.

“It is quite often used for paper where there is a sort line that will drop paper onto the Walking Floor and then the stationary floor feeds a baler,” notes Wilson.

Keith Walking Floors can build a floor to any size to move any weight required, Wilson says.

“There is very little maintenance to do on a Walking Floor,” he points out. “There is nothing to lubricate or maintain except keeping the oil that powers the floor cool and clean.”

The floors are able to handle a variety of material, from demolition debris to milk jugs, Wilson says.

Wilson notes a trend of larger MRFs, meaning the size and capacity of the floors is increasing.

“Some of the floors that we have recently built to store and move ONP are 85 feet long and 10 feet wide and hold up to 90 tons of material,” he says.

Once the material is in the facility, handling it effectively and efficiently ensures its smooth processing toward its landfill destination.

Builtrite’s stationary electric material handlers are primarily used to load, separate, and tamp solid waste into trailers. As garbage trucks come in to transfer stations to discharge their municipal solid waste, front-end loaders typically are used to push the material into pits containing semitrailers below.

“Our equipment is then used to even the trailer load and to compact the material to ensure a full and even truckload,” says Uwe Kausch, marketing manager. “We also supply our loaders to grab and load MSW into shredder balers or any other application where waste needs to be grabbed and moved.”

The CP Group of Companies-including CP Manufacturing, Krause Manufacturing, IPS Balers, MSS, and Advanced MRF-engineers and builds automated sorting systems for municipal solid waste, construction-and-demolition debris, and residential waste, among other waste types.

The systems are custom-designed using the latest in CAD development software, including SolidWorks 3D, and fabricated and installed to an operator’s specifications for C&D recyclers and MRFs, as well as the harsh environments found in transfer stations.

CP’s product lines include heavy-duty turnkey conveyor systems and catwalks, disc and trommel screens, air classification technology, optical sorting machines, balers, and intelligent motor control solutions.

For MSW workers and residents of the surrounding community, one of the most important elements associated with a transfer station is odor control.

In controlling odor, a transfer station needs a product safe for the environment that is delivered through dispersing equipment. NCM Odor Control makes an odor control delivery system that uses high-pressure atomizing nozzles with an internal filter screen designed to prevent blockages. The systems can be used in temperatures of -30°F, says Marc Levin, company president.

High-pressure atomization gets rid of dust particulate, Levin says. He says studies on dust particulate in the waste industry show the best way to alleviate that is with the small droplets of water created by atomization.

Levin contends that when people use low-volume pressure systems, they use too much product and don’t get it into the atmosphere.

“Some people use vapor systems where they just blow air into the systems. We make them, but I don’t really like them or recommend them to be the best,” he says.

Foodwaste “smells really bad, especially if you’re in a wet area or an area that gets a lot of rain,” Levin points out. “We try to treat those trucks. There are all sorts of approaches to help the trucks leave the place smelling better. You always want to try to get the trucks going and coming from the site to have the best housekeeping as possible, because trucks smell the worst at transfer stations.”

Transfer stations also should clean the outside around the perimeters of the transfer stations, including the distribution of deodorant granules around the perimeter, Levin adds.

Keeping the trash off of the floors and keeping it moving inside the transfer station also goes a long way in odor control, Levin says.

“We always worry about offsite odors,” Levin says. “That’s where the regulations come and go. Dust is becoming a bigger issue than it was 10 years ago. Odors are becoming a bigger issue. As urban sprawl comes, so come complaints.”

NCM Odor Control deals with an ISO 9001 chemical manufacturing facility that makes all of its neutralizers. The company installs and services the equipment it manufacturers.

The type of system to be used will depend on the tonnage and the location of the transfer station, says Levin, adding that a high-profile area will yield more complaints and thus increased requests that the odors be mitigated.

Three of the neutralizers used by NCM Odor Control have current toxicity reports, Levin says.

“When your product meets toxicity reports, you have to manufacture all of the raw material to where it fits the criteria of the EPA,” Levin points out. “A lot of products being made are substances that you really don’t want to breathe in on a daily basis. There are companies that atomize products that have enzymes in them that do not meet air quality regulations. I’ve tried to lobby to get some of this criteria changed; over the years, it will.”

Wet mist suppression is one of the best methods for controlling and reducing odor, according to Buffalo Turbine. The company points out on its website that by creating a wall of micron-size atomized fluid droplets, fugitive airborne odor particles instantly bond to it, then become heavier and drop to the ground.

Buffalo Turbine’s gasoline-powered Monsoon atomizes water through its three-wheeled, single-stage, turbine-driven Gyratory Atomizing Nozzle with a pivot point that oscillates 180 degrees. On a new diesel prototype slated to be released in 2014, the oscillation feature is built into the nozzle, without the need to move the large three-wheeled cart around.

“In any situation with odor, dust, or anything like that, there is the ability to trap it, mask it, or transform it chemically,” points out Jody Smith, marketing manager. “Our system is mainly for trapping, but we do work with another company, Benzaco Solutions, that does the actual chemical transition for the odor.”

For indoor odor control, the company offers the Monsoon Compact Fan Assisted Misting System, a high-speed atomizer that distributes a fine mist in excess of 60 feet. The portable systems require a standard 110-V power source and three-quarter-inch garden hose connection to deliver on-demand odor control.

“We use an atomizing nozzle as compared to nozzle tips, so our unit is not going to plug over time or wear away as the orifices do on nozzle tips,” says Smith.

The scale-and the software that helps run it-is another critical component in an effective solid waste operation.

One of the most demanding applications for transfer stations is the loading operation, points out Bill Murphy, director of heavy capacity products for Rice Lake Weighing Systems, which provides scales and rail car weighing systems for the industry.

“Generally, truck scale platforms are installed within the tunnel, which is the area trucks will generally back into,” he says. “There’s a floor above it where the garbage is pushed into a hole the size of the truck trailer and it’s very often compacted and then transferred to the landfill.”

At the new Logan City Landfill in Logan City, UT, Rice Lake is taking a different approach to the weighing system.

Murphy says D&G Scale is installing a Rice Lake system of four 10-foot by 10-foot platforms consisting of four 75,000-pound load cells that will be positioned underneath the individual axles of the truck and trailer to provide the transfer station operator with an accurate weight of the amount of material in the truck before it leaves for the landfill.

“One of the most challenging areas of this type of application is keeping the area clean and free of the amount of debris that falls in and around the scales,” says Murphy. “This is designed where the individual load cell cables are run through a conduit that is positioned in the concrete. That will permit the operators to lift the top off of the scale on a regular basis and either wash away or shovel out any debris accumulated in the area beneath the scale. That keeps those scales performing to their optimum accuracy.”

The system also includes a scoreboard display showing the weight to help ensure the load is within state and federal limits.

While there are a number of ways in which the scale application can be approached, “we found this approach is much better,” Murphy says. “A lot of people will put in a full platform scale and pack the trailer onto the platform while it’s being loaded. With this approach, it makes it much easier to keep the area clean.”

Four smaller individual platforms add up to a more rugged design than a full-length platform, Murphy adds.

“They are a lot easier to pull out, clean, and put back into operation than pulling out an entire 60- or 70-foot truck scale,” he says. “We believe this approach provides the transfer station operators more reliability and accuracy than previous systems.

“We’ve installed a lot of full-length truck scales at transfer stations, and because they’re normally installed in what we call a tunnel it’s often difficult to get that equipment in there and get it installed because of existing structure.”

Carolina Software offers WasteWORKS, software for solid waste management.

The company’s vice president, Jon Leeds, says the combination of scales, computers, and a robust software package might be considered the most important equipment in a transfer station.

“The connection between the scale and a software package like WasteWORKS is really the critical link where waste becomes data and, more importantly, money,” says Leeds. “At the touch of a button, the weight information from one or more scales is captured and becomes the basis for management and financial reporting, as well as accounts receivable.”

WasteWORKS provides real-time look-ups for current material levels, which can be an asset for situations in which space is typically limited and disposal decisions have to be made throughout the day, Leeds points out.

“In addition to tracking inbound materials, WasteWORKS allows transfer stations to accurately audit outbound transfer loads and reconcile this information with tipping information from landfill facilities, especially if these landfills are operated by outside entities,” he adds.

Leeds sees a continued trend toward automation.

“This can be for inbound transactions and also for outbound transfer trucks,” he says, adding that the company’s automated WasteWIZARD system is designed to provide flexible automation for transfer stations.

“Many transfer stations receive a high percentage of redundant trash trucks, and having a dedicated express lane for those vehicles yields a high level of efficiency and minimizes the amount of manpower needed to process transactions,” he adds. “An unmanned facility or allowing after-hours vehicles are options with the right automation setup.”

At the transfer station of the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority in Christiansburg, VA, Executive Director Alan Cummins calls the scale house “the heartbeat of the operation that comes in tune with Carolina software. It keeps track of all of the tonnages of the different material types that come in, either solid waste or recyclables. We have a lot of accounts set up, so it keeps track of all of the different accounts for accounts receivable purposes. To me, that’s the biggest help: keeping track of so many different accounts, so many different tonnages, so many different material streams.”

The waste operation has a clean MRF which takes dual streams of either mixed paper or mixed containers, a transfer station, a mulch facility, a tire facility, a buy-back facility for metals, an e-waste facility, electronic waste, and a universal waste facility.

“That program helps us keep track of a lot of different services and facilities,” notes Cummins.

Last but not least, trucks and trailers ensure smooth transportation operations from the point of pickup through the transfer station and on to the landfill.

East Manufacturing produces aluminum transfer trailers that transport garbage from the transfer station to landfill. The trailers are either built to use a tipper platform to empty its load at the landfill, or they come equipped with a Walking Floor from Keith.

Each option has its benefits when used in its appropriate context, says Charlie Benton, product manager for refuse trailers.

The tipping platform transfer trailer is typically used for high-volume movements, he says.

“It requires a sizeable capital investment in a tipping platform to raise the trailer to empty the load at the landfill,” he says. “These platforms are not easily moveable. However, the primary advantage of a tipping platform transfer trailer is it’s less expensive to purchase and operate, easier to maintain, and its lighter weight allows it to handle more payload per trip than a Walking Floor trailer.”

Tipping platforms are often used with wet materials, Benton points out.

“The trailer’s floor is a flat sheet, welded solidly around the perimeter and making it resistant to leaking,” he says. “It’s also ideal for heavy loads with big items where a thicker floor and thicker walls are needed.”

The Walking Floor transfer trailer is ideal for remote locations, Benton says.

“It is self-unloading and not dependent on a separate means of unloading,” he adds. “The primary advantage of the Walking Floor trailer is it walks the load out to discharge the load out of the rear of the trailer and doesn’t require the trailer to be raised.

“Designed for solid waste, it can be more versatile than the tipping platform trailer because it operates as a stand-alone trailer. A Walking Floor trailer is more likely to acquire backhaul loads unlike the tipping platform trailer. Additional hydraulics and a reservoir kit are required on the tractor to operate the floor, which makes each trailer a higher investment and heavier than the tipping platform trailer. The floor slats of the trailer can be replaced.”

More end users are purchasing smooth-sided transfer trailers, Benton says.

“For instance, our East Genesis design provides more capacity than the external post-style walls with extruded 2-inch aluminum panels, providing the same or more strength than the 4-inch external post-style wall. These trailers are more aerodynamic. In addition, the smooth-sided walls will not show any pings and dings on the outside like the external post-style walls.”

Other trends include the use of longer trailers with higher sides, which enables recycling fleets looking for maximum cubic capacity to haul more at one time.

“Since recyclables weigh less, the additional capacity allows more material,” Benton points out.

Additionally, moving floors are being used for their backhaul ability. Recyclables are a typical backhaul load for these trailers, Benton says.

Travis Body & Trailer manufactures trailers used to transport municipal solid waste to a landfill. The all-aluminum trailers come in many forms: transfer station trailers, transfer trailers, refuse trailers, MSW trailers, open-top trailers, moving floor trailers, slat floor trailers, tipper type, walkers, Walking Floor trailers, live floor trailers, and self-unloading trailers.

MSW operations should increase payloads and reduce the number of loads, says Bud Hughes, company president. Some of this is being accomplished through recycling programs, increasing product life cycles, the cost of operation-including fuel, painting, and downtime-and resale values,

“We help the municipality or solid waste authority increase the number of tons hauled per load, thereby reducing overall trips to the landfill by using lightweight, all-aluminum trailers, which are thousands of pounds lighter than steel trailers, one-third of the weight,” he says. “All of the weight saved by using aluminum is converted from tare weight to payload hauled.”

The trailers also save the users fuel because of the increased aerodynamic efficiency created with the use of the smooth-sided trailers which can add as much as 10% fuel economy as compared to post-sided trailers,” Hughes adds.

Aluminum trailers require less maintenance than steel and never rust, helping to maintain higher resale value and less downtime for painting and patching, says Hughes.

“More buyers are choosing smooth-sided, extruded double-wall trailers to increase fuel economy and lengthen useful life,” he adds.

The City and County of Denver, which serves more than a half-million people, is one of many operations that has incorporated Travis Body & Trailer products into its fleet.

At its transfer station, solid waste trucks come in to dump their loads in an enclosed area in which the waste is then pushed into piles by a Volvo wheel loader with solid rubber tires.

“The tractor pushes the trash through a chute into the trash transfer trailer that’s down about 10 feet below,” says Tony Cooper, fleet engineer. “Then it drops into the trailer and the tractor-trailer driver pulls the tractor forward and back to even out the load.

“They typically drop in a foot or so of trash slowly, as a cushion, and then when they get about two feet of trash in the trailer, they start pushing larger amounts in and they pull it outside and tarp it with butterfly tarps. They close the tarps up and make sure everything is clean and there is no trash hanging off of the edges and they drive it out about 15 miles to the landfill location east of Denver at the old World War II Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range.”

About three years ago, the City and County of Denver had seven Travis live floors. It traded three of them in for the tipper trailers and reconditioned the other four Travis live floor trailers “because they held up so well,” Cooper notes.

Noting the benefits of each type of system, tippers can work quickly, and while live floors take longer to offload, “I think they give you a little more versatility,” Cooper says.

“If the tipper is down or there is a long line at the tipper, the live floor can start offloading and pull forward and continue offloading and doesn’t require a tipper waiting in line,” he says. “It has advantages.”

Cooper says the Travis trailers have held up well.

“It’s a sheet-and-post trailer and is ideal for our application because we get up to six loads a day. We’re driving 15 miles of city stop-and-go traffic, so air flow down the side is not a concern,” he says. In contrast, the inner walls of the entity’s three extruded wall tipper trailers are not as thick as the sheet-and-post trailers, “so I don’t expect the extruded trailer to have the life of the post-and-sheet,” Cooper says.

The City and County of Denver chose air suspension on the trailers and the tractors.

“We have 4-inch air pressure gauges that are visible from the cab, and when it gets to a certain air pressure, it tells them that the trailer is loaded to maximum,” Cooper says. “The reason we do that is very simple: It tells you how much air is in the air suspension to support the load. It eliminates overweight tickets because we were making our neighboring city very wealthy.

“Once you’ve calibrated your scale, you fill the trailer up, you go out to the dump site, and it says you’re 500 pounds under or 500 pounds over. You mark on the scale where you’re at, and you continue to fill to a level you figured out through a few loads the first week, and then you’re really accurate. It takes a given amount of air pressure to support the load.”

The City and County of Denver uses disc brakes on the live floor trailers.

“We have a hydraulic opening door so that we don’t have the operators trying to open the rear barn-door-style doors,” says Cooper. “It’s extremely windy where we’re at, so we’ve had operators, when they open the door, get caught with the wind and whipped around. These hydraulic opening doors that are vertical lift work like a dump truck or rock-hauling truck, and the load just walks itself out. It’s a lot safer for our operators.”

Volvo’s waste handling excavators, wheel loaders and haulers are designed to address the extreme challenges of a solid waste site: dust, corrosion, debris, and high temperatures in tight quarters. Standard features include a Volvo Tier III engine, designed with high torque at low rpm for fuel-efficient production with less noise or heat generated.

The cooling layout is designed to maintain high efficiency by eliminating or minimizing overlap of radiator and coolers. The EC330C and EC460C models feature dual cooling fans meant to achieve maximum efficiency in high temperatures.

The Volvo Care Cab is designed with operator protective structure for increased safety, increased visibility, comfort, and reduced noise and vibration. Debris is prevented from entering the cab by macromesh screens on side doors and the engine hood as well as through a pressurized cab.

Other comfort and productivity features include a cab-air precleaner to keep out dust, fumes, and debris, along with a rear-view camera for visibility and expansive glass for total command of the job site. The cab also features a climate control system for operator comfort.

The waste handler features heavier underplating on the superstructure and undercarriage to protect vital components. Steel protection around underside bolt heads is designed to reduce damage in deep material.

The machines are designed for long service intervals and simplified ground-level serviceability.

Five models feature additional packages for transfer stations, which are designed to address the heat and dust challenges, with added protection and safety. Features include automatic reversing fans and screened air intakes for increased service intervals, cooling efficiency, and reliability. A bolt-on swing ring guard shields the undercarriage from damage.

The transfer station package also features a fire suppression system that can be automatically or manually activated from the cab or from ground level. Other safety features include an emergency stop switch, falling-object protection, a high-visibility amber strobe beacon, an optional rear-view camera, and optional extra halogen work lights.

A converter in the cab accommodates a range of electrical equipment, including radios. A hydraulic oil sampling port is designed for maintaining a regular oil analysis schedule.

Mac Trailer manufactures aluminum tipper and moving floor transfer trailers.

Matt Simmons, transfer trailer product manager for the company’s waste division, says the trailers are designed and highly engineered to “stand up to daily demands of the MSW environment. The exceptional performance of our trailers helps MSW operators meet and exceed the challenges of hauling MSW.”

The moving floor trailers are designed to be either fully welded aluminum sheet-and-post with side skins to a gauge of .250 or the smooth-sided Mac Vertical Panel Maclock configuration incorporating 2.25-inch hollow core aluminum extruded panels. The leakproof or conventional drive unit can be coordinated with the slat profile best suited for an application.

Slats or decking include high-impact designs for solid waste.

Tipper trailers are used for maximum payload. The Mac Tipper is designed for volume, low tare weight, and long hauls and includes tapered designs with lengths to 53 feet and volumes up to 148 cubic yards.

Multiaxle transfer trailers can be engineered to meet certain specifications or regulatory requirements that demand axle configurations from three to eight axles and multiple spreads and lifts or sliders.

At Peterbilt, “many of the same operating characteristics that refuse customers have historically demanded continue to be refined and expanded in our vehicle offerings,” says Jim Zito, national manager of vocational sales.

“Customers are always looking for ways to enhance safety, reduce fuel costs, and improve overall vehicle performance, whether the trucks are in residential refuse routes or used in transfer operations,” he says.

To meet these requirements, Peterbilt has endeavored to improve its product lineup with greater visibility, maneuverability, and durability, Zito says.

Case in point: the Model 567, introduced in early 2012, features improved visibility with a panoramic windshield and a forward lighting system designed to significantly enhance down-road visibility.

“Visibility of traffic, construction, and pedestrians is critical on today’s job sites,” Zito points out. “The Model 567 was designed with comprehensive testing during day and night situations to optimize visibility for the operator.”

The Model 567’s new aluminum cab has been designed to roomy, operator-friendly, and lightweight yet rugged enough to endure severe-service requirements, reducing road-induced wear and increasing ride quality.

The Model 567 is available in a setback front-axle configuration for increased maneuverability in congested worksites and with steer axle ratings up to 22,000 pounds.

An angled steering gear installation is designed to improve maneuverability by increasing wheel cut by up to nine degrees over other designs to reduce curb-to-curb turning diameter by up to 9 feet. “Optimized steering geometry reduces bump steer by up to 25%, minimizing steering wheel feedback and driver fatigue,” notes Zito.

“For transfer applications, we generally see the Model 567 pulling live-bottom trailers with walking floors that help eject the load directly onto the landfill,” he says. “End users want to maximize the lives of these trailers and will spec the vehicle with air-ride suspensions to help minimize wear and tear on both the tractor and trailer.”

Reducing fuel costs is another customer concern, Zito points out.

“We’re seeing significant interest in natural gas vehicles among our refuse customers,” he says. “This trend has been going strong for about the past five years. We see more interest every year as customers look to save on fuel costs and to operate more environmentally friendly fleets.”

As knowledge of the benefits of natural gas vehicles continues to grow and as the refueling infrastructure continues to expand, more customers are adding natural gas vehicles to their fleets, Zito says, adding that this activity is probably strongest in the refuse markets.

“While there is an initial purchase price premium on natural gas vehicles, most customers will experience a full ROI within two to three years,” he says. “The additional purchase price depends on a number of factors, such as the type of fuel storage system and the storage volume.”

As Peterbilt dealers work with end users to spec the right vehicle with the best natural gas configuration to meet their needs, operating characteristics such as routes, duty cycles, fuel capacity, and fuel availability are important considerations.

“As with any technology, we expect the vehicle acquisition costs to steadily decline as demand grows, leading to increased volumes and possibly more competition among fuel system suppliers,” says Zito.

“Since transfer trailers require quite a bit of hydraulic power, Peterbilt offers a split hydraulic tank design,” he adds. “This provides plenty of needed hydraulic capability without taking up valuable space on the frame rails. Additionally, it allows for a nice, clean installation for minimum complexity and ease of serviceability.”

Volvo’s offering in the refuse market is the VHD Daycab. It features a standard T-Ride suspension, has engine ratings of up to 500 horsepower at 1,750 foot-pounds, a large front windshield, sloped side windows, and right-side down-view mirror. The design includes more room for the installation of auxiliary axles, optimal ground clearance for traveling over rough terrain, a redesigned steering system with improved wheel cuts, a shorter turning radius for optimal maneuverability when working in congested residential areas or on narrow city streets, and improved electrical system with number-coded wires and connectors crimped to the wires.

The VHD Daycab is designed with a spacious cab with ample room for three, large wide steps, and dual internal grab handles.

About the Author

Carol Brzozowski

Carol Brzozowski specializes in topics related to resource management and technology.

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