Groundworks – Fast Turnaround
Credit: Construction Plant News – www.cpnonline.co.uk
Whilst wheeled dumpers with 4WD can cope with quite bad ground conditions, the slower tracked alternative really comes into its own on slopes or when very soft and wet terrain is encountered. Rubber tracked dumpers also score when there is the need to minimise ground bearing pressure, such as when working on canal, lake or riverbanks where a heavier point load might trigger a ground collapse.
Tracked dumpers with their wide rubber pads tend to cause less ground damage than their wheeled counterparts but contrarotating tracks making tight 180° turns can quickly churn up the ground and increase track wear. And, when working on narrow banks beside water, continually turning the whole tracked dumper around after it has been loaded takes time and can adversely affect the stability of the bank.
Although most tracked dumpers are rigid frame machines, some units are made with a slew ring so that their whole superstructure can be rotated through 360 degrees. This design eliminates the need to turn the whole tracked dumper to face the other way at both the loading and tipping points in its material moving cycle.
Rotary top tracked dumpers are some 30 per cent more expensive to buy than their more traditional rigid frame counterparts. But being able to eliminate the need to contrarotate the tracks to turn the whole machine through 180 degrees at both its loading and discharge locations, saves time, reduces ground damage and saves track repair costs. Safety is also enhanced as the operator’s cab can always face the direction of travel.