Trailer Magazine

Versatile solution

  • From the November 2018 issue.
Versatile solution

Following the success of its first Titan-manufactured truck body fitted with a Keith Steel V-Slat Walking Floor system, Fulton Hogan will soon take delivery of another unit to tackle the unique requirements of its road sealing and surfacing operations.

Started in 1933 by Jules Fulton and Bob Hogan, Fulton Hogan now operates across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. A publicly non-listed business, the civil construction and infrastructure services company is responsible for a wide variety of tasks such as building and maintaining the roads, airports, bridges, parks and property developments that connect towns and cities.

“Fulton Hogan is involved in a wide range of capital works and infrastructure projects, with a focus on building. The business is also involved in a fair bit of community work from a social perspective as well,” explains Gerard Killick, Business Development Manager – Fulton Hogan Infrastructure Services. Having joined the company over 25 years ago, he has worked across various roles.

In Australia, Fulton Hogan operates across every state and territory, with a national fleet of over 100 tipper trucks that are used to tow a diverse mix of trailing equipment to suit the company’s various operations.

Around two years ago, Fulton Hogan was looking to find a unique truck body solution that could incorporate a moving floor with a spreader and the ability to transport equipment to and from work sites. The business approached Titan to develop a prototype that could also be used in conjunction with a spreader.

The solution came in the form of a Titan truck body fitted with a Keith Steel V-Slat Walking Floor. “An industry contact put me in contact with Titan. They were using a Titan body with a Keith Walking Floor system for wood chips. Although we saw it used in a very different application, we thought the system could suit our needs too,” says Gerard.

Originally based in South Australia, the unit is now being put through its paces in North Queensland, completing road spray sealing and surfacing operations.

The Keith Steel V-Slat Walking Floor system is made up of a series of reciprocating slats, which serve as the flooring of the truck body or trailer. When turned on, the system “walks” the load in or out. Used in a wide range of industries, such as waste management and recycling, agriculture, aggregates and asphalt, wood products and energy production, Keith Walking Floors are as versatile as they are durable.

“Especially when working in urban areas, the fact that there is no elevation of a hoist means the chance of rolling the truck is significantly reduced. Not elevating keeps the centre of gravity of the truck lower. It also means we can get under trees and power lines without any issues,” says Gerard.

He explains that the unique point of difference with the Keith Steel V-Slat Walking Floor option is that it can be incorporated into a traditional rectangular-shaped truck body. “A lot of our decision to go with this option was to do with the shape of the body. It means that when we are travelling long distances, we have the option of transporting equipment straight on top. We can transport things like rollers or tractors inside the body of the truck when we need to.”

The second Titan body fitted with a Keith Steel V-Slat Walking Floor will join the Fulton Hogan fleet before the year’s end. It will be based in Western Australia and used for the same type of work as the first unit.

To assist with product discharge, the new unit will also incorporate a partial tilt to assist with getting product out when the truck is parked on a slope.

As the Keith Walking Floor system is controlled by hydraulics, this allows the operator to control the speed that the product is discharged, which Gerard describes as another key advantage.

“Because we can control the hydraulic speed of the floor, we can keep a record or quickly calibrate what speed we had the floor working at compared to the reverse speed of the truck, to work out how much of the load was discharged. With a tipper body, product distribution control is usually done more by eye so isn’t always as accurate,” he explains. “Our first unit really was a prototype. Titan hadn’t built this sort of unit with a spreader on the back before. It’s now been in use for over two years and we’ve been impressed with its quality and how well it suits our application.”

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