Better performance with twin-steer axles

CAROLINA Sunrock Corp is finding a way to get high mobility for high GVWRs through the use of twin-steer axles.

Fifteen of Carolina Sunrock's 40-plus mixers are Kenworth T800s equipped with twin-steer front axles. The company has found that their first twin-steer trucks can do more each working day, increasing productivity.

“On certain jobs, we can often make one more trip per day with the Kenworth T800 twin steer because of reduced round-trip times,” said Graham Poole, vice president for the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, company. “Our productivity is also up because we have less downtime for maintenance. The twin-steer trucks will pay for themselves much quicker than the others.”

Owner Bryan Pfohl has wanted to improve on the performance of his company's mixers for years. He wanted an axle design that would distribute weight more evenly throughout the truck and that would meet both federal and North Carolina's vehicle bridge laws. He also sought a truck that would be more stable when cornering as the mixer drum was cycling.

Last year, he called on Cooper Sykes, principal of Cooper Kenworth, the Kenworth dealer in North Carolina, to help with the solution.

Sykes, working with Kenworth application engineers, recommended the twin-steer configuration. The arrangement, including two front axles and two pusher axles, spreads the loaded weight over six axles and 16 wheels, instead of the conventional five axles and 14 wheels. To view the twin-steer configuration in action, Sykes, Pfohl, and Poole visited ready-mix truck operators in Canada where the twin-steer application is widely used. Sykes and Kenworth engineers recommended the best distance between the axles to accommodate the load.

The Kenworth T800 twin steer is an ideal design for body configurations that carry more weight forward, according to Jim Bechtold, Kenworth's chief engineer.

“This works well for applications such as tanker truck, crane or boom truck, oil field rig-up trucks, dump trucks or mixers,” he said.

The twin steer is available on the T800 in capacities from 26,400 to 37,500 pounds and on the Kenworth C500, rated at 36,000 to 40,000 pounds.

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