Van Reenen Truck Body a Finalist for Steel Prize

Van Reenen Steel Ltd’s new truck body, designed to transport ore in mines, has been named one of four finalists in the only international competition for innovative designs in high-strength steel: the Swedish Steel Prize 2010.

The design has enabled Van Reenen, of South Africa, to reduce the weight by eight tons (from 43 tons to 35 tons) and to substantially increase the life of the truck body. The body has a ridge down the middle of the bottom in the direction of the vehicle, which makes the body more rigid near the fittings, reducing stress concentrations; reduces impact when loading; spreads the flow more evenly when unloading, resulting in less wear; and strengthens cab protection.

The truck body is optimized for even flow to reduce wear and allow faster unloading and thus higher productivity. The old truck body handles 700 loads (133,033 tons) per month, while this body handles 726 loads per month. The old body requires a minor maintenance break after about 6,000 hours and total renovation at 12,000 hours. So far, this body has been running for 17,000 hours without maintenance shutdowns. The manufacturer expects the first maintenance break at 25,000 hours and the total lifetime of the truck body to reach 50,000 hours.

The prize will be awarded by SSAB CEO Olof Faxander on November 18 at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. In addition to a statuette designed by artist Jörg Jeschke, the winner will receive a stipend of $14,000. The award ceremony is the culmination of a three-day event in Sweden where hundreds of international representatives from manufacturing will participate in site visits and seminars.

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