The decision to choose the type and system of earthmoving equipment is heavily dependent on the intended task for the machinery.
It is generally hard to define or use one optimal earthmoving system for all earth engineering projects. Each earthmoving machine comes with a system with its own set of functions. For example project tasks done by an articulated truck with an excavator will be different from those done by wheel tractor scraper. Proper selection of earthmoving system depends largely on the cut and filled conditions of the main site.
There are few basic things that one should keep in mind before choosing the earthmoving machinery for the job. Below are important tips to consider:-
1. Know the type of soil or material on your project
Knowing the type of material for your proposed project is of key importance in the selection of the earthmoving system and equipment to use. For example, experienced engineers prefer to recommend the use of scrapers if the conditions are right and loading material is smooth and spreads easily. Wheel tractor scrapers are said to be great for areas that have sandy loam soil. This is because scrapers can pull through this soil easily and it also loads quickly. However, if the project material has rocky soils or wet clay, then scrapers won’t work smoothly. For this, an articulated truck would be more suitable because scrapers cannot pull through rocky soils easily. It is vital to know your material type before deciding on your earthmoving machine.
2. Know the weather conditions on the project job site
The weather conditions at the project site will influence the decision and choice of the equipment to use. When choosing earthmoving equipment you may require considering system versatility and flexibility. You should select an earthmoving system which is flexible enough to adapt to changing weather conditions. Articulated trucks are mainly known for working very well all year round during wet and dry season, and scrapers cannot be used in very wet or muddy conditions.
3. Know the space and cut at jobsite
Knowing the amount of space i.e. length and depth of cuts in jobsite greatly influences selection of earthmoving equipment and system. Scrapers require more space compared to articulated trucks which are favoured to operate in all size environments. For example, it becomes a challenge to load a scraper if length of the cut is below 100 feet. But the case is different with articulated trucks. These systems have top-loading methodology, which enables them to be placed comfortably under excavators even in the most confined spaces. Scrapers however can operate well in those areas where there is enough room for outlining circuits.
4. Hauling Distance and Road Conditions
Scrapers and articulated trucks both work very well on smooth roads and terrain. It is vital to know the distance to be covered when choosing the ideal earthmoving truck and system. Articulated trucks can be relied on when hauling distance is short. But if earth has to be excavated over longer distances, then a bigger, stronger vehicle would be required. The disadvantage with smaller vehicles is that they face the challenge of not being able to sustain the load pressure for so long. Chances are that with smaller vehicles you run the risk of possible break downs over long distances. This in turn will come with an additional hire cost for repairs.
5. Choose the machinery that your operating staff is familiar with
The choice of machinery to use is highly dependent on the level of training and experience your staff may have in using the machines. It is not advisable to hire or invest into machinery that your operators are not trained to use. When equipment operators are trained and know how to get the most out of their equipment, they get work done quicker without sacrificing quality. The ideal option is to know the machinery which guarantees the best productivity at the job. If machine operators aren’t using the equipment as efficiently and effectively as they should be then it will likely lead to the high rate in breakdown, parts replacement and maintenance fees.