The trend in the construction industry is for tipping semi-trailer vehicles, with an intense demand for higher payloads. Tipping semi-trailers are the first choice for bulk material transporters who expect high productivity. With a single load container and fewer components, more volume and a higher payload, semi-trailers are agile and easy to handle. They are used to transport construction materials, supplemental materials or hot asphalt for road construction in case of the heat insulated version. In the construction industry, the magic number has long been "5,000", referring to the tipping semi-trailers' tare weight. Most of the times, it is a little bit more, to stay on the safe side. And now MEILLER goes on the offensive with "4,700" kilograms. The premium manufacturer from Munich boasts an excellent reputation within the industry thanks to its demand for high quality standards. With the 44 light series, the company now combines the solidity of its brand products with highest transport efficiency. The consistently weight-optimized types by MEILLER are aimed at being used on-road, carrying loads of normal bulk material and small gravel sizes. Furthermore, MEILLER offers a modular system with optimized payload. Tipping semi-trailer vehicles can thus be configured for a broad range of applications.
The new MEILLER vehicles are recognizable at first sight: Their Halfpipe tipper bodies with horizontal side beading have an entirely new profile. Form follows function in the true meaning of the words: The profiled side walls are stiffer and have better deformation resistance in spite of reduced wall thicknesses.
A new base frame
A new chassis frame forms the solid basis of all MEILLER light tippers. Calculated based on the Finite Element Method (FEM) and verified in systematic test drives, the ladder-type frame systematically reduces the tare weight by 120 kilograms without compromising on stability. All in all, the development team was able to realise a weight saving of 320 kg on the new semi-trailer. Comparatively low longitudinal members, lowered cross members and an optimized skid plate – at the areas where parts are mounted, the longitudinal members are reinforced. Wherever possible, weight is reduced by additional holes. The areas in which MEILLER technicians refuse to compromise are tipping stability and driving characteristics. Peter Hammers, in charge of the development, speaks of extensive and tough tests: "Our test system is much tougher, during practical use tipping semi-trailers do not usually undergo such extreme treatment."
New corner connections and reinforcements
Weight savings have, of course, also been made in the tipper bodies. The cross-section of the MEILLER Halfpipes is more bulbous and thus lower. The profiled sidewalls (M-Jets) provide additional stability with a reduced wall thickness. Both side walls and the wide floor plate are welded in an overlapping configuration to provide greater stability. The corner connections between side and front wall are new: They serve as "tie rods", Peter Hammers explains, "they allow the side walls to breathe during loading", preventing crack formation. Plus, the front wall receives extra stability from systematic reinforcements on the inside of the corners and at the centre on the outside.
Slimmed down side walls and floors
The light semi-trailer type LHPA 44-3 with an aluminium Halfpipe tipper body, in its basic version equipped by MEILLER with 7 millimetre floor and 5 millimetre side walls, offers the highest payload. Customers can choose between a rectangular body made from light alloy or a weight-optimized Halfpipe tipper body made from steel. MEILLER will, on request, slim the side walls and floors down to 3 millimetres for the side walls and 4 millimetres for the floor. There is also an option of reinforcing areas in the rear exposed to greatest wear and tear with tailored blanks to protect against abrasion. Here, MEILLER always uses highly wear-resistant VS120 fine-grained steel.
Further new features can be found in the tailgate. The new double joint hinge is even more robust than before, locking catches prevent the gate from jumping during the journey. The new mechanical lock, which is slightly lighter and yet more durable than before, has been moved further out. It will open at a tipping angle of only three degrees and thus adds to the high degree of tipping stability.
The body bearing has also been revised. A simpler, boltable construction reduces weight without affecting the high safety reserves. The nitrided bearing bushes of the tipping shaft are equipped with coiled lubrication grooves, which provide sufficient grease distribution at all times. Another new feature is that now the entire surface of the new MEILLER body sits flush on the frame, thus limiting deformation forces to a minimum when fully loaded. And when driving empty, the load container tends to clang a lot less.
Attention to detail matters
MEILLER has also reduced the weight of the axles. There is a choice between weight-optimized axles from BPW or SAF-Holland. BPW’s forged aluminium wheel hub saves up to 18 kg per axle, the SAF axle features an integrated functional suspension arm that protects brake cylinders and shock absorbers. Generally, customers should keep an eye on their desired add-on parts. Here, MEILLER recommends a thorough application analysis: Is an operating platform necessary, are light alloy wheels and aluminium landing gears suitable? Even small details can reduce weight, like the fixed folding ladder mounted in parallel to the front wall, which complies with the German UVV (accident prevention regulations in Germany) and replaces the operating platform.
Where an increase in efficiency is paramount, the rapid lowering system of the tipping hydraulics and the electric sliding tarpaulin are a must. Both components save time, and not just a little. Electrical opening and closing of the tarpaulin also reduces the accident risk for staff. Those who consistently take advantage of these time savings and always drive with closed tarpaulins also improve the vehicle's aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption. The electrically operated sliding tarpaulin is particularly recommended for transporting hot asphalt and even heat insulated tipper bodies benefit from the new light generation from MEILLER. The Munich-based manufacturer now also offers light aluminium tipper bodies with heat insulation, consisting of a hydrophobic insulation material, that repels moisture and withstands heat at 200 degrees Celsius. Cold bridges have been systematically eliminated, the insulation layer is protected by a solid, carefully sealed stainless steel covering. The LHKA44-3 N model with rectangular body premiered on the Neumuenster Nord Bau 2017 in the autumn of 2017, with consistent configuration and a tare weight of 4,800 kilograms, can achieve the best payload value.