Customer case

Kempf builds dump trailers – and progress – with Hardox® 500 Tuf

December 21, 2021 6 min read

Case details

Product Hardox 500 Tuf
Country Germany
Company Kempf
Industry Trailers and body builders

When German trailer body builder Kempf wanted to build dump trailers that would last longer, delight customers and help the company grow, it switched to a higher grade of Hardox® steel – Hardox® 500 Tuf. The results? Less wear, higher payload and enhanced performance.

Fahrzeugbau Kempf GmbH builds a huge number of customized commercial vehicles, including dump trucks and dump trailers, tipper bodies, tipper semitrailers, container exchange systems, hooklift trucks, flatbed trucks, walking floor trailers and more.

“In recent decades, we have achieved rapid growth,” says Daniel Dressler, Managing Director of Kempf. “We favor lightweight design and individual solutions in everything we do. We always make sure the customers’ quality and performance requirements are met when we build dump trailer bodies as well as all trailer components. The steel we use comes from SSAB, which has been our partner for decades.”

The rear tippers are almost exclusively manufactured to customer specifications

The rear tippers are almost exclusively manufactured to customer specifications.

Case details

Product Hardox 500 Tuf
Country Germany
Company Kempf
Industry Trailers and body builders

Hardox® 500 Tuf paves the way for innovation in tipper semitrailers

Hardox® 500 Tuf brings out the best of the well-known Hardox® 450 and Hardox® 500 grades. Kempf was the first German company to use Hardox® 500 Tuf, introducing this grade in its tipper semitrailer designs as soon as the steel was launched on the market. It gave Kempf new opportunities to enhance the performance of its products.

“When we launched Hardox® 500 Tuf with its benefits and improved properties, Kempf was very quick to switch to the new material," says Christoph Bednarz, regional sales manager for southwestern Germany at SSAB.

“Changing to new, higher quality grades has not led to any processing problems for us. We had practically nothing to change or adapt,” says Daniel Dressler.

30% less wear with dump trailer bodies in Hardox® 500 Tuf

For Kempf’s Daniel Dressler, the advantage of Hardox® 500 Tuf was clearly confirmed. “We were able to witness an interesting comparison, where a customer used a rear tipper made of Hardox® 450 and another with Hardox® 500 Tuf. Both were operating under virtually identical conditions. After almost two years of use, we looked at the wear pattern on the dump trailer bodies. We saw about a third less wear on the trailer bodies made of Hardox® 500 Tuf.”

The new tipping shaft utilizes Hardox® Tubes and weighs 20 kg (44 lbs.) less than the previous solution

The new tipping shaft utilizes Hardox® Tubes and weighs 20 kg (44 lbs.) less than the previous solution.

20% more payload adds to productivity of Kempf’s dump truck and trailer bodies

But Kempf doesn’t just build dump trailer and truck bodies that last longer. Hardox® 500 Tuf has also enabled Kempf to use a 4 mm (0.157”) thick plate in the wall compared to 5 mm (0.197”) in the Hardox® 450 trailer bodies. This allows for a payload increase of up 20%, depending on the body version.

The lower vehicle mass reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions during the truck’s entire active life. Thinner and lighter versions of the bodies also mean less steel is used, adding to the reduced overall environmental footprint of the truck or trailer.

Lighter-weight tipper bodies made from Hardox® 500 Tuf plate are built for heavy duty in many vehicles and applications

Lighter-weight tipper bodies made from Hardox® 500 Tuf plate are built for heavy duty in many vehicles and applications.

Hardox® in my body

How to build dump trailers in partnership

To support its quest for continuous development, Kempf joined SSAB’s member program Hardox® In My Body some years ago. The membership is a quality certification and is only granted by SSAB after a thorough review.

The Hardox® In My Body sign on a product confirms that it is made with Hardox® and designed and manufactured according to strict specifications. Hardox® in My Body members also benefit from full access to SSAB’s state-of-the-art expertise in materials, applications and processing. All of this quickly translates into better and more efficient products. Thanks to the use of Hardox® steel, Kempf’s customers also enjoy an above-average resale value on their used vehicles.

Even lighter designs with Strenx® performance steel

“Kempf is a long-time user of Strenx® 700MC in its chassis and is now working together with us to manufacture lighter tipper trailers with Strenx® 960 Plus," says SSAB’s Christoph Bednarz.

Strenx® 960 Plus is a high-strength structural steel with a guaranteed yield strength of at least 960 MPa. Typical applications include demanding load-bearing structures such as in a trailer chassis. By using Strenx® 960 Plus, Kempf is able to achieve a weight reduction of about 10%, which naturally is very important in this business.

Lightweight chassis structures made with Strenx® performance steel

Lightweight chassis structures made with Strenx® performance steel.

This is Fahrzeugbau Kempf GmbH

This family business was founded in the early 1950s and is now managed by the second and third generations of the family.

The company started by converting old pre-war vehicles for use in agriculture. It later switched to manufacturing truck and tipper bodies and is currently the third largest provider of tipper vehicles in Germany. Fahrzeugbau Kempf employs around 300 people at three locations, two of which are in Germany – the headquarters at Bad Marienberg and a nearby repair shop for used vehicles. The third site is in Poland, where most steel production takes place and from where the Eastern European market with its special needs is served.

Customers all over Europe trust the quality of Kempf tippers

Customers all over Europe trust the quality of Kempf tippers.

Proven in real life applications

Hardox 500 Tuf

Discover the benefits of Hardox® 500 Tuf in tippers

Hardox® 500 Tuf makes tipper bodies, agricultural tippers and mining dump bodies lighter and more durable due to its unique combination of hardness and toughness.

Hardox in my body

Confirmation of a good choice

The Hardox® In My Body sign on your equipment is a confirmation of quality, performance and reliability.

The lifetime of Zetterberg’s dumpers has increased by 40  percent

The lifetime of Zetterberg’s dumpers has increased by 40 percent

“The increased abrasion resistance of Hardox® 500 Tuf allows us to use a thinner plate and keep the same excellent service life. Not only that, thinner steel reduces the body weight, which allows for higher payload.”

Find out how upgrading pays off

Please complete the following information so that we may contact and support you with any upgrading questions: