Besides the weight savings from thinner steel gauges and the steel’s high yield strength, dump truck boxes in Hardox® 450 can withstand greater impacts than boxes made of convention steels. “Not only does its thickness help make it lighter, it can also withstand harsher operations. And the potential for cracking or deformation is greatly reduced,” Macías says.
Two years ago, Volmex combined some components of the truck body that were previously made in commercial steel. “The box frame – the floor, door, sides and top – is made in 100% Hardox® 450 and the structural elements, such as the edges and some bracing, are currently made in Strenx® high-strength structural steel, so they have very similar yield strengths,” he explains. “This has proven to be a very good competitive advantage, because now in the Mexican market many dump truck box manufacturers using Hardox® 450 continue to mix and use commercial steels, such as ASTM-A36, in some body components.”
Volmex customers not only notice a substantial improvement in the useful life of the dump boxes. “They also tell us that they have slashed equipment downtime compared with models made from commercial steels caused by constant cracks and deformations. They can now achieve a noticeable increase in operational efficiency with the new products.”
Performance is also a concern of the manufacturer. Since dump truck boxes made of commercial steels were produced in a thicker plate, they needed more filler material for welding. But with Hardox® 450, Macías says his team gained internal efficiencies and a cleaner design. “This means 11% time savings in production and the product has a European look - it’s quite aesthetically appealing, something customers really appreciate,” he says.