Customer case

Produits Métalliques scores sustainable improvements with Hardox® 500 Tuf

February 18, 2022 6 min read

Case details

Product Hardox 500 Tuf
Country Canada
Company Produits Métalliques AT
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

Produits Métalliques AT is the first Canadian manufacturer to convert its entire production of spreaders and dump bodies to Hardox® 500 Tuf, delivering 4-times higher-value vehicles to customers. Now they enjoy increased payloads, reduced fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and a lighter-class truck that costs less to buy, as well as operate.

Case details

Product Hardox 500 Tuf
Country Canada
Company Produits Métalliques AT
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

With production located in Matane (Québec), Produits Métalliques AT leveled up by converting all dump bodies and spreaders from Hardox® 450. Using Hardox® 500 Tuf plates and sheets, they rolled out major benefits to truck operators. They are quickly taking advantage of the change to become more sustainable, to get higher payload capacity, as well as reduced fuel costs and lower CO2 emissions – all without sacrificing long wear life.

“The main motivation for us to upgrade was the additional wear resistance of Hardox® 500 Tuf versus Hardox® 450, allowing us to specify a thinner gauge material for the same wear life, but also save weight,” explains company owner, André Tremblay.

“For example, our branded HXD bodies that were upgraded to Hardox® 500 Tuf now weigh 1,200 pounds less than the previous version.”

André Tremblay, owner Produits Métalliques is among the first manufacturers to upgrade all possible applications to Hardox® 500 Tuf and help customers become more sustainable.

Calculated proof with SSAB’s EcoUpgraded app

Using the EcoUpgraded application for smart phones showed Produits Métalliques that the new Hardox® wear plate bodies running 50,000 km/year (31,000 miles/year) for 10 years reduces fuel consumption by 4,130 liters (1,091 gallons) and eliminates 15 Tons of CO2. The XL bodies upgraded to Hardox® 500 Tuf weigh 600 pounds less than the Hardox® 450 version.

The EcoUpgraded app report showed that the new XL bodies running 50,000 km/year (31,000 miles/year) for 10 years reduces fuel consumption 2,153 liters (569 gallons) and eliminates 7.7 tons of CO2.

EcoUpgraded reports for the company’s top-selling truck body models show the positive impacts on sustainability by upgrading the wear steel to Hardox® 500 Tuf.
EcoUpgraded reports for the company’s top-selling truck body models show the positive impacts on sustainability by upgrading the wear steel to Hardox® 500 Tuf.
Hardox® 500 Tuf in the workshop allowed Produits Métalliques fabricators to continue using established bending and welding processes.

Making friends in the workshop

Somewhat skeptical at first about the new material’s published bending recommendations, André was not sure he could bend Hardox® 500 Tuf with the same tooling and the same design as used for Hardox® 450. To perform a proper test, he secured enough of the upgrade steel to manufacture 10 dump bodies for comparison.

“We quickly realized that there was no issue plasma cutting Hardox® 500 Tuf, and we did not have anything to change to our designs because we could use the same bending radiuses as for Hardox® 450,” Tremblay says. “Plus, the increased wear life allowed us to upgrade from Hardox® 450 6.35 mm (0.25 ’’) to Hardox® 500 Tuf 4.76 mm (0.1875’’) for the floors, front wall and tailgates and from Hardox® 450 4.76 mm (0.1875’’) to Hardox® 500 Tuf 4 mm (0.157”) for the sidewalls."

Additionally, production efficiency jumped up in the workshop primarily because using a thinner material required less tonnage to bend the upgraded parts.

“We also could weld faster and use less welding consumables,” Tremblay adds. “After the first 10 dump bodies were built in early 2019 and successfully tested, we decided to convert 100% of our production.”

Hardox® 500 Tuf in the workshop allowed Produits Métalliques fabricators to continue using established bending and welding processes.

Dedicated to the symbol of quality

In 2016, Produits Métalliques AT joined the Hardox® In My Body program signaling a dedicated commitment to the highest quality standards among equipment manufacturers. All brand program members are thoroughly assessed for admission and earn the right to display the sign of quality logo on certified equipment.

Customers enjoy premium performance and a higher resale value from products that include the Hardox® In My Body symbol and Hardox® wear plate in their bodies.

Less weight equals higher value

While the three-fold upgrade benefits offer important selling points, one major advantage sets Produits Métalliques’ lighter equipment apart.

“Our original bodies were installed on a Class-8, 12-wheel truck. But the new Hardox® 500 Tuf XL and HXD models are so light that they can be installed on a Class 7, 10-wheel truck with only half-ton less payload than the previous LSHD Hardox® 450 bodies,” Tremblay explains.

“The price of a new Class-7 truck versus a Class-8 is $80,000 Cdn less expensive. This savings became another major selling point that influenced our decision to upgrade all of our products to a thinner gauge in Hardox® 500 Tuf.”

The upgraded model allows reclassification because it weighs less, thanks to a thinner grade of Hardox® 500 Tuf.

“Our future looks very bright and we look forward to continued growth in our segments helping new customers either play in the sand or the snow.”

André Tremblay, Owner Produits Métalliques AT

The newest breed of equipment features a Best for the Best from a completely upgraded product line.

Expanding a long heritage of growth

Family owned, the original company established in 1973 operated as GC Tremblay & Sons and ran under that name for more than 20 years. In 1994, the brothers Marc and André Tremblay headed up separate divisions until 2005, when they recombined as Produits Métalliques AT and doubled the operation. In 2008, they built a paint shop and installed a 24’ long 660 Metric Ton press break to be able to manufacture improved design bodies featuring bent sidewalls and bent top rails.

Since 2019, Produits Métalliques AT has built more than 300 dump bodies, spreaders, four-season dump bodies and scissor lift long dumpers all made of Hardox® 500 Tuf. The business is going so well that they are in the process of building a brand new 15,000 square feet building for a wet-paint line and powder-paint line. This will bring the total manufacturing space in Matane to 50,000 square feet.

Find out how upgrading pays off

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