Customer case

Armor Lite Trailers adds service life for half-round dump trailers with an easy upgrade to Hardox® 500 Tuf

February 03, 2021 6 min read

A white half-round dump trailer in steel bearing the Hardox In My Body logo.

Case details

Country United States
Company Armor Lite Trailers
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

Find out how dump trailers from Armor Lite stay in better shape with Hardox® 500 Tuf, offering more value for money and higher performance in harsh conditions.

How to make a high-performing dump trailer

Armor Lite is a Missouri based semi-trailer manufacturer with a home market covering the Midwest and Texas. The company was started in 2012 by Wesley Graviett, Tom Seyer and Jim Pharris. They all have extensive industry knowledge from the trailer industry and set high goals for the business: making the industry’s best trailers and to always exceed the customer’s expectations.

A white half-round dump trailer with the Hardox In My Body logo getting ready to hit the road

Armor Lite makes its half-round dump trailers in the new Hardox® 500 Tuf material.

The company is experiencing healthy growth, so it looks like it’s on the right track. What’s the secret?

“We’re always eager to explore new materials and production techniques that will give our customers more value for their money. We are focused on high-end trailers for the toughest jobs and choose materials to match. One example is that we upgraded our half-round dump trailers from Hardox® 450 wear-resistant steel to the new Hardox® 500 Tuf grade,” says Jim Pharris, Senior Partner at Armor Lite.

Welders in the workshop busily welding Hardox® 500 Tuf wear plate.
Hardox® 500 Tuf hasn’t given Armor Lite any challenges in the workshop.

How did the customers react to the change in dump trailer material?

"I would say we have carved out a reputation for making trailers that stand up to the toughest jobs. Of course, we needed to confirm the steel’s performance in real life before going all in. When the new grade became available two years ago, we started by making two similar half-round trailers, one with Hardox® 450 and the other with Hardox® 500 Tuf which is a harder material that still has a high toughness. They were used by a local company for about a year in really rough conditions and the outcome was positive. The customer was happy and we were confident that this was the future. Today, we have made 30 half-rounds in Hardox® 500 Tuf. Just by looking at them we can see that they stay in better shape, with much less denting even after transporting large stones and big chunks of concrete,” says Jim.

Upgrading dump trailers made simple

Armor Lite has not come across any technical obstacles in the workshop when processing Hardox® 500 Tuf. Welding works in the same way as for Hardox® 450, no preheating is needed to get high-quality welds. Bending the plates into the half-round shape required a change in rolling parameters since Hardox® 500 Tuf is a stronger material with higher springback. Once this was sorted out, production runs smoothly. Hardox® wear plate is a very stable material and this is confirmed by the repeatable performance Armor Lite experiences in the workshop.

A white half-round dump trailer against a clear blue sky, built by Missouri-based Armor Lite Trailers using Hardox wear plate.

What’s the future look like for dump trailers?

“So far, we make half-round dump trailers in both Hardox® 450 and Hardox® 500 Tuf with the same thickness. This naturally adds service life to the ones with Hardox® 500 Tuf. We are looking into going down in thickness on Hardox® 500 Tuf to save weight. This would be interesting for many customers since it allows for more payload without exceeding the total vehicle weight,” says Jim Pharris.

Why the half-round dump trailer makes a difference

In many ways, a half-round dump trailer is the optimum design when handling rocks and other large and heavy objects. Compared to a traditional box shaped dumper, the half-round structure actually becomes stronger from the lack of external reinforcing beams. The large free steel surface with a top rail allows the steel to flex when hit by a rock.

The impact forces are distributed over the plate, resisting dents and cracking. Fewer dents mean less wear for a longer service life of the trailer – with the added bonus of giving a higher resale value.

A design without stiffeners is lighter and gives the opportunity for higher payload. The amount of welding is also drastically reduced, saving time in the workshop and cost for welding consumables.

The half-round dump body improves road handling since the load is automatically centered on the trailer even if it is loaded over the side. Another advantage is that the shape makes for faster discharge of the load.

A busy workshop where a half-round trailer body is being built.

WearCalc calculates the service life for dump trailers

SSAB, the manufacturer of Hardox® wear steel, has developed an app called WearCalc. Armor Lite uses the app to quickly show customers how the wear service life increases when using a harder abrasion-resistant steel. WearCalc is available from Apple and Android app stores for free.

The app WearCalc showing how it calculates how to use less steel to reduce the weight of a vehicle and improve its wear life.

When hardness meets toughness

Hardox® 500 Tuf delivers a unique mix of hardness and toughness. Compared to a traditional abrasion-resistant steel, it can also function as a structural steel. This offers new opportunities to reduce or exclude supporting structures, allowing Hardox® 500 Tuf to take the load instead.

When you upgrade to Hardox® 500 Tuf, you can choose to increase wear life or increase payload – or both. Use a thinner plate of Hardox® 500 Tuf and easily get 10-15% greater load capacity for a dumper or container. Or, stay with the same thickness and get a 30% longer service life or more, depending on the abrasive material.

A black half-round trailer body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf in front of some rocks.

Certified Hardox® In My Body dump trailers drive business forward

Armor Lite is also a qualified member of the Hardox® In My Body program for companies that use Hardox® wear plate in products approved by SSAB in terms of design, welding and manufacturing processes. Their certified half-round dump trailers are hard, tough, cost efficient, and built to the highest standards.

With such certified tippers, owners can rest assured that they’ll get improved payload, longer service life, better fuel economy, and a stronger yet much lighter vehicle.

A welder at work deep inside the half round body of a dump semitipper.
A black dump truck with trailer body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf.

IWS’ dump box is lighter and lasts longer

By using Hardox® 500 Tuf wear steel in a thinner dimension, the new generation of IWS’ Colt-brand dump box delivers 14% less tare weight with one and a half times the service life as the previous generation

A close-up of the Hardox® In My Body logo on a dump body.

Hardox® In My Body – the sign of quality

A sign of quality and trust for the best products in the market.

A truck driving down in the sand.

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