Customer cases Hardox® 500 Tuf wear steel lightens every load for Colorado box truck builder IWS

Hardox® 500 Tuf wear steel lightens every load for Colorado box truck builder IWS

Industrial Welding Supply is a leading truck and trailer supplier featuring Hardox® in my Body dump boxes and trucks built-to-order for a growing US market. As an early adopter of SSAB’s new wear-resistant steel grade Hardox® 500 Tuf, IWS will transition all its certified products to the new material giving customers lighter vehicles with higher payloads, safer operation and an even longer service life.

Hardox® 500 Tuf is an abrasion-resistant (AR) steel and a perfect fit for these high-performance dump truck boxes. Hardox® 500 Tuf is also the first 500 Brinell (HB) wear plate with properties on a par with structural steel. It delivers high strength, extreme hardness and guaranteed toughness in a single wear plate. While improving dent protection, the material also offers a 70-100% longer service life compared to conventional 400 HB AR steel.

SSAB customer case Colorado box truck builder IWS
“As soon as my customers hear the benefits of Hardox® 500 Tuf, they don’t want it as an option, they want it standard. The weight savings alone grabs their attention, and then there’s the longer service life,” says JD Stone, IWS Vice President and General Manager. “These trucks are workhorses and must be able to take a beating over time and with our transition to the new material fully online by the fall, we’ll deliver only that option.”
SSAB customer case Colorado box truck builder IWS
JD Stone, VP and General Manager at Industrial Welding Supply, demands the highest quality components for his custom line of Colt branded, Hardox® in my Body dump trucks.

Less Truly Is More

By using Hardox® 500 Tuf wear plate in a thinner dimension, the new generation of Colt-brand dump box delivers 14% less tare weight with one and a half times the service life as the previous generation. This allows for an increase of payload capacity by 14% at the same total weight.

“The first four of my Hardox® 500 Tuf boxes went to a long-time customer of ours in Denver. Operating in the construction sector, every trip counts, and now with the added payload capacity, drivers can haul more in fewer trips. When you think about it, that means they also consume less fuel,” Stone explains.

Truck fleet owners are keenly aware of rising fuel costs and beginning to scrutinize environmental concerns. They also focus heavily on safety. With less material in each truck, an upgrade to Hardox® 500 Tuf wear plate positively impacts all of those factors. 

“Many of my customers are dealers of the major brands including, Kenworth, Peterbuilt, Mack, Freightliner and International. These companies demand the highest quality, and every component of our trucks is selected to be the best of its kind – even down to using flexible automotive paints,” Stone explains. “Hardox® 500 Tuf is the next generation of premium wear steel, and we’re excited to fully adopt it and introduce the first box of its kind to the US market.”


Making Friends in the Workshop

When it comes to comparing weldability and bendability for Hardox® 500 Tuf with Hardox® 450, the properties are nearly identical, except that Hardox® 500 Tuf performs equally well at thinner dimensions. According to Phil Raffaeli, IWS Production Manager/Sales, it can be fabricated with the same equipment used for Hardox® 450. For the six master welders, who have a combined 100 years’ experience, and the World War II era rolling bending press at IWS, Hardox® 500 Tuf was easy to incorporate into production. 

“We use the same rolling equipment for the Hardox® 500 Tuf as we did for Hardox® 450. The chimes rolled for our elliptical box designs can be slightly shorter and overall thinner going from 0.188” (4.8 mm) to 0.157” (4 mm). Our guys were able to adjust quickly and transitioned smoothly between the two grades,” Raffaeli says.

Hard and tough in the Rocky Mountain Cold 

Even though Colt trucks find their way outside of Colorado, many of the 200 boxes produced annually by IWS are guaranteed to face cold conditions during their service lives. To tackle bitter conditions, Hardox® 500 Tuf has a guaranteed impact energy of 27 J at -20°C (20 ft-lb at 4°F) and, for 20 mm plate, a typical value of 45 J at -40°C (33 ft-lb at 40°F). It also features an unusually narrow hardness window of 475-505 HBW. According to SSAB’s wear calculation app, WearCalc, the estimated relative service life for Hardox® 500 Tuf is 27% longer than for Hardox® 450 based on sliding wear with sand. For more details, refer to the graphic showing the calculation results, which also can be generated from within the WearCalc app. Upgrading material selections also boosts the bottom line. Using SSAB’s EcoUpgraded app, IWS calculated an annual profit increase of $2,450 because of switching to Hardox® 500 Tuf.

From Blacksmith to Black Box

In the 1920’s, blacksmiths fashioned and hammered out parts for the railcars that rumbled along the back side of IWS’ first building on Front Street. Today, Stone, who is completely committed to quality, not only carries on the tradition of turning out only the best, but continues to evolve with innovative upgrades to serve customers in agriculture, oil and gas, trucking, trailers and tanks. 

For SSAB, this elliptical style dump body featuring Hardox® 500 Tuf wear plate allows end users in North America to experience Hardox® wear plate’s innovative evolution in advanced wear steels. 

“Over the past few years, I’ve watched the trucking industry’s demand rapidly grow for an even harder, tougher material,” says Tobias Appelkvist, Regional Sales Manager, SSAB Special Steels. “We fully support efforts by our Hardox® In My Body certified member, IWS, as they work to meet their customers’ needs.”
SSAB customer case Colorado box truck builder IWS
JD Stone, VP and General Manager at Industrial Welding Supply is joined by Tobias Appelkvist, Regional Sales Manager SSAB Special Steels and Phil Raffaeli, IWS Production Manager to roll out the first Colt-branded Hardox® 500 Tuf box dump truck.
Stone and Raffaeli are impressed not just by the quality of the new steel grade, but also by SSAB’s steady commitment to support and service. 

“I fully appreciate the expertise of SSAB’s technical services team to partner in testing new ideas and applications,” Stone explains. “It’s one of the many reasons partnering with them puts my business ahead of the curve. We also count on the market-leading quality of their special steel products knowing they will perform as promised. I look forward to our next test of new materials as we broaden our offerings.” 

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