Equipment

Supplementing Dump Trucks with 'Slingers'

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor - Also by this author

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A slinger places stone and other materials exactly where a customer wants it. The driver operates the conveyor from inside the cab or outside, with a remote control box.
A slinger places stone and other materials exactly where a customer wants it. The driver operates the conveyor from inside the cab or outside, with a remote control box.

Dump trucks can do a lot of hauling and delivery work, but there’s a limit to how precisely certain loads can be placed. One alternative is the “slinger,” which adds a high-capacity conveyor-belt mechanism to a hopper body and throws materials exactly where customers want.

An enthusiastic user is Bob Broerman, owner of Go Bucks Trucking, a dump-truck operation in New Bremen, Ohio. He has four slinger trucks and is acquiring a fifth. It will have a low-profile unit, a Pan American Soil King Extreme, mounted on a Kenworth T800 glider chassis that he’s assembling in his shop.

“I started in the slinger business in 2004,” he says. “It’s a real labor saver for a customer. He just tells me the delivery details over the phone and I do it. It will throw 100, 120 feet in back of the truck, if you can’t back a dump truck up to where the load needs to go or get a skid steer [bucket machine] in. We get into some interesting places. We can back up to a building and throw it in.”

The driver runs the conveyor belt at high speed to throw materials over long distances. Or he slows it for precise placement of stone, gravel, dirt, mulch and other materials at close ranges.

Slinger bodies are expensive, Broerman acknowledges. A new dump truck costs about $200,000 including chassis and body, and a new low-pro slinger-equipped truck exhibited at the World of Concrete show earlier this year was priced at $312,000. Using a glider-kit chassis instead of a new one reduces that to $272,000.

“They can pay for themselves if you get the word out,” he says. “We get an extra $3 a ton for the slinger. In the first year I’d charge the dump-truck rate just to show ‘em what you can do with it.”

Not everyone is as big a fan. An operator near Columbus, Ohio, told HDT that he sold off a pair of slingers because he found them troublesome and they needed too much labor to keep running. Broerman comments, “If you don’t have a good operator it’ll cost you money. It’s a matter of keeping belts tight and greased.”  

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