A logging truck that is two tonnes lighter yields a significant extra income every year
Antti Löthman has invested in the lighter weight of his logging trucks for 10 years. In the autumn of 2020, he designed a particularly light truck.
LÖTHMAN’S COMPANY transports timber for Metsähallitus and Stora Enso on two logging trucks in Heinävesi, Finland. The company is one of the eight enterprises involved in the joint venture Kuljetus Warcell Oy. Löthman’s trucks both have Alucar superstructures. The older truck has three axles and the newer one has four. The new truck’s kerb weight with the crane is 16,200 kg, while its predecessor, which also had four axles, had a kerb weight of 18,200 kg.
ACCORDING TO LÖTHMAN, a truck’s weight is more important than ever now that timber no longer pay for excess loads. Löthman has calculated precisely how much more money driving a light truck yields.
“If you haul 1,000 loads a year on an average journey of 75 kilometres, the weight of the truck has huge economic significance. If you make the truck 1,000 kilograms lighter, you can obviously increase the weight of your load by that much, which means your truck will earn much more per year. The last truck I bought is 2,000 kilograms lighter than the previous one,” he says.
HOW DOES Löthman optimise the weight of his truck? The planning stage is always the most important one. He goes carefully through all the equipment to be fitted on the truck, together with an Alucar representative and salesperson.
“For my newest truck, I chose a smaller crane and decided against a crane cab. On long hauls, we need to have the crane along at ll times, which is why we installed a fixed one. We also didn’t need a crane socket or console
for moving the crane. I chose aluminium bunks and aluminium wheels, which are lighter than steel ones. I also decided to get the smallest Volvo cab. In addition, Alucar’s lower subframe is light, lowers the truck’s centre of gravity when loaded up and provides more load space.” he explains.
All these choices made the truck 2,000 kilograms lighter than its predecessorAntti Löthman
LÖTHMAN HAS observed that the choice of crane has an especially great impact on the truck’s weight. The trend with cranes, however, is to make them larger and larger, and the largest of them can be enormously heavy. Löthman himself thinks the benefis they bring are dubious.
“MAYBE THE BEST THING ABOUT ALUCAR IS THE FACT THAT YOU NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE EXTRAS YOU WANT. YOU JUST TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT AND THEY DO THE WORK FROM START TO FINISH, USING THEIR CONSIDERABLE EXPERTISE. THEN YOU JUST PICK UP YOUR TRUCK, WHICH IS READY TO DRIVE, INCLUDING THE ELECTRICS.”
“Of course, a more robust crane will help you unload quicker. If you only drive very short distances, this may be a good thing. Over longer distances, however, you lose the benefit because the truck must carry 1,000 kilograms
less timber. Saving a few minutes at the unloading stage will not fix this equation,” he notes, adding:
“A large crane puts a strain on the truck chassis and crane brackets and consequently shortens their service life. Additionally, loading may even be slower with a larger crane, depending on the stack to be loaded. That’s why I prefer a lighter crane that will also reduce fuel consumption.”
LÖTHMAN HAS always been very satisfied with Alucar’s quality. He planned the superstructure and equipment for his newest truck together with Alucar’s Julius Närvä, and Naaran Kuljetushuolto installed it.
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