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Terex Advocates New Work Zone Capacity Comparison for Digger Derricks

A new standard aims to get the right truck lined up for the right job.

Mon June 10, 2013 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

To help utility companies and contractors select the right size of digger derrick to complete the majority of their day-to-day tasks, a new comparison called work zone capacity is being promoted as a new industry standard by Terex. At its simplest, work zone capacity highlights the ability of a digger derrick to perform the tasks that these trucks are built for — digging holes and setting poles.

The new work zone capacity standard reflects not only the digger derrick’s boom lifting capacity, but it also accounts for the digger derrick’s auger digging and lifting capacity. These capacities need to match the work that the operator is trying to do. For instance, contractors do not want to buy a digger derrick with a capacity in the work zone that does not allow them to lift an auger full of material out of the hole. The new work zone capacity gives utility companies and contractors the tool to select a truck that is properly sized to perform all of the jobs it is tasked to do.

“To select the right digger derrick for the job,” said John Pantkze, project manager, Terex Utilities, “the truck should be able to dig a hole and set the pole without the need to reposition the digger derrick. This means that operators need to consider not only the lifting capacity at a 10-foot load radius [the current industry comparison standard], but also the digging and lifting capacity out of the hole at the operator’s typical working radius [often in the 20- to 40-ft. range at 0 to -15 degrees, depending on the size of the digger derrick]. The object of the new work zone capacity standard is to match these capacities to the job.”

According to Pantzke, competitive trucks are designed to the 10-ft. (3 m) radius capacity standard, which means that these trucks excel at craning or lifting applications but are not as effective at digging applications, which is the core “job” of a digger derrick. Therefore, it’s very important for operators to really understand all of the capacities of their digger derricks, not just those capacities readily available on the manufacturers’ specification sheets.

“In fact, with the range of work that a digger derrick is tasked to do, the usual specifications and comparisons only tell part of the story and can lead to oversights when selecting equipment,” said Pantzke.

To calculate a digger derrick’s work zone capacity, operators need to take into account the soil conditions and density of the material the truck will be working in, as well as the auger sizes they will be using and number of flights needed. Then, operators can work with Terex and its sales team to input those numbers into a specialized calculator designed to determine a digger derrick’s work zone capacity.

“The new work zone capacity comparison standard is designed to give utility companies and contractors the confidence that the digger derrick they buy will fit their overall business operation needs and is properly sized to perform a variety of job site tasks,” said Pantzke.

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