Machine Design

Smart Hydraulics Boost Truck Spray Time

Through clever use of hydraulic controls, Open Loop Energy (OLE) Inc. in Arizona meters out water at a rate proportional to the speed of the tanker truck applying it. The point is to keep dust from being kicked up on dirt roads around mining operations. The water meters greatly boost the amount of roadway a tanker can cover without going back for another load.

High Country Tek Inc.
(530) 265-3236

Open Loop Energy Inc.
(775) 625-4777

Ordinary meters generally spray a fixed amount of water on roads regardless of vehicle speed. The only alternative to stretch coverage has been to switch off the spray at fixed intervals. The result can be puddles that cause hazardous conditions on grades or wear out expensive tires on mining equipment.

The new meter uses controllers and hydraulic equipment from High Country Tek Inc., Nevada City, Calif. OLE typically adds hydraulic valves, a cabmounted High Country controller that doubles as an operator panel, and a speed sensor (usually on the transmission or wheels) to existing water trucks. The High Country equipment turns water nozzles on and off and adjusts water-pump velocity to match vehicle speed. The controller can produce a light, medium, or heavy spray, all proportional to speed, as the operator commands.

Ordinary sprayers water down about 3.7 miles/load of water with manual controls. According to OLE, the new equipment can water down 15.2 miles/load when operated at a light-spray setting. On the heavy-wet setting, a load of water lasts about 5.5 miles.

Also, conventional meters are wired manually and harnesses tend to be expensive. The High Country alternative uses a version of the CANbus for connections that keeps things simple and is easier to debug.

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