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Air Ride Vs Camelbacks

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Im new to this and not real sure what im doing but i have a question about air ride vs camelback . is it true that air ride dumptrucks tend to get stuck more often than camelback dumptrucks . the dumptrucks were my fathers and he passed away two years ago from cancer . there are so many things i wished i had asked him . my mother and myself are trying to run the business now and im now the one responsible for buying a new truck. we have 2 haul trucks that are gettting up there in miles they have a long enough wheel base but are both air ride suspension we had thought about making them dumptrucks but have no experiance with that type susp. we always had camelbacks. any comments please let me know. thanks sorry its so long :)

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Im new to this and not real sure what im doing but i have a question about air ride vs camelback . is it true that air ride dumptrucks tend to get stuck more often than camelback dumptrucks . the dumptrucks were my fathers and he passed away two years ago from cancer . there are so many things i wished i had asked him . my mother and myself are trying to run the business now and im now the one responsible for buying a new truck. we have 2 haul trucks that are gettting up there in miles they have a long enough wheel base but are both air ride suspension we had thought about making them dumptrucks but have no experiance with that type susp. we always had camelbacks. any comments please let me know. thanks sorry its so long :)
The air ride will spin more in rough ground than a camelback.The ideal of that is if you are loaded on a level road and the tandem will weigh 40000 lbs on the ground and has 65 lbs of air in each air bag then you roll one wheel up on a 6 inch rock then that bag will not deflate vere fast so what hapens is the other three wheels are lifted off of the ground to some degree for a few secs or untill the air is equall in all bags then your weight is back to the same on all four wheels with the same traction. But for a sec or two the traction on one wheel is greater than on the other three wheels when the one wheel was raised up.

Now on a camelback if one wheel rolls up on top of a rock or what ever then that wheel is pushed up and the wheel on the other end of that same sping is pushed down by the same weight it took to raise that wheel so the traction on all four wheels remain about the same because the weight on the ground is the same on all four wheels.

As far as getting stuck i dont know but i am sating you do not get as good traction on air as cameback and most dump trucks that have been around both will tell you the same.You may not have any trouble with air if you are not in rough stuff if there is any such thing.I dont know how you could get a better suspension than a camelback. Once you under stand the suspension and how tuff it is then it will sell the truck to you. As for as older trucks i like the old maxidyne and six speed and camelback with the dayton wheels for a off/ on road dump truck. glenn

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Air ride on a dump truck is a complete disaster.

I had a CL quad axle on air ride a few years ago (the one in my avatar) and it was the biggest PITA I ever owned, didn't keep it around here for long.

Just as Glenn said, as soon as you go off the road, the suspension can't react to uneven terrain, and you get wheel spin, then when the spinning wheel connects with the ground again you get shock loading of the entire drivetrain. Very tough on differentials & axles.

We always had to lock the power divider as soon as the truck left the blacktop, this helped some with the wheelspin issue, but when you think about it, having the power divider locked whenever the truck is off road concentrates twice the torque on the axle which still has traction, again leading to extreme stress on the driveline.

When dumping, you'll have to dump the air out of the air suspension to stabilize the rear of the truck, and even then, an air ride dump truck is more prone to tipping over than one on springs.

You can set it up so that the air automatically dumps out of the suspension whenever the PTO is engaged, that way the driver can't forget to dump the air before raising the dump body.

I know there are guys out there that will say they love having air ride on a dump truck, and I can see how it might not be bad if the truck is always on a hard flat surface, such as hauling asphalt, but in the type of work my company was doing, it was useless.

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Im with Herb on this one. Air ride really doesnt have much of a place on dumps. The camelback is the absolute ideal suspension for offroad or dumps. Just another old school brilliant Mack design that cannot be improved upon...the trunion allows pivot to keep equal load on both rear axles.

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Air ride is for over the road or limited off road use. There are some "offroad" air ride set ups out there but they still cant beat springs in the offroad. Camelback is the way to go for traction and simplicity in the off road. A spring ride tractor with an air ride cab will cut alot of the harshness out of rough roads.

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I've got a '97 CH with air ride and it's ok off-road but won't hold a candle to my dad's 88 R-model with camelback springs. Both trucks are used on the farm also, so there's a lot of in and out of fields in less than marginal conditions. The absolute worst off-road is the Kenworth 8-bag air ride, hands down.

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I have camelback on my dumps and have very little problem off road compared to my tractor with air ride. I use the tractor with a dump trailer for hauling stumps and when I get off road, you have to be carefull where you go. It works great on the blacktop when I haul water for swimming pools, and it rides better but seems to have less axle travel witch leads to getting stuck more. Camelback is the way to go for dump trucks, hands down.

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I've got a '97 CH with air ride and it's ok off-road but won't hold a candle to my dad's 88 R-model with camelback springs. Both trucks are used on the farm also, so there's a lot of in and out of fields in less than marginal conditions. The absolute worst off-road is the Kenworth 8-bag air ride, hands down.

I have to say that I have a "kenworthless" that had an 8 bag suspension.... I switched out the 8 bag for a 3 spring t-ride with full lockers on thinking it would make the truck nearly unstopable..... boy I wish now that I had stuck a camelback under it. The truck getes stuck worse than any of my other trucks at this point.. I can't figure out why either. the t ride has great travel.. but the camels still kick it's a^& in the fields... and they all have normal auto powerdivide. Anybody else have experience side by side t-ride vs camels?

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adding my 2 cents worth to your dilema minihorses ....i have a MIR700 Tipper on 44000 lps Camelback an a R688 with same set up but as a semi tipper an without question in your application i would stay with the Camelback!! had considered putting air susp under my R as she also does a bit of on road and i wish to put her to work occasionally doin Road Train work and had air in mind to update . but after a Lot of thought i,m staying w Camelback as as all replies above rightly state u CANNOT go past Mack susp in off road / quarry / tipper work !! an aside from the outlay in cost to convert the maintinence and upkeep on air in harsh terrain jus rules it out on that aspect alone.

The Superior abilities of good ol susp was brought home to me on a site just before Xmas, needed a driver to throw in MIR for a day moving excavated spoil from one side of site to other across a site closer akin to a motorcross track than a construction site!!! Threw a bloke in it that was if anything but unsure about " UGLY OL MACK " !!! capabilities as he was more used to " New and Shiney Late Model air equipped SHOW BOATS " and asked better keep excavator close as i,ll need it to be pullin truck thru it !!!! ah u can only guess my response .............at end of day he stepped outta her mumblin his surprise :lol::lol: as we were on site was NOT shy in adding Pudding on an if each time he didn,t pull away from excavator with 16 /18 ton on i,ll stand rooted !! and all w little 237 Maxi :)she jus plodded away up and ova it all day !!

Anyway thats my imput and thoughts on your post hope it helps you in your decision..

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I AGREE W/ Herb (hk )& Trent (l mackattack)& WV Dog are all right in the soft ground ya cant beat a Camelback

next to a camelback is a walking beam & rubberblock suspension in the soft ground imop

I MYSELF , MY DAD OR MY GREAT UNCLE OR GRANDDAD HAVE NEVER OWNED A TRUCK W/ AIRRIDE SUSPENSION & NEVER WILL Even my tractor trucks were camelback on the :MackLogo: & either rubber block or walking beams on the GMC Brig, 9500, & Generals & Autocars (all pre volvo ) Just like my dump trucks NEVER Owned a truck w/ Chalmers but herd it was a preety good suspension

& as Trent mentioned w/ a airride cab on camelback it sure helps smoothing out some rough spots in the field

The truck im currently driving for a buddy of mine is a 86 DM W/ 300 Maxidyne 2 stick 6spd & 44k camelback on double frame w/ 16' bed & it will walk through hell & back in the field .

The 91 ' R Model tractor im buying in the spring has 44k camelback & is running everday pulling either Containers in the winter or a lowboy, log or dump trailer in the spring . & i know the owner & the driver both of this truck & the mantience history of this truck since new 1 driver since new too ;)

the truck in my avatar was my truck i owned w/ my granddad it had a 300 Ecodyne 2stick 6spd on double frame & 38k on 44k camelback springs (was the suspension set up when we bought it ) & it was a awsome truck i wish i didnt have to sell it but due to probate court ordered EVERYTHING SOLD i had no chose

I have seen a CONVERTED DUMPTRUCK THAT HAD AIRRIDE UNDER IT FLIP Due to driver forgot to dump bags & when it fliped he had 16' of bed in the air w/ 25tons of Riprap on the truck the driver was alright but had to have a change of Levi's after the fact :blink: he now owns a KW T800 W/ Chalmers suspension . ;)

just my 2 cents yall & yall have a goodone

bulldog or aka :mack1:

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Theres only 2 places an airbag belongs on a dumptruck and thats under the cab and under the seat. Camelback is by far the best running, toughest, and most easy to maintain suspension for a dumptruck. The biggest advantage is that it is centerpoint, as are some others, like walking beam and chalmers etc... meaning that the drive axles articulate on uneven terrain and until you run out of travel and a stop block contacts the frame you always have close to the same weight on all the drive tires. The stop blocks are there to control driveshaft angle to keep from binding u-joints and breaking yokes. Ive only ran out of travel one time since I had it and I really shouldnt have backed it off the road where i did, it was so steep that I only raised the bed one stage of the cylinder and it was completely dumped. We have to cross alot of shallow ditches and with my old airride truck the front axle would drop in the ditch and all the weight would go on the back axle and then the front axle would spin out so of course you had to lock the power divider to get across and we broke a many power dividers making one axle do all the work not to mention I dont know how many Z-Springs when you load one axle all at once with a bump or a dip. My camelback truck will idle right through twice as deep a ditch like a tank. I could go on for days about this. The only thing I ever liked about my air ride was the smoother empty ride because empty the bags have less air of course and are softer, my camelback is still 44,000 empty and if a good bump sneaks up on you, you can get daylight under the tires. If you plan on leaving the pavement, go camelback, you wont regret it. This is off subject but if youre getting a new truck you should also consider float tires for the front, theres as much difference between those and skinnys as there is between camelback and airride.

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I'm with everyone go with the camelback

Gumbie im sorry but i must desagree with you on the tires, in my opinion and experience float tires suck, i have seen way to many trucks with blow outs on the side of the road with 385's or 425 floats, including my self when i runned then, and when they go they can make some bad damage i saw a pete 379 lose a fender and an air cleaner do to a blow out at 65mph. i love 12r 24.5 never had a problem with them.

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We have often said " boy this is gonna tear some s@#t up if one of these blow out. Especially when were airing them up and they call for 130 cold, imagine the pressure hot, but knock on wood it hasn't happend yet! Those are also one thing it pays to spend an extra few hundered and get a quality name brand tire. Alot of people will go with a cheaper brand because the floats are already high to begin with. Aside from a blow out, I bet you liked the extra stance it gives you in soft ground, I know I do. I can even tell a difference taking off in soft ground because you can get off the clutch quicker since the front end isnt sunk down. We run dump trucks with steerable pushers and they arent the fancy ones that steer backwards too so we pick them up to back up and thats when the front end gets major heavy for a few minutes and thats when the floats really pay off. How wide is the face of a 12r anyway? Ive never seen one.

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yep when they blow they leave some damage on the truck, the 12r 24.5 is the same has 11r 24.5 just taller

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Im new to this and not real sure what im doing but i have a question about air ride vs camelback . is it true that air ride dumptrucks tend to get stuck more often than camelback dumptrucks . the dumptrucks were my fathers and he passed away two years ago from cancer . there are so many things i wished i had asked him . my mother and myself are trying to run the business now and im now the one responsible for buying a new truck. we have 2 haul trucks that are gettting up there in miles they have a long enough wheel base but are both air ride suspension we had thought about making them dumptrucks but have no experiance with that type susp. we always had camelbacks. any comments please let me know. thanks sorry its so long :)
you might look into hendrickson walking beam pad suspension. i worked for a company that hauls off road for a mineral extraction from solar evaporation. it is not uncommon for gross weight to exceed 130,000 pounds gross in a single belly dump trailer. they tried camelbacks but too many broken springs. hendricksen susp. is pretty well bulletproof for heavy haul and rough roads. they maintain traction extremely well.

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you might look into hendrickson walking beam pad suspension. i worked for a company that hauls off road for a mineral extraction from solar evaporation. it is not uncommon for gross weight to exceed 130,000 pounds gross in a single belly dump trailer. they tried camelbacks but too many broken springs. hendricksen susp. is pretty well bulletproof for heavy haul and rough roads. they maintain traction extremely well.

Around central Illinois all the ready mix operators use Hendrickson rubber pad suspension. I've not seen a spring setup for many years. As mentioned, Camelback springs tended to break as did the Hendrickson springs just as frequently. The puck suspension does not seem to fail except for wear in the beam bushings.

Rob

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Air ride on a dump truck is a complete disaster.

I had a CL quad axle on air ride a few years ago (the one in my avatar) and it was the biggest PITA I ever owned, didn't keep it around here for long.

Just as Glenn said, as soon as you go off the road, the suspension can't react to uneven terrain, and you get wheel spin, then when the spinning wheel connects with the ground again you get shock loading of the entire drivetrain. Very tough on differentials & axles.

We always had to lock the power divider as soon as the truck left the blacktop, this helped some with the wheelspin issue, but when you think about it, having the power divider locked whenever the truck is off road concentrates twice the torque on the axle which still has traction, again leading to extreme stress on the driveline.

When dumping, you'll have to dump the air out of the air suspension to stabilize the rear of the truck, and even then, an air ride dump truck is more prone to tipping over than one on springs.

You can set it up so that the air automatically dumps out of the suspension whenever the PTO is engaged, that way the driver can't forget to dump the air before raising the dump body.

I know there are guys out there that will say they love having air ride on a dump truck, and I can see how it might not be bad if the truck is always on a hard flat surface, such as hauling asphalt, but in the type of work my company was doing, it was useless.

We have an International tandem dump truck at the shop that used to be a road tractor. It has air ride and it's a frightening experience just to drive it down the highway loaded.

Sways all over the place, like a cork bobbing in the ocean.

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After having a few usaully is like that. Everthing starts going around.

mike B)

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I have Neway air ride under my '88 Superliner. It is an oilfield truck (tractor) and I haven't had problems with it going in the woods. It is very stable and rides good too. I think the 8 bag air ride and Hendrickson air ride gives the others a bad name. I like mine alot.

I don't know anything about dumptrucks, but, I'm entitled to my own opinion...

Bob

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Oh, it sucks in the snow...

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I always had good luck with my camelback's . I ran a 76 f700 for almost a million with only one broken spring I was using it hauling my car crusher from site to site, I hauled though plowed fields,up logging trails and pulled my dump trailer, flatbeds, and packer trailers with it without major malfunction, it only had 34,000 springs in it and I know that when I was hooked to the crusher that it was running close to 38,000 if not more. I had to get a d9 with a winch to pull me out of a big swampy spot about a mile up a logging trail but only because the flattener was settled into the mud up to the belly pan up against a huge tree. 80,000 plus slid sideways down the hill in the mud up against a huge tree that wiped out the profit had to get it cut down and then buy it. I really miss the good old days. I had reyco suspensions and airrides but my preference was camelbacks with auto mack powerdividers. the macks just kept going no matter what the on or off road conditions I had 3 mh,s 1 had airride and 2 had camelbacks I preferred the camelbacks over the airride any place I put them. I ran my 82 cruiseliner pulling reefer trailers all over the east coast from miami to new hampshire to ohio,new york city and jersey. I was grossing up to 90,000 plus to new york city with an e6 350 2 valve and 9 speed only broke one 34,000 lb spring and that was on the cross bronx. I never really felt that the airrides rode a whole lot better for the extra repairs replacing z springs, air bags and air valves.

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9 hours ago, Rob b said:

Anyone pave with a mack air ride truck?

Have to be careful which air ride you have for paving, but otherwise they work fine. 

Had a customer buy a dump truck from us and the salesman spec’d It with a Hendrickson HA Overslung Air Ride suspension. On those they had a cross-tube instead of a member (Like HAS suspension) and the Z-spring sticks out past the wheel. When the paver came up behind to push him along the portion of the Z-Spring that protrudes past the back tire hit the pusher. I ended up having to install a Hendrickson HAS suspension on just the rear axle. Looked ridiculous, but worked. 

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I pave with Air Liner and no issues. The local contractor I haul for has new Mack's and Star's with the PAX air ride and also no issues.

 

Air ride will get you better traction in sand and won't wash board the dirt haul roads up. But mechanical suspensions are still superior when you have a lot of articulation.

When I'm off road with my air ride, the suspension dump valve and the diff locks becomes your best friend. You get a knack for knowing when and how to deflate and inflate your suspension as you go to keep traction.

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Posted (edited)

If air ride tandems had two big crossover lines, one on each side front to rear, I think that would allow much faster articulation than their current design. But it's been a while since I've looked at airbags, I doubt they have big enough ports to move enough air fast enough.

Basically the crossover lines would let each side maintain the same psi in each bag but would allow the volume to pass back and forth as terrain demands. Just like a Camelback. 

Edited by JoeH

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