Did you know that it’s possible to get an excavator off of a truck without the use of ramps or any other equipment? This shows you just how it’s done. You’ll notice that the process is fairly simple, but there’s also the potential for things to go wrong. It looks like the operator of this Kubota excavator has done this before because he knows exactly what to do and is smooth in his movements. Even so, though, one wrong move could lead to a big fall and a painful jolt from the impact with the ground.
What Ramp Would You Need?
The typical way to accomplish this task would be to use ramps. This piece of machinery has an operating weight of just over 12,000 pounds and the dump truck bed is quite high up, so this unloading job would require some heavy-duty ramps that are also long enough. The best option would probably be a steel yard ramp with a 16,000-pound capacity, which is a common capacity for these ramps. A ramp like this costs thousands of dollars, so you can see why people devise unconventional ways to unload heavy machinery from trucks.
A yard ramp is a good investment, though, if you use it often. Instead of manually putting ramps into place, you can just wheel one of these things right up to the truck bed and raise the height up to where it needs to be. A standard 16,000-pound ramp would have these specs or close to it:
- 30 feet long by 70 inches wide
- 18-inch solid rubber tires
- Hydraulic pump to raise and lower the ramp
- Minimum height of 40 inches and maximum of 70 inches
- Lip length of 15 inches
- Made of heavy-duty steel
- Weight of around 4,000 pounds
The Importance of Hydraulics in Heavy Machines
Excavators really are amazing pieces of machinery. One of the main reasons they are so useful is because they utilize hydraulics to perform a variety of movements. A hydraulic motor is able to create torque and rotation through pressure, while hydraulic cylinders are made up of barrels, pistons, and rods and powered by pressurized hydraulic fluid. Of course, it’s not as simple as just a barrel, piston, and rod, as a hydraulic cylinder has several other parts to make it function. These parts include pivot pins, seals, butt plates, head glands, ports and fittings, cushions, and more. Without hydraulics, the guy wouldn’t be able to unload the excavator from the truck successfully.
The Kubota U55-4 Excavator
The excavator seen here is a Kubota U55-4, and it uses a hydraulic pump to move the boom and stick around. Add to that the engine, drive system, swing system, and blade, and you have one awesome machine. Here are some of this model’s key specs:
- Fuel-efficient direct-injection engine with 47.6 horsepower
- 18 feet long, 8 feet 4 inches high, and 6 feet 5 inches wide
- Travel speed of 1.8 to 3.1 mph
- Rubber/steel tracks
- 18-gallon fuel reservoir
- Operating weight of 12,335 pounds
- Maximum dumping height of just over 13 feet
- Maximum digging depth of just under 12 feet
In addition to those specs, the U55-4 is equipped with some nice features as well. It has the hydraulic angle blade, which you will see used, an auxiliary circuit to operate attachments, and a 3-pump load sensing hydraulic system. The newest model also has a wider cabin, more powerful air conditioner with 6 vents, and stronger bucket digging force, among other improvements.
The Dump Truck Unloading Process
So you want to unload an excavator from a dump truck without a ramp like this guy? All you have to do is follow his easy 4-step process. Be warned, however, that there is definitely a risk of not only damaging the excavator if you do this, but also injuring yourself.
- From the tilted dump truck bed, move the arm forward and down until the bucket makes contact with the ground.
- Drive forward slowly until the angled blade touches the ground, making sure you don’t fall off the truck!
- Rotate the arm up and around and lower it onto the truck bed.
- Now you can use it to prop the excavator up and slowly lower it to the ground.
Watch How It’s Done
Now that you know how it’s done, take a look below to see if you’re impressed. It definitely takes some careful precision to avoid a disastrous fall. You’ll also notice the guy in the background looked concerned, at least until the front end touched the ground.
Sources:(1 | 2)