Short ‘n’ Sweet
A couple of kilometres in a couple of trucks can’t tell you much. Or can it? Despite many decades of driving trucks of all shapes and sizes, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve driven a concrete agitator. And until now, I’d never driven a 10x4 version.
Still, I was keen to grab the offer of a stint behind the wheel, first in a standard 10-wheeler and immediately after, one of the latest ‘low profile’ designs.
With eight cubic metres of ‘mud’ rolling around behind, the standard unit certainly felt top heavy as it was sedately guided around suburban streets laced with traffic, traffic lights and roundabouts. Even so, it was nothing a bit of care couldn’t counter.
Ten minutes later, at a big construction site where two pumpers were working full throttle, I happily stepped out to let the truck’s usual driver do the unloading. That done, I climbed back in and drove the unladen truck back to the plant. No dramas, but still a distinct lean at every turn.
Then it was time to climb into the new truck with another eight cubic metres of concrete headed for the same site.
The difference was noticeable at the first corner. Where the previous truck tended to lean lazily around corners and roundabouts, the newer truck sat profoundly flatter and firmer. Most surprising though, the improved behaviour was equally evident with and without a load. There is, of course, still some lean but nothing as pronounced as the older design.
It’s a definite thumbs up. Like I said, I know very little about agitators, but I do know the difference between trucks that stand up straight and those that don’t.
Above: Even in short stints behind the wheel, the difference in stability between old and new (pictured) designs was entirely evident