GapVax MC Series Combination Trucks Feature Automated Controls

GapVax MC Series Combination Trucks Feature Automated Controls
GapVax MC Series combination trucks feature automated controls

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The new operating systems on the GapVax MC Series of combination vacuum trucks feature automated, computer-driven electronic controls that minimize manual operation, which in turn reduce downtime and improve productivity.

“Pretty much every operation on the truck is controlled through a computer, as opposed to hard-wired with switches,” explains Mike Blair, an electrical-design technician at GapVax. “There’s very little manual operation because the computer takes care of just about everything.

“Manual operation … can lead to equipment breakdowns and decrease safety,” he adds, noting that the system’s built-in diagnostics safeguard machine operations and reduce downtime and maintenance costs. “Computers reduce the chances of operator errors and make it a lot simpler for different people to run the truck, which also cuts down on training time.”

Electrical wiring is also reduced by 60 percent, improving reliability. “By eliminating a lot of wiring and electrical components, there are fewer things that can go wrong,” Blair says. Moreover, system alarms and safety interlocks monitor and control all engagement and disengagement procedures, which increases efficiency.

Two full-color displays – a 4-inch unit in the cab and a 7-inch screen inside a weather-tight control box located at the front hose reel – allow operators to easily monitor functions and allow one-touch operation. The glare-resistant screens feature adjustable brightness control for better visibility.

The new system also offers fully proportional wireless and manual operation of both boom and hose-reel functions through separate joysticks. Using proportional control, operators increase operation speeds gradually, instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, Blair says.

So far, the new electronic system is only available on the MC line of combination trucks, which can be customized for specific applications. Typically, the trucks feature a maximum 2,000-gallon water tank, up to 10-cubic-yard debris tanks and water pressure of up to 3,000 psi at 82 gpm, Blair says.

“Technology has been heading this way for a good while now,” he says, referring to computerized controls. “The way the safety protocols keep getting pushed on these trucks, it’s pretty much the way to go.

“Everyone is starting to see the benefits of the system in terms of safety, productivity and reliability,” he adds. “At trade shows, old timers don’t want anything to do with them, until they see how easy they are to work ... then they get on board. We try to design everything around the operator.”



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