Have you ever wondered how those massive trucks manage to turn around in tight spaces without causing any damage? The answer lies in the humble truck turntable.
This circular, rotating platform has been around for over a century and is still a vital tool for many businesses today. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how truck turntables work, their benefits, and where they are commonly used.
So buckle up and get ready to learn about the unsung hero of the transportation industry!
How Does A Truck Turntable Work
A truck turntable is essentially a motorized platform that allows a truck to be parked and then turned in any direction. The platform is circular and can be built either above-ground or in-ground, where it sits flush with the existing ground.
The turntable is designed to cater to almost any truck, from small furniture removal trucks to giant 360-tonne mining dump trucks. It has a rotating mechanism that enables the truck’s wheels to turn in unison, allowing it to change direction without having to reverse or make multiple turns.
The turntable is mounted under the platform of the truck between the two front wheels. The wheels are attached to the turntable by an axle, and the whole turning motion enables the two wheels to turn in unison to facilitate the change of direction of travel of the truck.
The turning motion can be activated manually by a person pulling the turntable around by a pull/draw handle or it can be initiated by the force exerted by a pull truck (fork truck or tug). The back wheels of the truck are usually fixed in position, and their direction of travel will just follow the direction of the front wheels.
What Is A Truck Turntable?
A truck turntable is a rotating platform designed to address situations where space is tight, and narrow turning circles are required. It is a circular, motorized platform on which a truck is parked and then turned in any direction. The turntable can be built either above-ground or in-ground, where it sits flush with the existing ground.
The turntable is mounted under the platform of the truck between the two front wheels. The wheels are attached to the turntable by an axle, and the whole turning motion enables the two wheels to turn in unison to facilitate the change of direction of travel of the truck. This means that the truck can change direction without having to reverse or make multiple turns.
Truck turntables can be designed to cater for almost any truck, from small furniture removal trucks to giant 360-tonne mining dump trucks. They are proving increasingly popular as urban density increases and space comes more and more at a premium. Many councils across Australia also now mandate that trucks and other vehicles enter traffic facing forwards, meaning turntables have become an essential requirement for many businesses.
The turning motion of a truck turntable can be activated manually by a person pulling the turntable around by a pull/draw handle or it can be initiated by the force exerted by a pull truck (fork truck or tug). The back wheels of the truck are usually fixed in position, and their direction of travel will just follow the direction of the front wheels.
The Mechanics Of A Truck Turntable
A truck turntable consists of several key components that work together to facilitate the turning motion. The main component is the circular platform, which is typically made of steel or concrete and is supported by a series of bearings that allow it to rotate smoothly.
The platform is connected to a central pivot point, which is usually located in the center of the platform. This pivot point is connected to a drive mechanism, which can be either manual or motorized.
In motorized turntables, the drive mechanism consists of an electric motor that powers a gearbox, which in turn drives the central pivot point. The gearbox allows for precise control over the speed and direction of the turntable, making it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces.
Manual turntables, on the other hand, typically use a chain or cable system to connect the central pivot point to a pulling handle or lever. This allows a person to manually rotate the turntable by pulling on the handle or lever.
Regardless of the type of drive mechanism used, all truck turntables rely on a locking mechanism to secure the truck in place while it is being turned. This locking mechanism typically consists of a set of jaws or clamps that grip onto the kingpin of the trailer, holding it securely in place.
Benefits Of Using A Truck Turntable
Using a truck turntable can deliver significant benefits to businesses that rely on trucks for transportation or delivery of goods. Here are some of the benefits of using a truck turntable:
1. Space-saving: One of the biggest advantages of using a truck turntable is that it saves space. With a turntable, it’s not necessary to leave the same amount of room to allow for trucks turning. This means the extra space can be used more productively.
2. Improved safety: Turntables minimize the risk of safety incidents and damage to property because you no longer have large trucks attempting to reverse and turn in tight quarters. This reduces the chances of accidents or collisions, making it a safer option for both drivers and pedestrians.
3. Reduced costs: Turntables, when installed at warehouses or other commercial spaces, can allow bigger trucks to deliver, reducing costs associated with multiple trips by smaller vehicles.
4. Improved driver satisfaction: Turntables can ease driver frustration and improve job satisfaction, particularly in the case of warehouses or loading docks that are difficult to access. Drivers no longer have to struggle with reversing and turning in tight spaces.
5. Faster delivery times: Turntables speed up product delivery or removal, as small truck turntables can even be designed to rotate two trucks at once. This means that businesses can increase their efficiency and productivity by delivering or removing goods faster.
Common Applications Of Truck Turntables
Truck turntables have a wide range of applications across various industries. Here are some of the most common applications:
1. Manufacturing: In manufacturing companies, the logistics process needs to be smooth, and every step is strictly planned. Heavy-duty turntables can be installed to ensure that trucks are strategically parked, loaded, and moved quickly. With a bigger turntable, several vehicles can be placed on the same rotating platform, enabling easy loading of multiple trucks simultaneously.
2. Distribution and Transportation: Parking heavy-duty vehicles for loading and then driving out can be a hectic process, especially if the driveways are narrow and the vehicles are huge. Installing heavy-duty turntables ensures that the supply chain is running without delays, saving time and money. The turntables also ensure the safety of people, goods, and vehicles by preventing accidents that might be caused by turning and reversing.
3. Construction: In construction sites, truck turntables can be used to facilitate the movement of construction materials and equipment. The turntables can be installed at strategic points on the site to enable easy loading and unloading of trucks.
4. Waste Management: In waste management facilities, truck turntables can be used to facilitate the movement of garbage trucks. The turntables can be installed at strategic points in the facility to enable easy loading and unloading of garbage trucks.
5. Emergency Services: In emergency services such as fire stations or hospitals, truck turntables can be used to facilitate the movement of emergency vehicles. The turntables can be installed at strategic points in the facility to enable easy loading and unloading of emergency vehicles.
Choosing The Right Truck Turntable For Your Business
When it comes to choosing the right truck turntable for your business, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, you need to determine the size and weight capacity that you require. Smaller turntable trucks are suitable for lighter loads, while larger ones can handle heavier weights.
It’s also important to consider the maneuverability of the turntable truck. Look for a model with a front axel that can pivot, making it easy to maneuver the truck around walkways and warehouses. This will not only make your job easier but also increase safety in the workplace.
Another factor to consider is whether you need an above-ground or in-ground turntable. Above-ground models are easier to install and can be moved if necessary, while in-ground models are more permanent and require excavation work.
Additionally, consider the material of the turntable surface. Some models have a flat steel surface, while others have a non-slip surface that provides better traction for heavy loads.
Lastly, make sure to choose a reputable brand with a good warranty and after-sales service. Investing in a quality turntable truck will save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and increasing productivity.
In summary, when choosing a truck turntable for your business, consider size and weight capacity, maneuverability, installation options, surface material, and brand reputation. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the right turntable truck that meets your business needs.