At a recent visit to a local rock quarry where C. A. T. S. has a customer, JP Contracting, with two new Bell B50D trucks operating, we rode along with one of the operators and got his opinion of the Bell B50D. In this specific application the granite quarry is on the side of a mountain, and much of the loaded carry is downhill on steep grades.
From Doug Ball, operator, “The Bell truck’s ride is much better than the other off roads we operate. I trained another driver this week on the operation of the Bell truck and I had to ride in the passenger seat while I trained him. In other trucks my head would be banging against the glass in the back of the cab and you would get beat around pretty good but in the Bell it is a really smooth ride even in the passenger seat (which is not air ride).”
Doug also complimented Bell on the Sealed Switch Module or control panel for operation of all the controls on the truck. “The keypad (SSM) on the Bell truck is so easy to operate. It is just one touch operation. You don’t have to fool with shifting levers or pulling dump levers. It makes the day much shorter”.
Doug is referencing Bells “I Tip” or “Intelligent Tipping” feature which allows shifting to Neutral, applying the parking brake and dumping all in the touch of a button. “The truck will also not roll back when we have to stop on these steep slopes”.
This is another safety feature on the Bell truck, “anti rollback”, which engages the park brake automatically when the truck comes to a stop and keeps it applied until there is enough torque to move the truck forward or backwards. Doug also brought up the fact that with the Bell retardation in both the engine and transmission he doesn’t even have to use his service brakes coming down the steep slopes while loaded with 50 tons of rock. Other trucks they have used have had trouble with the brakes heating up while coming downhill.
Lastly Doug loved the power mirrors. “Occasionally the excavator operator will bump the mirror or a tree limb will knock the mirror out of place and you have to climb out of the cab and up on to the truck to manually adjust the mirror. If you don’t have someone in the cab to help you, it can take some time to get it right. With the Bell you don’t have to leave the cab!”