EASY RIDER: The low tilt angle of the Jones Body makes loading quick and easy, the company reports.
CONCORD, Ont. – Jones Body Company has launched a new tilt-and-load body to the Canadian market which the company says offers increased payload and easier loading.
The Crouching Truck, originally designed in New Zealand about six years ago, is now being launched in Canada. It can be ordered on any Class 6 or 7 truck with an air suspension and offers several advantages over traditional steel tilt-and-load bodies, explains Alan Masters, managing director Canada with Jones Body Company.
“Typical rollback bodies are very, very heavy but if you want durability in the tilt-and-load business, you’ve got to use steel. As soon as you start using steel, your payload goes out the window,” he explained.
The Jones Body is designed using a patented stress-relieving manufacturing process which improves the body’s strength and reduces its weight.
The unique design process is complemented by honeycomb-style support girders underneath the body which further reduce weight while enhancing strength. The design process is similar to that of a bridge, explains Masters, and the end result is a body that’s about half the weight of a traditional steel body.
A 24-ft Jones body weighs only 4,200 lbs allowing for payloads of 18,200 lbs for Class 7 operations and 11,800 lbs for Class 6 trucks.
“I’ve seen single-axle Class 8 trucks with similar bodies that only have a payload of 15,000 lbs,” points out Masters. “All of a sudden, you’ve done away with extra vehicles in your fleet and in most cases, you no longer have to rent floats (to transport heavy equipment).”
The body is ideal for car haulers and heavy-equipment rental houses, Masters points out. He estimates about 95% of equipment can be hauled on a Jones body. Beyond the weight savings, Masters says there are other advantages as well.
For instance, the body offers simpler loading and unloading thanks to a tilt angle that’s much less severe than that of traditional bodies. The Jones Body maintains a low footprint on the ground thanks to a unique transition piece located on the truck chassis ahead of the axle.
“This allows the frame to pivot and in the pivoting action, allows the body to drop down at a very low angle,” explains Masters. Meanwhile, the system also drains the air out of the air suspension lowering the body an additional 6-7 inches (the body has an initial profile of just 41 inches to begin with).
The low profile and tilt angle allow vehicles to be driven onto the deck and then tied down without having to climb aboard the deck, Masters points out, adding he can load and tie down his own car in three minutes and 15 seconds.
Unlike other tilt-and-loads, the Jones Body does not have a cluster of levers to control the body. Instead, everything can be done via remote control even from within the vehicle being loaded.
Masters says the quick and easy loading allows companies with frequent deliveries to recover the cost of the body in less than a year due to improved efficiency.
Jones Body Company has launched a Canadian dealer network consisting of: Creditstone Motors, Concord, Ont.; Hino Truck Center, Toronto, Ont.; Centre du Camion UTR, Montreal, Que.; Laval Hino, Montreal, Que.; and Hino Central, Edmonton, Alta. While the body is being rolled out on Hino chassis, Masters said it can be fitted to any Class 6 or 7 with an air suspension.
As far as durability goes, he pointed out the very first ‘Crouching Trucks’ to be built in New Zealand about six years ago are now being fitted to their second chassis.
“That’s unheard of,” he says. “Usually the body gets beat up long before the chassis.”