McNeilus brand concrete mixers are used by more concrete producers than any other on the market, and McNeilus is also a leading brand in refuse collection vehicles. McNeilus Companies Inc., Dodge Center, Minn., has been able to maintain its industry leadership by regularly introducing design improvement that give a boost to productivity and fuel efficiency.

Some of these recent innovations incorporate a Power-On-Demand (POD) load-sensing hydraulic system from the Hydraulics Group of Eaton Corp., Eden Prairie, Minn. into McNeilus’s ZR Series side-loading refuse collection trucks. The POD technology provides fuel economy by powering up hydraulic pumps and motors strictly to meet system demands. By supplying power only when it is actually needed, a system like Eaton’s Power-On-Demand can dramatically reduce the amount of diesel fuel used by a refuse truck. When paired with Eaton’s Hydraulic Launch Assist hybrid drive system, the fuel savings can reach 25 to 40% compared to traditionally-equipped trucks based on actual field experience.

The POD systems have demonstrated annual fuel savings of $4000 to $6000 per truck based on daily fuel savings of 4 to 7 gal per truck and $3 per gal diesel fuel. In addition to fuel savings and increased productivity, the POD systems may be simpler than the traditional hydraulic systems they replace. They can have fewer connections, longer lasting components, and offer increasingly sophisticated opportunities for integration through electronic sensors and controls.

The system used in the ZR Series includes a tandem Eaton 420 Series piston pump, Vickers CMX electrohydraulic load-sense valve, and Vickers MCD manifolds.

Other technologies contributing to the new design include Eaton’s T motors, Integrated Hydraulics’ dual over-center valves, Eaton Snap To Connect (STC) connectors, and Aeroquip GH493 hose assemblies.

The improvements called for sizing pumps to match the required cycle time of packer cylinders, preventing excessive heat generation, and reducing leakage from loose adapters and fittings. Results are impressive: a 20% improvement in productivity and up to 15% improvement in fuel savings compared to similar models

A look at the application

Picking up trash in areas with tight alleyways, narrow streets, or overhead interference has long been a challenge for operators of refuse trucks. But these conditions present opportunities for the ZR Series fulleject automated side loader to really show its stuff.

It features a zero-radius side arm that lifts 30-, 60-, or 96-gal containers vertically up the arm and dumps them into the truck without needing the arm to extend outward into alleys or tight urban right of ways.

Another useful ZR Series feature is its full-eject body that opens the tailgate and uses telescoping cylinders to eject the load without a body tip up or gravity dump. Furthermore, the body’s low center of gravity makes it more stable during landfill dumping operations.