With an eye on addressing the “pain points” associated with front-discharge mixer trucks, Terex Advance announced the Charger Series, a new generation of front-discharge trucks that boast lighter weights, lower charging heights and a more competitive price point than their current front-discharge machines. The truck was unveiled for the first time at World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas on Jan. 23.
The three-axle-trucks feature a 10-yard payload, and weigh under 27,000 lb, putting them in the same class as comparable rear-discharge mixer trucks. According to Terex Advance, the U.S. market favors rear-discharge mixer trucks over front-discharge machines by a three-to-one ratio, driven by the need to get lower-weight trucks into urban jobsites. A redesigned drum and front axle, as well as polypropylene front fenders, helped reduce the weight of the Charger Series compared to Terex Advance's earlier front-discharge mixer trucks.
“Front-discharge mixers tended to be heavier than their rear-discharge counterparts,” explains Mark Aubry, customer engagement director with Terex Advance. “This limits their payloads for city and urban applications.” The longer wheelbase of Terex’s existing front-discharge mixer trucks provided some benefits in off-road applications but limited maneuverability in urban sites, adds Aubry.
The Charger series of front-discharge mixer tries to address some of the complaints Terex Advance head heard from its customers. Their existing trucks were often too tall to fit standard ready-mix plants, with some customers even jacking up their entire plants to accommodate the trucks, says Aubry. The new Charger series truck takes the total height down from 13 ft, 6 in. to 12 ft, 4 in., enough to charge from standard mix plants.
“Customers have spoken, we’ve listened,” says Aubry. “We’ve kept everything they’ve liked about our front-discharge mixer trucks but has addressed the pain points.”
Perhaps the greatest pain point for front-discharge mixers has been the added upfront cost, according to Aubry. While Terex Advance has not released the final price for the new Charger series, Aubry says the price will be competitive against comparable rear-discharge mixers. This will allow producers to build a fleet of front-discharge mixer trucks for different applications, without having to maintain a mixed fleet of front- and rear-discharge trucks, he says.
Terex Advance is hoping the Charger will be the breakthrough that finally brings front-discharge mixers into urban jobsites. “With the Charger Series, the contractor doesn’t have to help a rear-discharge mixer back onto the jobsite,” says Aubry. “The contractor also doesn’t need an extra person to be the chuteman, since the operator can control concrete placement and flow from the cab.”
The full line of the Charger series is expected to roll out later in 2018. While the model on display at World of Concrete still has the same wheelbase as earlier Terex Advance front-discharge mixer trucks, more compact machines are due later this year.