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What is the advantage of a pneumatic motor for manufacturers of articulated lorries? Why choose pneumatic power?

Rémy Davin
by Rémy Davin on Nov 13, 2017 11:53:31 AM

Some articulated lorry manufacturers use a system of placing tarpaulin on the floor of the lorry, both to protect the lorry from products that risk soiling or damaging the floor and to protect the merchandise from getting damaged by friction. The tarpaulin is rolled out and rolled back in around a tube located in the back bumpers of the lorry trailer. This solution is particularly effective when using skips with a moving base that allow for the goods to be moved in sequence during loading and unloading.

Articulated lorries come in all sizes, up to 12m long, and the unrolling and rewinding of the tarpaulin can become quite tedious. So, an automated version of the system was developed, with a view to improving working conditions for lorry drivers.

The mechanism can be operated with a simple push on the stop/start button. When looking to automate the system, the question of what type of motor to use arose. Hydraulic? Electric? Or pneumatic? What solution was eventually selected?

First, a hydraulic motor was tested. There was a problem, however, in that the liquids involved tended to heat up due to the successive stopping and starting during the loading and unloading sequence. Also, the volume of leakage from these liquids was too high for this option to be viable.

An electric motor is not suitable either for this type of use – the motor needs to be able to operate at full power which is damaging to this type of motor. Furthermore, lots of stopping and starting causes electric motors to overheat, increasing the risk of fire.

A pneumatic motor – the perfect solution!

Compressed air is an energy source already available in lorries as it’s used for the braking system.

No risk at full power – the advantage of pneumatic motors, in contrast to electric motors, is that they can be used at full power without risk of damage or overheating. Therefore, there is no need to put in place limit switches or overcurrent detection systems.

What’s more, pneumatic motors offer significant advantages when compared with other possible solutions in transport applications.

There is no risk to the driver – pneumatic motors are easy to use and pose no risk whatsoever to the driver when in use.

There is no risk of fire – no risk of sparks on the electric beam, no faulty contact connections, no risk of overheating from a blockage and therefore no risk of cutting out, no battery, and so on.

“Featherweight” motors – paradoxically in an industry that’s all about weight, it’s the light-weight and compact size of a pneumatic motor, plus the absence of a battery, that makes all the difference!

So why wait any longer? Whether it’s for floor tarpaulin rollers, skip covers for trailers or other uses, you too can opt for pneumatic power and benefit from all the advantages of a solution that’s powerful, strong, reliable and light!

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