When Ohio adopted stricter truck weight limits last year, many ready mix companies searched for ways to maintain payloads while hauling legally. Osborne Inc., of Mentor, countered by installing a self-steering, swing-down trailing axle that increased its vehicles' payloads by 45%, or 10 yards daily per truck, over what the Formula B would have allowed. In addition, each truck can haul 14% more payload, or four more yards daily than what it was carrying under Ohio's old bridge standard.
Osborne decided to retrofit its existing trucks rather than purchase new equipment, spending under $11,000 rather than $100,000 per truck. Each retrofitted vehicle can haul 8 yards a load or 32 yards per day. That is an increase of 2 « yards per vehicle, or 10 yards per day, over what the trucks would have been able to haul under the previous weight limits. The current limit is also a yard more than what the vehicles were hauling previously.
The bigger payloads are possible because installing the axle lengthened the trucks' outer bridge--the distance between the steer and rear axles--by about 14 « feet. The addition also turned the three-axle mixers into four-axle mixers.