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Remote control simplifies roadside landscaping

Nathan Medcalf
Remote control simplifies roadside landscaping
NATHAN MEDCALF — This Mack truck is equipped with the Soil King Plus solution, which allows for remote capability of the truck. Now one person can spread the soil and drive the truck at the same time. J. Jenkins & Son Soil Mixtures Landscape Contractors Limited uses a CanAmerican Soil King Plus for roadside soil placement in Burlington, Ont.

J. Jenkins & Son Soil Mixtures Landscape Contractors Limited has purchased a CanAmerican Soil King Plus for the completion of landscape work that involves backfilling or spreading soil. Based out of Gormley, the company has several plants across southern Ontario and provides soil removal, earthworks and onsite screening services.

“CanAmerican has been building the Soil King Plus for about 20 years,” says Ryan Sinke, production co-ordinator with the company. “This model has proven to be reliable and effective in the vocational truck industry. When laying material along a curbside, an operator must ensure they are accurate with their material placement, as well as efficient. The Soil King provides both. With a 19-foot conveyor, the Soil King can place material right behind it or, if needed, can throw material more than 100 feet away from the rear of the truck.”

The truck comes equipped with a patented metering beam that is designed to raise and lower inside the bed by one metre (40 inches). This innovation gives operators hassle-free control of the release of material, which transfers smoothly and consistently from the bed to the belt, states the company. The design also eliminates the safety hazard of having a person shovel the material.

“All Soil King models are equipped with wireless remote controls,” says Sinke. “This means the operator can stand a safe distance back from their machine and can stand nearer to the area where they are unloading, making the whole unloading process safer, quicker and more accurate.”

Remote capability gives J. Jenkins & Son the opportunity to decrease the amount of labour to complete some projects. Instead of having a truck driver and a spotter, now one person can perform both jobs.

Previously, the spotter would ensure the correct amount of soil is applied and communicate with the truck driver about when and how far to move forward, then the spotter would fix with a shovel any unequal distributions of soil.

The problem with this scenario is that the spotter can’t move the truck when standing at the rear of the truck and the truck driver can’t see if soil levels are accurate from inside the cab.

Now one person can drive the truck while keeping the visual advantage of being behind the truck.

“The Jenkins’ application demonstrates that the Soil King is a time-efficient and cost-efficient alternative to manual material placement. With only one individual, material can be placed quicker and neater than doing it with rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows and multiple people,” says Sinke.

The Soil King can be used not just for soil placement, but also sand, stone and mulch.

The Soil King Plus is an aftermarket solution that can be added to any appropriately sized truck without expensive modifications or redesigns, Sinke adds.

“A popular upgrade that all Soil King models from CanAmerican offer is remote ground drive,” he says.

“This feature gives the operator the ability to drive and steer the unit with their remote control while operating the truck at the same time. This allows the operator to operate their machine with even more versatility and efficiency.”

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