Excavators and articulated dump trucks are an efficient earthmoving system when everything it set up properly.
"You want to size the truck to the excavator or the excavator to the truck," notes Matthew Hendry, John Deere. "Then size the bucket on the machine to give you three- to five-pass loading of your truck. You don't want over five passes if you can help it because then you are wasting time."
Truck positioning is critical when you are loading. Position the truck on the left side of the excavator so the truck and excavator are facing cab to cab.
"The truck stops with the headboard of the bed at about the rear of the cab. The operator is then not trying to look through the boom," Hendry points out. "When he is swinging into the truck, he has clear visibility to it. It is much more efficient and safer for both operators. And he should have about a 25° swing into the truck. That is the most efficient position you can get.
"If you get the right tip radius on the bucket, you can dramatically change how a machine performs," he adds. "If you are tuck loading, you want a shorter tip radius. It maximizes your breakout force and you have less lip going over the truck."