First, i'd like to say hi to everyone since this is my first official post on the forum. I'm new here, but i've been operating for a few years.
With that out of the way I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with live bottom trailers, specifically the Henderson Blackbelt?
We recently bought a new tractor and are looking for an end dump or live bottom. I'm advocating for a good live bottom, but others are pressing for an end dump. I happened upon the Blackbelt a year or so ago and thought that this unit might be exactly what we need.
For a bit of background we do mainly municipal services, site prep, and blasting. We currently use tandem dumps for all of our hauling needs, but we have found that we are moving much more material over the road and need a higher capacity truck. Most of are materials are granular, but we do haul a substantial amount of blast rock. The rock, however, is mostly being moved around a site or from a trench to a stockpile so the end dump/live bottom wouldn't have to move much.
Can standard live bottoms handling hauling bank/pit run type material with oversize rock? How about wet materials? I have no experience with them directly.
I know the end dump will get the job done, but I hate building ramps and generally making dump sites for them. It takes time, takes patience and burns fuel. The only thing I hate more than building level pads for end dumps is watching one dump on rough ground. The live bottom just seems to make sense for me - if you can back the trailer up in an area you can unload it there.
Am I on the right track here? Any advice or suggestions? Any experience with the Blackbelt?