Tracked carrier vehicle steers engineering team to off-road mixer

Multi Machine Inc., the northeast dealer for Prinoth Tracked Vehicles, specializes in crawler carrier sales, rentals, and customization. Serving the United States, Canada, and overseas markets, it consistently lands an array of challenging requests to custom fit a machine to work in the harshest environments, where tires just won’t cut it.

Engineers have optimized the McNeilus mixer payload specs and drop frame to equip the T16 Panther-mounted unit for rapid concrete mix transfer on a Western state site free of road pavement.
SITE, PLANT PHOTOS: Multi Machine Inc.
After a demonstration unit’s trial run, Multi Machine refined the T16 Panther-mounted mixer at its New Jersey headquarters.

Multi Machine purchased a skid mount concrete mixer with a Deutz Diesel pony motor in 2017, anticipating demand for fully off-road delivery of loads matching or approaching those of a conventional mixer truck. The next year a customer inquired about moving concrete quickly, but only with a mixer drum bearing on a rubber tracked carrier. Multi Machine fastened the skid mounted mixer to the frame of a Prinoth Panther T16 in its New Jersey shop, then shipped the fully assembled unit across the country for immediate deployment.

The rental pilot was a huge success, but the setup needed some fine tuning. With a firm concept in hand and demand for an off-road concrete mixer growing, Multi Machine saw a worthwhile investment in refining the T16-mounted unit and improving the design to maintain stability and gradeability. Engineers took their idea to Prinoth, which excels in making an extremely customizable and reliable crawler carrier, and McNeilus, the leader in concrete mixer trucks. The idea involved sticking with the T16 Panther as the base for a 9-yd. mixer drum. Nine yards of concrete would be too much weight for the T16, so engineers decided to stick with the drum size but limit it to 7-yd. volume. The extra room would allow for minimal spillage on extreme inclines and side slopes.

“Our team always rises to the challenge,” says McNeilus Senior Director of Business Development, Concrete Mixers Bryan Datema. “I knew this would be a unique project they would enjoy and allow us to see our mixer more ‘off’ off-road than ever before.”

“Prinoth’s application team was able to use the technology and know-how from product engineering to run tests, calculations and design a proper sub frame to position a mixer drum where we could be confident it would be safe, and still be able to handle the uneven and hilly terrain a Panther crawler carrier excels in,” adds Multi Machine Service Manager Dan Waisempacher. “We worked with Prinoth and McNeilus to figure out how many gallons of water and yards of concrete we could safely haul, taking into account the weight of the sub frame and water tank.”

With Prinoth and McNeilus assistance, Multi Machine’s team was able to make the proper modifications to the T16 base. It customized and installed a sub frame that Prinoth welds for other applications, but worked well as a starting point to build the drop frame for the mixer. The drop frame allows a lower center of gravity to maintain the specs the machine has with a dump box, and also equates to a legal height when transporting the finished machine on a step deck trailer.

The next issue was the pony motor. A second engine on an off-road machine is very inefficient, requiring more service, consuming more fuel, and increasing the chance of break downs. Having success in the past running implements off of Prinoth’s auxiliary drive port, it was decided that this was the route to go. Working along with the engineers from McNeilus and Prinoth, a pump that is usually driven by an on/off-road truck’s PTO was modified and fitted to the auxiliary port to power the mixer.

With the success and demand of jobsites requiring the movement of concrete in off-road, remote locations, Multi Machine has continued looking into options for customers, adding a Pro-All P85 Volumetric Mixer to a T16. For smaller jobs, a 3.5-yd. Ernest Industries Short stop mixer was added to the T16’s smaller relative, a Panther T8. All units maintain their simplicity by driving off of the Prinoth’s auxiliary drive port—assuring an efficient, simplified, reliable overall machine.

Users typically stage the machines at points accessible to conventional mixer or dump trucks, either belting mixes or materials into the McNeilus or Shortstop barrels or ProAll bins; or, where site conditions permit, positioning mixer trucks at elevated points for direct barrel-to-barrel loading by chute. — Multi Machine Inc., Asbury, N.J.,; McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, Dodge Center, Minn.,; Prinoth Ltd., Granby, Quebec,