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20
Oct

Aluminium vs Steel Bunks – Which Ones Are Better?

Thinking about reducing the costs and increasing your profits with timber haulage? Around 33% of the cost of haulage is fuel. You could reduce these costs by reducing the total weight of the vehicle. This includes superstructures, such as logging bunks.

But to earn extra profit, you also need to increase your payload. For that, you need stronger and lighter bunks with greater capacity. When choosing the right logging bunks, there are a couple of questions and some facts that you need to take into consideration:

Should I choose aluminium or steel bunks and does the material of the bunks really matter?

Yes, it really does… let me explain.

Aluminium and steel are the most commonly used metals, as there are countless numbers of items manufactured from these two metals. Let’s start comparing the materials, properties and weight facts first.

Materials, properties and weight

The weight of bunks has recently become one of the most important factors in timber haulage. To ensure the biggest possible load area, you should make sure what material the bunks are made of.

The stronger and lighter the stake’s material, the heavier load you are able to carry. If we look at the weight of aluminium vs steel, then steel is usually known to be heavier and harder of the two. Mainly thanks to high concentration of carbon – the more carbon it contains, the heavier it will be.

However, the plus side of having a heavy material is that it is also much more durable. This means that steel is less likely to:

  • warp
  • bend
  • heat
  • or deform in any way

Steel is truly an irreplaceable material in that sense. Also, due to the high development of steel material, today it is possible to produce products from steel that are lighter, smaller in size, stronger and much more resistant to bending than aluminium. 

As steel material is 2.5 times denser than aluminium (making it heavier), it is less likely to crack than lightweight aluminium (e.g drinking cans).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The price of aluminum and steel materials worldwide are always fluctuating. This is based on global supply and demand, fuel costs, availability of iron and bauxite ore. However, steel is generally known to be cheaper than aluminum. This is great news for those who want to build products that are more sustainable, stronger and durable for a lower price.

Think about it: Cranes are made of steel material. You ask:

Why are they not made of aluminium?

If there is a need for the same durability crane, the aluminium crane would be heavier and this means 3 times bigger than a steel crane.

Same idea can be easily applied to logging bunks. But due to transportation requirements it is impossible to make aluminium bunks bigger in size so that they would reach the same durability and strength.

Ideal steel bunks would be found in Swedish Steel (SSAB) materials. They are known all over the world and are recognized worldwide for their high strength and durable steel. For example, they are used to make cranes, bridges, buildings and other structures that have to withstand heavy loads and high demands.

SSAB material is known for its lighter, yet stronger features with better lifting capacity, higher load-bearing, longer service life and lower fuel consumption and lower emissions. Transport and many infrastructure solutions made from this material can be found on land, in the air or at sea. Logging bunks made of this material will give you the most capacity and maximum load area.

This new ultra-durable steel with good design allows you to increase the weight of the load, while reducing the total weight of the vehicle. Less weight of cargo and vehicle will use fewer fuel and is therefore more environmentally friendly.

The bottom line

If you are unsure whether to buy aluminium or steel logging bunks, take a look at the features chart above. As steel material is much denser than lightweight aluminium, it is less likely to crack or bend. The strength and durability of the bunks are especially important for safe and more profitable transport. Without sacrificing the weight of the overall heavy timber haulage – steel bunks are definitely a winner in this competition. 

However, the plus side of aluminium is that it is a slightly lighter material that does not rust. Steel is known for rusting, but this can be easily prevented by painting. Also, the steel material is cheaper, which makes it more accessible. Thanks to its strong yet still light material, you can safely carry more timber per load, meaning more profit. 

In the long term, it seems like steel bunks help you save more money and increase your profits. After many improvements and long tests, we have created the ideal logging bunks for safe and more profitable transport. Forest Steel XXL Timber Bunks are made of ultra-durable Swedish Steel materials. In the final phase, they are coated with a permanent powder paint that prevents rusting. 

See more here: https://foreststeel.ee/en/timber-bunks/ 

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