Dodge’s classic tagline, “If you ain’t first, you’re last” couldn’t be truer when it comes to upgrading legacy belt driven gearboxes to the Dodge Torque Arm II (TAII) generation of drives. As the Dodge Torque Arm II comes up on its 20th year in the Australian market, there is much that can be said about the premium gearbox solution that has saved operations millions in downtime.
In this article, CBC’s Brad Hudson talks shop about the Dodge TAII, and weighs in on Motion Australia’s in-house Dodge TAII retrofitting capabilities.
Brad’s been in the industrial solutions business for over 30 years, but that hasn’t slowed him down. He has been a Technical Sales Rep, Branch Manager and is now Key Account Executive for some of the larger accounts and contracts in the Victoria region.
According to Brad, one of the most appealing features of the Dodge Torque Arm II is the ease of fitting and replacement, as opposed to other standard gearboxes.
“Firstly, you have to think of the scale of these gearboxes,” he says. “These are the size of your dining room table and they price in the size figures for large operations.”
“What happens with most gearboxes of this size is over time, they will adhere themselves to the shaft and the only way to get it off is either to cut the shaft or destroy the box. But the Dodge TA II comes with the signature Dodge Twin Taper Lock Bush System, so rather than it taking maintenance workers a few days to replace the box, it takes just a few hours instead.”
The TAII offers many other features and benefits designed to provide reliability and maximum site uptime, including a centrifugal lift off backstop. For withstanding higher load at greater speeds, the larger sprags ‘lift off’ to reduce wear.
In addition to this, it is a modular system, part of the total package that includes Motor mount kits and Belt guards. This allows for a ‘one assembly’ with the motor mounted above the reducer with the belt guard bolting on to safely house the belt drive.
Brad dubs the Dodge TAII as the luxury car of the gearbox market, adding however, that the amount the TAII saves in downtime on an operation, ultimately means the box pays for itself, and then some.
“A first-class product requires first class servicing,” says Brad. “Which is why CBC offers retrofitting services to customers specifically for the TAII.”
“We bring the gearboxes off-site to our engineering facility in Chullora to be retrofitted with fresh parts that we source from Dodge. Then we expedite it’s return to the customer’s site.”
CBC and Dodge work closely to provide retrofitting support to customers.
Halden Engela, Local Division Manager at Dodge has been with TAII products for more than eight years.
“Our factory has the ability to customise and modify the drives and we have excellent accompanying technical resources to assist end-users in this process.”
“For example, we developed the ‘Dodge Passport’ online tool, this resource enables a customer to run a conveyor selection program that allows them to calculate their required power and provides options for suitable gearbox and accessory selections.
“Alternatively, someone from CBC or Dodge can visit a site to assess how to improve the capacity of a conveyor drive,” he furthers.
Recently, Brad helped a customer who was looking to upgrade their gearbox on a tyre shredding machine to make it more efficient for maintenance cycles.
“The customer was recycling tyres by sending them up a conveyor and into the jaws to be chopped up and recycled,” explains Brad. “When their drive would fail, it was taking a few days to get the box, so I went in and had a look before recommending the TAII solution.”
‘They were willing to spend the extra money to get the high-quality box for their operation,” he furthers. “We had it up and running in a day and the customer walked away with peace of mind regarding their investment.”