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Hartfiel Automation Service Truck Crane Control Replacement

Project—Summit Truck Bodies

Application—Service Truck Crane Wireless Control Replacement

Integrator—Hartfiel Automation

Location—Wathena, Kansas

Hartfiel Automation Success Story PDFDownload

Products Used:

Mini-PGT Transmitters
PGT Transmitters
MHR Radio Controllers
CAN-2 Receivers


Summit Truck Bodies, of Wathena, Kansas, custom designs trucks used for the service and maintenance of heavy equipment such as bulldozers and excavators. Each of Summit’s trucks requires the strength of a crane along with the flexibility of wireless controls to assist with repairs ranging from hydraulic cylinder leaks to concrete pillar installations. Original crane controls on Summit’s trucks experienced reliability issues and short battery life, resulting in unstable operations and potentially unsafe working conditions. 

Magnetek first supplied Summit with ergonomically styled PGT transmitters, which are comfortably contoured with a durable pistol grip, to replace the trucks’ poorly functioning wireless systems. Simultaneously, Magnetek also began developing a smaller, “mini” product to more effectively meet Summit’s control requirements. These Mini-PGT transmitters were easily integrated into the truck control systems due to their backwards compatibility with the full-sized PGT transmitters. 

The Mini-PGT transmitter was developed specifically with this type of application in mind, including many of the same features found on Magnetek’s larger pistol-grip transmitters, but in a weight and style similar to most handheld transmitters. Two Mini-PGT transmitter types were designed for Summit’s truck applications: a traditional control package and a more advanced control package.

Paired with Magnetek’s MHR receiver, the traditionally designed Mini-PGT wireless system was able to interface with the trucks’ hydraulic systems, while the advanced design, packaged with the CAN-2 receivers, interfaced with the trucks’ computer systems. The traditionally packaged transmitter includes toggle switches to turn functions on and off, LED lights, and a trigger that operates the functions proportionally, similar to a gas pedal in a car. 

The more advanced Mini-PGT design interfaces directly with the onboard truck hydraulics and communicates radio data through its control module and sensors. It includes an LCD display that communicates diagnostics and signal strength and provides access to menu settings to make system adjustments. Also included are special field guided mini-joysticks that allow operators to move the cranes in smoother, more precise movements. Compared to the original controls, Magnetek’s precise hydraulic controls enable movements by inches rather than the more inexact margins. The joysticks run cranes along x- and y-axes with steadier movements than were possible with previous controls.

Utilizing the wireless Mini-PGT reduces a dependence on cables and introduces improved flexibility to the work area. Operators can freely move around the trucks, improving sightlines, and are no longer limited to a particular distance, which removes them from potentially hazardous environments. Designed to minimize power consumption, the Mini-PGT transmitters provide one of the longest lasting batteries in the industry today, far exceeding the capacity of the truck cranes’ previous controls. 

Magnetek’s radio products are flexible enough to allow customers to choose the exact system that fits their needs  ̶  from the simplest of operations to the most complex. Summit was so pleased with the Mini-PGT wireless truck crane controls that 50 systems of the traditional design and 300 advanced design systems are currently on order.

CHALLENGE
  • Incorporate compact transmitters into service crane truck control systems
  • Extend battery life of wireless systems to improve operation
  • Custom engineer miniature joysticks to meet control needs

SOLUTION
  • Implemented Mini-PGT transmitters to enable finer, more precise movements
  • Provided both a traditional and advanced design for flexible control options
  • Incorporated miniature joysticks onto transmitters for smoother control 

ADVANTAGES OF USING MAGNETEK’S RADIO CONTROLS GROUP
  • Experts in providing innovative, cost-effective, custom-engineered wireless communication products
  • Meet application specifications to reduce internal engineering, improve time to market, and enhance performance
  • Products manufactured and tested at our U.S. facility
  • Customized application software 
  • Aftermarket service and support 



Customer Link: Hartfiel Automation

Download Hartfiel Automation Success Story pdf


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