Friday, March 16, 2007

Cutting New Plates for the Truck Bolster

Last Saturday, Dale Mace used a compass-like guide to cut center body plates from a sheet of three-quarter-inch steel plate.

"Yea, it takes a while to get something this thick hot," said Dale. In welder's term, "a while" means a minute or two. Dale drills a pilot hole when he needs more persuasion.

I asked Dale to show me how the pieces would work. He took me over to the truck and placed the two plates on the bolster. Dale later drilled a large hole in the center of the plates. The center pin will pass through the hole when the crew assembles the truck.

The center body plates will absorb a lot of energy as the truck rocks. They act as a stabilizers, according to Dale. The bolster apparatus is loose enough to keep the deck fairly level as the car rolls along.

The original bearing to the Diamond & Caldor railbus flat-bed trailer. One ball bearing is visible in the center.

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