Philippi-Hagenbuch Custom Engineers Asymmetrical Hard Rock Body for Underground Hauling Environments

PEORIA, Ill. (Oct. 31, 2023) Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc., a global leader in off-highway haul truck customization, expands its custom engineering portfolio of HiVol® Hard Rock Bodies to include asymmetrical bodies that are optimized for underground environments. Philippi-Hagenbuch manufactured and delivered the inaugural four bodies for articulated John Deere 260E haul trucks working in an underground limestone mine in Kansas City, Missouri. The design maximizes each truck’s hauling capacity while allowing for safer, more efficient loading to account for environmental constraints, such as clearance and visibility.

“We recognize that every mine is different, so it’s always been a focus to address our clients’ needs with custom-engineered and manufactured solutions,” said Josh Swank, Philippi-Hagenbuch vice president of sales and marketing. “In a dark underground space, these custom-engineered bodies make a significant difference in terms of increasing the safety and efficiency of the loading process.”

Each Hard Rock Body for the underground limestone mine has a total volumetric capacity of 23.9 cubic yards, an increase over the 19.6 OEM body capacity. The custom design features a hoisted, low-side body in which the passenger side is taller than the driver’s to factor in loading conditions such as the loader itself, mine height, loading direction and cycle time. This asymmetry gives clearance for the loader on the driver’s side and allows the passenger side to act as a backboard to catch material as it is loaded, avoiding unnecessary spillage.

To ensure an equal distribution of weight and improve stability, Philippi-Hagenbuch engineered the bodies with a floor that is elongated on the driver’s side and shortened on the passenger side. Widening the body lowers the center of gravity, making the truck more stable and increasing operator safety. Engineers addressed the unique size of the offset body by customizing a cylinder mount with shortened OEM cylinders to meet clearance specifications and ensure the body of the truck did not hit the ceiling in the underground mine when dumping.

“Although the cylinder mount required engineering, we did not have to design a brand-new cylinder for it,” Swank continued. “Our philosophy at Philippi-Hagenbuch is to use as many OEM body-mounting components as possible so that it’s easier for clients to replace wear parts, minimizing maintenance and downtime.”

Philippi-Hagenbuch builds each body exclusively with high-strength, abrasion-resistant Hardox® 450 steel for robust durability to handle extreme mining environments. Additionally, the bodies come equipped with a custom-engineered Autogate® tailgate to maximize capacity and prevent spillage from the back of the truck. These tailgates are uniquely designed to match the asymmetrical shape of the custom body and the natural angle of repose of the material being hauled.

This design, while engineered for a specific mining operation, offers potential benefits for a wide range of operations with underground haul trucks. To learn more about Philippi-Hagenbuch and the company’s full range of custom-engineered haul truck bodies, visit

About Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc.

Engineering innovative haul-truck solutions for over 52 years, Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc. is located in Peoria, Illinois and has been building equipment for off-highway haul trucks since 1969. During this time PHIL has become the global leader in off-highway truck customization. In addition to their innovative tailgates, push blocks, rear eject bodies and trailers, Philippi-Hagenbuch designs and builds custom high-volume end-dump bodies, lowboy and bottom dump trailers, sideboards, load ejectors and water tanks for nearly every make and model of articulated and rigid frame off-highway truck available. For more information visit


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