The process starts with seal extrusion.

The process starts with seal extrusion. 

Photo: Jason Blackman, Keith Manufacturing Co.

The Keith Walking Floor system is an unloading system. The hydraulically driven drive unit is installed in a trailer and attached to a series of floor slats that “walk” material out the rear of the trailer. Trailers unload horizontally without needing to raise the trailer and eliminating the need for a tipping platform.

Walking Floor systems unload nearly any bulk material, including waste, agricultural commodities, mulch, gravel, etc.

Since 1973, Keith Manufacturing Co. has produced the Walking Floor brand of moving floor unloading systems at its location in Madras, Ore. Systems are used in a wide  variety of industries throughout the world to handle bulk materials. Keith Manufacturing Co. encompasses five international locations and has a global network of trailer manufacturers and dealers to service its customers.

Vertical integration allows the company to maintain superior quality control measures and enables the company to manufacture a diverse product line. At the company’s Madras facility, employees design, machine, fabricate and assemble nearly 100% of the components used in Keith Walking Floor systems.

How the Walking Floor unloader is made is fascinating and provides insight into the quality and workmanship that goes into this system. Work Truck toured their facility to share just how these unique products are made.

Step 1: Seal Extrusion

The company has its own plastics department that features both extrusion and injection molding equipment to manufacturer both the seal between the system’s floor slats and the plastic bearings the floor slats glide over.

Step 2: Flooring Department

Extruded aluminum floor slats come in a variety of profiles, depending on the type of material the customer is unloading. 

Step 3: Machining

The machining facility at Keith creates the hydraulic valve bodies that control the Walking Floor system.

Step 4: Switching Valve Body

Following machine production, each valve is assembled with hydraulic seals and fittings before being installed into the drive unit.

Welding of the units is done in-house.

Welding of the units is done in-house. 

Photo: Jason Blackman, Keith Manufacturing Co.

Step 5: Cross Drive Welding

The structural strength of the drive unit is important for unloading up to 50 tons of material in a trailer.

Step 6: Hydraulic Testing

Each drive and specific hydraulic components are assembled and tested prior to shipping.

Step 7: Finished Drives

Drive units and floor slats are shipped from Madras to locations around the world for installation into trailers.

Final, completed drives wait for shipment.

Final, completed drives wait for shipment.

Photo: Jason Blackman, Keith Manufacturing Co.

Step 8: Floor Slats & Trailer Unloading

The finished product installed in a trailer.

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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