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experienced mechanical engineer Coffman Engineers

David T. Ruff, P.E.

CEO and President, Mechanical Engineer
Spokane, Washington

David T. Ruff

With a career beginning in the design, development and testing of automated equipment for nuclear waste processing; it is no wonder that David was eager to take on a unique engineering challenge that involved a snow hauler on the South Pole Station. 

The challenge involved designing a self dumping trailer that could haul 90 cubic yards (60,000 pounds) of snow to transport drifts away from the facilities. Coffman had recently invested in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and this was the perfect project to showcase our abilities. In 10 weeks a belly dump design was developed that operated at 50 degrees below zero. The shipped weldments had to fit in C130 transport containers and bolt together in the field with a fully loaded track pressure of 10 psi. The low-boy trailer chassis allowed for loading by a standard front end loader and the rear chassis was shaped like a yoke to allow snow pile clearance for dumping during travel. Raytheon Polar Services is still utilizing this trailer several years later with multiple paybacks in reduced fuel and maintenance costs. The snow hauler is one chapter in a long history of unique one-off designs and challenging problem solving.

Professional Organizations:

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

president of Coffman Engineers