MaxiTRANS has delivered four innovative PBS A-double combinations to growing Victorian transport company, Porthaul. A collaborative effort by two MaxiTRANS brands, Freighter and Hamelex White, the combinations maximise payload while their modular design means they can be used for a variety of purposes.
The ongoing cooperative efforts between MaxiTRANS and growing transport company Porthaul has produced some innovative Performance Based Standards-approved combinations in the last few years, thanks in large part to the adventurous approach of Porthaul General Manager, James Williamson.
Son of company founder, Brian Williamson, James says one of the most exciting projects he has been working on with MaxiTRANS is a modular PBS A-double concept – a project that has now come to fruition.
The combinations consist of Hamelex White aluminium tubs, similar to those found on a grain tipper, mounted on lightweight skels from Freighter, with Freighter dollies, creating a modular combination produced entirely by MaxiTRANS. “The fact that all parts of the trailer came from MaxiTRANS made the process a lot cleaner than going to two or three different suppliers to provide the separate dolly, skel and bin components. It meant I only needed one company who could coordinate the whole job for me. They put a team of engineers at my disposal to work together on the project, from a dedicated PBS expert to skel and tipper engineers,” says James. “Using their Solidworks 3D CAD design software, MaxiTRANS was able to simulate the trailers in action, ensuring they would work as intended before manufacturing began.”
The innovative combination is designed to allow the trailers to “tip through” their contents when loaded onto the tipping ramp in Portland, Victoria. The sliding dolly allows the front trailer to be backed up directly onto the rear trailer. The doors of the front and rear trailer then swing open together when the tipping ramp is raised to allow product to tip through from the front trailer, all the way out the rear door of the rear trailer.
The modular design also allows the trailers to be used in different combinations based on the type of application they will be put to, providing Porthaul with increased diversity without purchasing extra equipment. “We work a lot with woodchips, transporting around two and a half million tonnes a year. But there are only two tipping ramps we work with in Victoria and if they break down we need to be able to put our equipment to different uses,” says James.
“These A-doubles can transport pretty much anything we want, from hauling woodchips, grain or fertiliser in the tubs, to removing the tubs to transport logs. We’ve diversified but haven’t had to add more equipment. In fact, we’ve taken about 20 per cent of our combinations off the road, because this configuration gets it done.”
Adding to that saving, James says he has achieved a total of 81 tonne GCM – an additional 7 tonne gain over his previous quad quad Super B-doubles and 14 tonne more than a standard B-double. “With the help of MaxiTRANS and its PBS expertise, we have now maximised the total payload available to us on Victorian roads,” he says.
At James’ request, MaxiTRANS has packed the trailers full of the latest technology, including full auto greasing, Electronic Braking System (EBS), Central Tyre Inflation (CTI) and weight gauges. “We purposely sourced the best products to go into these trailers, which have now got pretty much everything you can imagine in them,” James says. “Most of the technology also helps improve our driver safety, like the weight gauges, which send readings directly to the driver via a display in the cab, so they don’t have to get out into the forest when we’re working in the plantations.”
The inventive design of Porthaul’s modular A-double combination earned the company a nomination for an ‘Investment in Technology’ award as part of the VTA Australian Freight Industry Awards – a just reward for having the confidence to take on a new concept. James is satisfied that the financial rewards delivered by the trailers will be equally as good.