03 January 2004
It's the longest trailer of its type in Australia. And it's set to revolutionise BlueScope Lysaght's operations in New South Wales. Valued at A$200,000, the massive rear steer trailer was designed by Gregory's Transport, in close collaboration with BlueScope Lysaght.
The trailer's intelligent design allows it to extend from 14.8 metres to a huge 40 metres. This means that the new trailer will now enable BlueScope Lysaght to deliver its vast range of steel building products in 40 metre lengths, the maximum length of material that can be handled safely on-site.
The trailer can be pulled by a conventional prime mover, and has the capacity to transport loads of up to 10 tonnes, a huge increase when compared to previous trailer capacity of 5 tonnes. According to Michael Meehan, BlueScope Lysaght's New South Wales Regional General Manager, the new trailer will result in a quantum improvement in BlueScope Lysaght's service offer.
"It's just fantastic," he says. "The advantages to our customers are numerous. Being able to order product in 40 metre lengths is a huge advantage in building and architectural terms, eliminating the need for inconvenient and unattractive joins and seams in walls and roofs."
Getting 40 metre lengths delivered to site offers a further advantage in terms of flexibility of supply, says Michael: "Unlike situations where product is rollformed on site, we can deliver to suit the customer. If they need some of the product this week, and some of the product in a few weeks' time, that's not a problem. When profiles are rolled on site, you've got to do it all in one hit, which can create storage problems if you don't need to use all of the material at once."
According to Michael, another advantage of site delivery, as opposed to rollforming on-site, is the quality. "All of our products are manufactured in controlled factory conditions, ensuring optimum quality," he says, "Unless you have very good processes, it's the only way you can guarantee a perfectly consistent product."
The increased capacity of the trailer will also cut down on delivery costs, as much larger loads can be delivered to customers. "This new trailer has twice the capacity of the old trailers, which basically amounts to half as many trips. This represents considerable transport cost savings to our customers," says Michael.
The trailer extends by means of its unique box section steel chassis. Damon Hair, Operations Manager New South Wales for Gregory's Transport, explains: "This trailer is the first of its kind. It's been designed and built in a manner similar to the jib of a mobile crane, using box sections. The chassis consists of 4 large box sections, which basically telescope out of each other, to extend the chassis to the full 40 metres. The sections can then all retract back into each other to make a shorter 14.8 metre trailer."
"Every box section opens individually with air operated rams. When you pull the button, the rams open the large pin holding the section closed. Once the section is open, you then apply the brakes to the trailer, put the prime mover into a low gear and proceed forward. As you move forward the trailer extends."
The box sections also provide greater strength to the chassis, especially when compared to the standard two-rail trailer chassis. When fully extended, the distance between the trailer's front and back wheels is a huge 30 meters. "We tested the chassis strength by putting 6 tonnes of bricks right in the centre of the trailer, to see how much deflection occurred. There was very little at all, which was fantastic," says Damon.
Weighing in at almost 17 tonnes, this is one heavy trailer. The trailer was made lighter by having large holes cut at intervals through the chassis. The holes lightened the trailer by about 1 tonne, without compromising its strength.
The trailer's rear steering feature also makes site access easier. "The remote control is just like a little TV remote, with right and left buttons," says Damon. "The trailer's escort will follow the trailer into the site, using the remote to steer the back wheels. With the rear steer, this 40 metre trailer is actually much easier to operate than a 23 metre trailer without rear steering. It gives you that much more flexibility."
So we can help you find the information you're looking for, please indicate your user type above>
In case you ever need to change your user type simply click the link at the top of the site.