Trailer Magazine


A regional reaction

  • From the March 2018 issue.
A regional reaction

Independent fuel distributor Liberty Oil received its first general mass rigid tanker and four-compartment quad-axle dog combination from Marshall Lethlean.

The bulk fuel transport sector is a competitive space, prompting Australia’s operators and tanker manufacturers to innovate in an effort to rise above the competition. As an independent fuel distributor, Liberty Oil takes charge with 40-plus years of industry experience, leading a fleet of over 70 vehicles across the nation. According to Allan Belfrage, Operations Manager, Liberty Oil is focused on expanding its fleet to best serve the needs of farms and rural businesses.

“A common challenge for ground fuel distributors is managing a fleet that can accommodate for the access requirements of farms in rural locations, particularly throughout Western Australia,” Allan says. “Carting fuel while manoeuvring around farm gates, fences and heavy machinery can be difficult, and that accessibility complicates matters further when vehicle operators are working with large tankers,” he says – adding that many farm operators prefer to streamline transactions to monthly invoicing. “Another critical consideration for Liberty Oil was to take on board feedback from customers throughout Western Australia to not only improve our business practices but to invest in transport equipment that would enable high productivity and smarter business practices without hindering the customer or wasting the fleet’s time and resources.”

In response to the demand for efficiency and on-site versatility, Liberty Oil received its first general mass rigid tanker and four-compartment quad-axle dog combination from Marshall Lethlean.

Allan explains that the rigid tanker and quad-axle dog combination opens up new opportunities for Liberty Oil to improve its regional service. “The fleet has to adapt to the needs of the customer, especially when those working arrangements are long-term partnerships. Instead of relying on the same cumbersome tankers to get the job done, we now have options when dealing with agricultural and industrial businesses throughout Western Australia.”

“The rigid tanker has a capacity of 18,000 litres and the quad dog has a capacity of 30,000 litres, which is ideal for carting ground fuels such as diesel and unleaded,” Allan says. “The build was also spec’d to eliminate the risk of equipment contamination and product waste, and is fitted with an extra hose for the dog, twin hose reels, an automated ‘pull lever and wind’ mechanism as well as an Alfons Haar pumping system, which is less complex when compared to hydraulic versions, also saving on tare weight.”

Following the latest trends in automated innovation, Allan specified an Alfons Haar pumping system, which is designed to improve product flow rate and has a digital interface to allow for precise ground fuel distribution. “This innovative fuel metering system has multiple delivery options and is a welcome addition to the fleet. The Alfons Haar system was easy to upskill on too, where vehicle operators can distribute precise amounts of fuel at the press of a button. The Liberty Oil vehicle operators are keen to see more of these pumps fitted to other combinations in the fleet.”

According to Alfons Haar, all the metering systems in the PreciPURE family have the same interface, says Haar Australia Director, Ivan Lawrie. “This means that regardless of which version is fitted, be it PreciCONTROL on a rigid or PreciPURE on a semi, drivers can work seamlessly across any vehicle.”

Allan worked closely with the technical team at Marshall Lethlean, where the rigid tanker and quad-axle dog build was completed in Dandenong, Victoria, and he was able to oversee the entire development process. “A fleet’s capability to distribute ground fuels efficiently in rural locations throughout Western Australia can either make or break a supply chain agreement, which is why Liberty Oil specified this tanker combination. The versatility of the rigid tanker enables the fleet to respond to a various customer requirements without compromising efficiency.”

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