BTE’s new 19m PBS quad-dog combo
- From the January 2017 issue.
Many trailers under the Performance-Based Standards scheme are pushing the limits to get longer combinations on the road. But for EMM Group, a shorter design from Bulk Transport Equipment was a better fit.
The substantial productivity gains available through innovative Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved trailer designs have caught the attention of many a fleet operator since its introduction in 2007. As margins in the transport industry become slimmer, the reported 20-30 per cent payload increases from some combinations have helped the bottom line of transport companies notably.
To fit more payload in the trailers, combinations are getting longer as, through the high productivity scheme, the previous length restrictions set out by the Heavy Vehicle National Law can be tinkered with. Now, longer combinations are approved on a case-by-case basis if they are deemed safe to run on designated Australian roads.
However, road and site access present a problem that sometimes regulations can’t overcome. Due to road or site design and construction, the length of a vehicle combination can be restricted by its manoeuvrability. Such was the case for Echuca Mini Mix, part of the EMM Group located on the northern border of Victoria.
As the transport division of EMM Group, Echuca Mini Mix concerns itself with the supply and delivery of bulk materials for the quarrying and mining industry, working with smaller-sized companies across northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. To access some of its clients’ sites, a truck and dog combination length of 19m was required, but reducing the all-important payload wasn’t an option.
According to EMM Group Managing Director, Andrew Halloran, the only trailer manufacturer that would attempt to build such a combination was Victoria’s Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE). “BTE did some clever engineering with the truck body and the drawbar, as well as other adjustments, to keep the overall length down without sacrificing payload,” says Andrew. “It was able to meet both our requirements and deliver a 19m quad-dog combination capable of a 57.5 tonne gross.”
Although working within the PBS guidelines can be complicated before considering the further difficulty of EMM Group’s custom requirement, BTE has been building trailers in the high productivity scheme for five years and has a solid grasp on how to get the most out of it.
“BTE has established itself as a leader in PBS, turning out combination after combination with minimal hassle for the operator,” says Andrew.
“We’ve been working with Director, Alan Griffiths, and his team at the Dandenong facility for years, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend BTE to any company looking to add PBS-approved equipment to their fleet.”
EMM Group currently boasts a fleet of seven of truck and dog combinations, which are predominantly built by BTE. Its first PBS-approved truck and dog set was delivered in 2011, and Andrew hasn’t turned back from the high productivity scheme since.
“PBS has a lot to offer transport companies in terms of efficiency and productivity gains,” he says. “But it is absolutely critical to have a partner like BTE who can understand our needs as well as how to make it happen. The latest 19m truck and dog is proof of both its engineering and listening abilities.”
The 19m PBS-approved truck and quad-dog first put wheels to soil in the EMM Group operation in late November, and has been praised by its driver for its manoeuvrability. “The shorter overall length also means that the PBS quad-dog doesn’t sacrifice on its turning circle, which remains tight,” Andrew says. “BTE delivered exactly what we needed for the task at hand. It is a professional company that always looks after the smaller operators like us.”
Seizing the productivity gains provided by the increased payload, combined with the shorter length offering maximum manoeuvrability and access allows Andrew to continue developing EMM Group, which dates back to 1985 in its first iteration, Echuca Mini Mix and Garden Supplies. “Echuca Mini Mix has grown a lot in its 30 years in business,” Andrew says. “We are now a diverse company offering services to domestic households, building trades, quarry environments, garden supplies, commercial soil supply and bulk transport services.”
Andrew and Jane Halloran have been driving the business’ growth since taking the helm in 2003, and plan to expand the company further in 2017. “With a fleet of high productivity transport equipment from BTE, EMM Group has the tools required to service our clients, which is the ultimate goal for any successful business.”