Trailer Magazine

Design ingenuity

  • From the March 2019 issue.
Design ingenuity

When Butler Freight Services decided to add 12 new retractable skels to its fleet, safety was a top priority. The wharf transport business turned to CIMC Vehicle Australia to engineer a customised solution that incorporates an innovative braking system.

Privately owned by local families, Butler Freight Services specialises in wharf transport and warehousing solutions, servicing the Port of Melbourne. The business runs a sizeable fleet that includes approximately 280 trailers including everything from sideloaders, flat top bulk steel trailers, tautliners and other retractable skels, to super B-doubles.

Its latest delivery of 12 retractable skels represents Butler Freight Services’ first major deal with CIMC. “This order was made to assist in our growth of new business for container deliveries to our Melbourne-based customers. We are very impressed with the build quality and engineering that goes into CIMC’s retractable trailer products,” says Butler Freight Services Managing Director, Adam Arkinstall. “We are looking forward to this purchase being the first of many with CIMC.”

Though Butler Freight Services has used equipment from various trailer manufacturers for its container movements over the years, it wasn’t until the business acquired some CIMC branded retractable skel trailers through Rentco, that the company realised the benefits of adding more CIMC skels to its fleet.

Adam contacted CIMC Vehicle Australia’s general manager, Sven Liao, to discuss the order and he was invited to see the newly opened CIMC workshop in Cranbourne West firsthand. After meeting with Sven and inspecting the retractable trailers, Adam knew they were a perfect fit for his fleet.

Butler Freight Services was impressed by the capabilities and the build quality of the trailers, and driver feedback was very positive. The overall design was another key selling point. For example, CIMC incorporates four large rollers into its retractable skel trailers (two at the front and two in the rear), as opposed to some trailers of this kind that feature smaller rollers at the front.

Working closely with its new client, CIMC implemented the perfect solution to suit the task at hand. Butler Freight Services Group Equipment and Maintenance Manager, Phillip Farrar, came up with the idea of having each of the new retractable skels fitted with a pressure valve brake system. “And it is this main custom feature that really sets these retractable skels apart,” says Luke Byrne from CIMC Vehicle Australia, who manages the Butler Freight Services account. “By incorporating a pressure valve brake system, the brakes can’t be released until the locking pins are 100 per cent locked in. This feature was achieved by Phillip working together with our production supervisor Dave Watson, Sven Liao, and the engineering team at Air Brake Corporation of Australia to design and implement this key safety feature.”

Adam says he is very proud of Phillip’s focus on safety and ingenuity in this brake system design.

Along with delivering a quality product with impressive safety features, CIMC also offers high levels of aftersales support. With Luke servicing as Butler Freight Services’ dedicated account manager, he will continue to manage the ongoing relationship with the business. He also adds that the new CIMC workshop in Cranbourne West caters to servicing needs of its customers. “Based in the Eastern suburbs, the new facility offers a wide range of spare parts to ensure Butler’s trailers are on the road all across Melbourne,” says Luke. “Hopefully this is the first step of a long lasting working relationship where quality – and more importantly, safety – is continually evolving.”

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