First impressions count with Tuff
- From the December 2010 issue.
Seeing a Tuff trailer parked in the car park of the Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs five years ago was enough for vintage truck enthusiast, Tony Champion, to pick up the phone and order his first trailer from the manufacturer. And now Tony’s B-double deck widener is used to carry his prized possessions to vintage truck shows around the country.
Based in Rockhampton, Tony has been involved in the earthmoving business for many years – transporting equipment throughout Queensland and interstate. But it was Tony’s passion for vintage trucks that sparked his relationship with Tuff Trailers and led to the purchase of three custom built deck wideners.
“When I saw a Tuff trailer parked in the car park of the Alice Springs Show, I was impressed. I got the phone number from the mud flap and called the company’s managing director, Denis Di Pasquale to order a new deck widener,” says Tony.
“The innovation that was built into that trailer – the bi-fold ramps, widening decks, disc brakes and airbag suspension – really attracted me to it. It was neat and well built, a real class act. I’ve been around trailers all my life, but that trailer really stopped me in my tracks.”
Tony became seriously involved in vintage trucks around five years ago, and in between transporting equipment for his customers, Tony spends his time restoring vintage trucks and transporting them to truck shows.
At the recent Road Transport Hall of Fame 10th Anniversary Reunion that took place at the end of August, a yellow 1962 Mack B61, a red 1922 Mack AB which is in fact the oldest Mack truck in Australia, and a green 1963 Mack H67 which is one of only two of these trucks that made their way to Australia, made the trip from Rockhampton to Alice Springs atop the 25 metre B-double deck widener which is towed by a 1988 Mack Superliner Series 2 prime mover.
“We use the Mack Superliner to pull the B-double because the length of the truck allows us to maximise the length of the trailer. As the A trailer deck is larger, it allows us to carry a truck on it – and it all looks great when it is put together too,” says Tony.
Widening to 3.5 metres and complete with 4.6 metre double hydraulic ramps, the B-double combination is equipped with all of the latest features.
The use of a removable top deck was essential in order for Tony to effectively use the trailer as a low loader to transport equipment into New South Wales. “Due to restrictions currently in place in New South Wales, a 25 metre trailer isn’t regarded as a low loader if it has a deck on it, even if it classified as a low loader in other states – thus restricting operators to 19 metres unless the deck is removed,” explains Tony. “Just by removing the top deck, this new trailer can be operated throughout the state as a low loader at 25 metres, giving us far more flexibility.”
Prior to being built, Tony was able to view 3D CAD drawings of the trailers. “You can virtually see every nut and bolt of the trailer before it is even built – and when the trailer is completed, it looks exactly like the pictures the engineers show you before it is started,” says Tony.
“There are a lot of very happy Tuff trailer operators out there. In a nutshell, the word ‘tough’ best describes their trailers. They are built very cleverly and are very strong. I personally believe that Tuff Trailers is the best in the business in everything they make. They are always looking for another way to improve on their designs – that’s what has really given Tuff Trailers the edge and brought the company to where it is today.”