Trailer Magazine

Getting a leg-up

  • From the January 2019 issue.
Getting a leg-up

Looking to improve productivity in its quarry products and sand haulage operation, EMM Group recently took delivery of a new five-axle dog trailer built by BTE.

Based at Echuca in northern Victoria, EMM Group has built a successful business producing and delivering high quality crushed rock as well as offering crushing and screening services to its clients. The company also supplies and delivers a wide range of landscaping commodities for household and commercial use.

With long-term reserves at its own sand mine, the company sources quality raw materials to produce large and diverse blends of soils and sands for use in household and commercial applications as well as sands for the ready-mix concrete sector.

Some time back, realising the importance of reducing construction landfill, the company started specialising in crushing and screening recycled asphalt and concrete, supplying recycled product for reuse in road construction and many other construction applications.

EMM Group has been owned by Andrew and Jane Halloran for the last 16 years, over which time the business has grown considerably.

Today the company operates a mobile crushing plant, excavators and loaders and on-road equipment consisting of agitators and a sizeable fleet of truck and dog tippers. The latest acquisition is the BTE-built and Performance-Based Standards (PBS)-approved five-axle dog trailer towed by a Kenworth T909.

According to EMM Group Fleet Manager, Adam Myers, the company saw an opportunity to enhance its operations with the higher carrying capacity of the five-axle dog, which under PBS is approved to run on B-double routes.

“We decided to go this way because we have the work to utilise the larger payload capacity and we’re keen to see how the five-axle dog performs against the existing quad-axle dogs in the fleet,” Adam says.

“While it’s obviously still early days, we are already seeing the benefits of the payload increase without any real drawbacks compared with the four-axle units.”
Adam goes on to describe a feature fitted to the trailer bin that makes tipping of the longer bodied dog trailers much safer.

“The inside of the tipper body is fitted with a polymer liner called QuickSilver which provides a much slicker surface than steel or aluminium so the product slides out quicker and doesn’t get hung up at the top,” Adam explains.

“This is really important with these longer tippers as the front is a lot higher when they are fully tipped compared to the shorter bodies. This makes them more unstable when fully tipped due to the higher centre of gravity.

“Most five- and six-axle dogs have these liners fitted now. It means they usually only have to tip to the third stage of the hydraulic cylinder before all the product runs out.”

Importantly, there’s a sensor that detects sideways movement or sway of the body when tipping on uneven ground. This will actually stop the hydraulic lift if sideways movement exceeds pre-set parameters in order to prevent a roll-over.
“Because BTE is one of the industry leading tipper builders, they are all over these sorts of features and we are happy to go with what they recommend,” Adam adds.

As for other special features of the trailer, there is an electric over pneumatic lift axle at the front of the tri-axle group which automatically lowers and raises when the trailer is loaded and unloaded respectively. This has the potential to enhance tyre life without compromising vehicle stability.

“We also have a special feature whereby when the air-operated tailgate is opened the rear tri-axle airbags deflate which lowers the centre of gravity further,” Adam explains.

There’s also a body-up alarm in the cab which alerts the driver visually and audibly when either of the bodies are lifted more than an inch from the chassis. 
Keeping tare weight as low as possible to maximise payload was a key priority and specifying SAF-Holland Intradisc disc brakes with EBS saved around 60kg per axle, adding to a substantial 300kg overall saving.

“SAF’s warranty is fantastic so we felt confident to go with the Intradisc option, particularly given the weight savings,” Adam says. “We also saved weight on the truck by using a split tank for fuel and hydraulic oil.”

The end result was a combination tare weight of 19.7 tonnes and under PBS a gross combination mass of 63 tonnes, giving an impressive 43.3 tonne payload capacity.
According to Adam, the additional length of the combination over the quad-axle units isn’t causing any issues with site access. Indeed, he says the extra-long drawbar makes it easier to ‘jack-knife’ the combination when tipping off.

“We’re really pleased with the end result and it looks amazing thanks to the excellent work of Michel Signs at Shepparton,” Adam says.

“We’re looking forward to maximising its potential on local and country work throughout Victoria and southern NSW.”

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