Mega movers rely on Drake
- From the April 2012 issue.
Oversized cargo transportation is a job that requires reliable and robust transport equipment - often in large numbers. That’s why NQ Group Heavy Haulage and Cranes (NQHH) depends on australia’s heavy-duty specialist Drake Trailers to Provide the right gear in the right quantity at the right time.
Since 1997, Queensland-based NQHH has built a solid reputation for providing heavy transportation and lifting solutions to a vast client base around the state and parts of the Northern Territory. NQHH originally emerged from local North Queensland Pty Ltd and today comprises three key divisions – Heavy Haulage, Heavy Cranes and Heavy Rentals.
The company has four operating branches strategically located in Darwin, Mt Isa, Mackay and Brisbane. “As the business expanded its services across state borders, we took the geographical name out of it,” says Matt Yapp, Director of NQHH, whose company owns and operates one of the nation’s largest and most diverse heavy haulage fleets, currently employing in excess of 100 people.
Although the business remains based in Queensland, NQHH has a national focus with no restriction or preference for any destination within Australia, hence why it defers to fellow Queensland counterpart Drake Trailers to help extend its reach. “We have been dealing with Drake for almost 15 years, basically since our company began. NQ Group specialises in the medium, heavy and ultra heavy haulage industry, so from the beginning we needed to align ourselves with a company that shared our vision in providing over dimensional options for our clients,” says Matt.
Recently, the company purchased a further 18 rows of custom-built, fully modular steerable platform equipment, making NQHH one of the largest operators of fully modular and semi-modular steerable platform equipment in Australia. The company’s primary focus is on transporting machinery and earthmoving equipment within the mining and construction industries. The additional 18 rows form the largest order Drake has ever received, which also included a four-rows-of-eight swing wing trailer complete with hydraulic goose neck and dolly, and two by four rows-of-four drop deck full wideners, also with goose necks and dollies.
By adding the new equipment to their existing fleet, the NQ Group now has the capacity to tackle any heavy haulage project Australia wide. “We now have a total of 40 fully modular rows in the fleet” says Matt.
The 18-row platform, effectively broken down into three separate, six row-of-eight trailers, draws its strength from its level deck, high tensile steel frame and is based on steerable modules, providing a 180-tonne load capacity and the flexibility to cart oversized equipment. “This trailer is mainly used to transport heavy mine haul trucks to various sites around Queensland and the Northern Territory,” says Matt. “Having two axles across a row, eight tyres and load sharing suspension gives much more flexibility in transit and additional payload at the same time.”
When assembling a trailer for an ultra-heavy haul project, the company uses a draw bar connection instead of classic goose neck. “It also helps that the trailer is equipped with contra-rotating steering,” he explains. “The axles and tyres are designed specifically to all change at a certain angle to allow a tight and smooth turning radius and to lessen tyre wear. At some point of the trailer, depending on how many axles you have, you have two fixed wheels, normally further towards the back of the combination. The wheels and axles in front of them turn in, and the wheels behind that duo turn out. To avoid drag and create a straight sweep, each set of wheels turns at a different angle and with a full modular trailer like the new Drake solution, you can even turn all the tyres at once.”
According to Matt, Drake also designed a drop deck section that fits into NQ Group’s modular design, which allows freight to sit at a lower height. “Very high loads can interfere with power lines and in the past we would have to call in maintenance crews to physically lift the lines up, only adding additional cost to the whole job,” says Matt. “What Drake did was build a drop deck section where the body can slot in, thereby reducing our overall height which saves our clientele money in the long run.”
The drop deck section and linking option between trailers gives Matt the luxury of being more flexible with his load. “If you can imagine a really large dump truck sitting on a 16 or 18-row configuration trailer, the body then goes on another trailer, same with its wheels, so you can disassemble the load, hence why it is important to have all the auxiliary options at the client’s disposal.”
The new equipment is a welcome addition to NQHH’s expanding fleet. And while it will continue to concentrate its resources on hauling freight safely and efficiently for its clients, it also understands that Drake plays a pivotal role in achieving that goal, as Matt points out. “There’s no comparison when choosing Drake as the manufacturer for our trailers because of their strength, flexibility, durability and serviceability,” he adds.