Trailer Magazine

On the A-double

  • From the April 2019 issue.
On the A-double

Byford Equipment has future-proofed its latest Performance-Based Standards 26m A-double road tanker design so that fleet operators can adapt to developments in optimal route access to achieve greater efficiency and productivity gains.

Prominent milk haulage businesses that operate in Victoria and the other states and territories understand the importance of running an economical and productive fleet of modern road tankers. Following changes in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) and Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), access compliance is particularly front-of-mind for vehicle operators and fleet management.

Victoria-based operators, though, seem to be struggling with making the best tanker investments for their local roads in light of the limitations that the network poses when hauling large volumes of bulk liquid.

Tackling these access and compliance matters head-on, Chris Nisbet – National Sales and Compliance Manager at Byford Equipment – says his team is working on next-generation concepts to help future-proof their 26m A-double tanker build.

“We have some very exciting changes coming in access that will allow more benefits to those operators working with Byford Equipment,” he says. “Our existing customers will see these gains immediately.”

Chris explains that the new 26m A-double (tandem tandem tandem) can be upgraded to tri tandem tri as long as there is appropriate route access.

“Byford have a patent that covers the use of a combination in a tan-tan-tan with steer axles. This protects us from any other manufacturer copying our design,” he says.

“This future-proofed innovation allows us to offer a design that is both efficient and offers the biggest payload for weight benefit currently available in Victoria. We do understand the pressures that VicRoads are having put on them to upgrade bridges to allow for higher masses and when that happens, be it two years or 10, we can upgrade the 26m A-double with the extra axle required. For now, it takes good access and compliance factors to manage CoR obligations.”

Byford Equipment has also developed larger barrels, which Chris says are higher capacity and can legally only be loaded to legal weights. After the upgrade to the third axle, for instance, it would be able to carry an additional 9,000 litres.

While the standard 26m A-double combination can carry up to 74.5 tonnes, the upgraded option can handle up to 85 tonnes. Chris says that this is critical for the milk haulage industry because the milk supply is becoming increasingly scarce and operators are having to drive their payloads further distances. 

“This is going to increase unless the Australian consumer recognises the value of Australian manufactured milk and local farmers and start paying a higher price for the product.”

Byford Equipment has a dedicated Performance-Based Standards (PBS) team, which Chris says is essential because quite simply: without access the truck cannot run. “Many operators find the access requirement too confusing or hard to navigate and welcome this service from Byford Equipment,” he says – adding that as per PBS requirements, Byford Equipment fits Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) as a standard. “In the almost five years the Byford patented A-double has been operational we have had an extremely low accident rate. With the number of units on the road we know they have done well over 20 million kilometres and have been relatively incident free.”
In addition to the milk transport customers like Saputo, SRH, McColls, Stoitse, Booth, Reeve and Blu Logistics, the upgradable 26m A-Double can and also used by the Wine and water operators.
The efficiency gains with the upgraded 26m A-double (Victoria) is about an extra six tonnes, according to Chris.

For those operators outside of Victoria there are immediate gains to be had with larger tri-tan-tri units as the other states (South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland) are starting to allow 79 tonnes and 81 tonnes in some areas.

Chris says that fleets are turning to this new design because it is the lightest and most manoeuvrable combination on the road today. “It allows for tight turning on farms, better than an existing 19m B-double and then allows for higher mass transport where the operator can gain the biggest benefit over their competitor.”

Fast Fact
With its new branch office and manufacturing facility in Derrimut, Victoria, Byford Equipment offers its Melbourne-based customers localised after sales support. The tanker specialist also offers these services from its Moama head office. Byford Equipment has three service vans on the road and founder, Gary Byford, has always prided himself on fast response to any breakdown or issue.

Fast Fact
Byford Equipment’s latest upgradeable 26m A-double hit the road July last year. The tanker manufacturer uses Hella lights and Emax wiring, offering operators a lifetime warranty on all lights and wiring. These units mostly use BPW suspension.

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