Trailer Magazine

Porthaul uses MaxiTrans Rail Liner to boost efficiency and safety

  • From the May 2019 issue.
Porthaul uses MaxiTrans Rail Liner to boost efficiency and safety

Thinking outside of the box, Porthaul sought a solution that would deliver greater efficiencies and increased levels of safety. MaxiTRANS answered the call with its new Rail Liner concept, which combines an in-built roof load restraint system and the ability to be unloaded at ground level.

Designed to reduce the risk of shoulder injuries and eliminate the need to carry binder straps, the roof load restraint system by MaxiTRANS is key to the design of these new 40 ft Rail Liners, with the first two delivered to Victorian-based transport business, Porthaul, in early March.

They are used with Porthaul’s PBS-approved A-double skels and have been designed based on this footprint, so that they can be used on the existing permit. These Rail Liners were purchased to support Porthaul’s new container packing facility in Portland, in Victoria’s south-west.

As Heath Menhennet, South West Region Sales Manager at MaxiTRANS explains, the location of the straps is what sets this load restraint system apart. “The roof load restraint system features a retractable cord that goes up into the Rail Liner’s roof. When the straps aren’t tied down, they retract into the roof and can then be pulled down over the load when needed. It eliminates the need to throw the strap over to the other side. The curtain can also be moved forwards or backwards via a track.”

Porthaul General Manager, James Williamson, agrees.

“The load restraint system promotes safety, as there isn’t any need to use hand binders," he says. "Efficiency is increased because it also eliminates the time it would take to set all of that up. Our operators don’t need to carry binder straps around, or pack and unpack them at every load. It’s a set and forget scenario. Once we open the curtains, we can strap them down straight away."

A Rail Liner effectively allows transport operators to convert a skeletal trailer into a curtain sider, enabling greater versatility. Though the concept of a Rail Liner isn’t new, MaxiTRANS has given it a modern take.

“Porthaul is really innovative and can recognise potential. It’s great to work with someone like James that isn’t scared to think outside the square," Heath says. "Here we’ve used an old concept with new technology,” says Heath."

Porthaul’s decision to add MaxiTRANS’ load-restraint-rated Rail Liners into its fleet came about to assist with efficiencies during short haul trips.

“We were doing a lot of short haul pickups, and a lot of that time is taken up loading and unloading," James says. "By having the rail liners, we can remove the loaded rail liner, and place an empty one straight back onto the truck, eliminating the need for the driver to hang around while the unloading process takes place."

Heath adds that the Rail Liners enable the trailers to be used all day as a skel, then once the skel work is done, the Rail Liner boxes convert the skels into a curtain sider trailer, complete with front, top and rear walls.

“These Rail Liners with load restraint cater to what Porthaul was looking for," he says. "They are taken on and off the trailer using a reach stacker, and are placed on the ground for unloading, adding to operator safety."

Porthaul has developed a long-standing relationship with MaxiTRANS, which has produced numerous innovations for the transport company over the last 10-15 years.

“Heath at MaxiTRANS has been excellent in understanding our requirements and delivering a product we are happy with," James says. "The business has a large reach for customer support and is always just a phone call away, offering immediate support."

Though many older forms of the Rail Liner were designed to be lifted only when empty, MaxiTRANS has reinforced its product with added strength, allowing for them to be lifted when fully loaded, at up to 30 tonnes.

The Rail Liners are designed to enable greater efficiency when dealing with large volumes of freight. According to James, the ability to unload them on the ground comes with its own set of safety benefits, which has been a real plus for the business.

“The Rail Liner solution was created to gain efficiencies through the loading and unloading process," James says. "It was also designed to increase our safety within the general freight space. With this product by MaxiTRANS, we have significantly reduced our unloading times and also added safety benefits by unloading the product from the ground."

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