Trailer Magazine

Quality on its side

  • From the October 2018 issue.
Quality on its side

Since purchasing its first Swinglift side loader, VISA Global Logistics has continued to rely exclusively on the innovative New Zealand–based manufacturer for all of its side loader trailer needs.

Established in 1982, VISA Global Logistics has grown into one of the largest privately owned, international logistics companies in Australia. It now owns over 50 offices around the world; operates more than 500 pieces of transport equipment; and conducts freight operations across road, sea and air, with intermodal facilities in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Our comprehensive Australian network has us as the third largest container transport company in Australia. This complements our global freight forwarding network which now sees the business employing more than 900 staff globally,” explains Scott Walker, Australian National Transport Manager – Commercial for VISA Global Logistics.

The business prides itself on innovation and efficiency, with every piece of equipment in the VISA fleet engineered to be the lowest legal and safe vehicle tare weight to ensure maximum payloads are achieved.

And it was this commitment that led to the purchase of the company’s first Swinglift side loader trailer, which was added to the Australian fleet in 2012. “The attraction to Swinglift has always been the quality of the product, reliability and its lightweight configurations, allowing more mass on the road,” says Scott.

The Swinglift design consists of lift modules or cranes that are fitted to a trailer chassis or a sub-frame mounted onto a truck. These lift modules are controlled by a hydraulic system and powered by an auxiliary power unit, allowing the Swinglift to achieve its wide reach and stability. 

For added strength and durability, the lift modules are constructed from high tensile steel, and slide smoothly in or out for 20 ft, 40 ft or 45 ft positions. The lift modules do not require removing to replace slide pads thereby reducing maintenance downtime.

Swinglift also incorporates the brand’s stabilising legs. These unique Leg-Over stabiliser legs extend outwards from the lift modules and can easily handle even the heaviest of containers while offering greater stability and safety.

The Swinglift side loader has been designed to offer fast and efficient turnaround times and fast container transfer from trailer to trailer, even if it is already loaded with a container. Through its innovative design, it is also capable of transferring containers to a quad axle trailer without having to jack-knife the truck and trailer.

Since VISA ordered its first Swinglift side loader, the company hasn’t looked back. “Out of the 20 side loaders in the Australian fleet, 16 of them are Swinglifts. Since we purchased our first one six years ago, it is the only brand of side loader we purchase,” Scott adds.

More recently, VISA’s New Zealand fleet welcomed its first Swinglifts into the fleet, with the purchase of three 35 tonne inline Swinglift trailers, which are now operating across the country. A fourth trailer has also been ordered and is due to be delivered soon. The newest additions to the New Zealand fleet were put straight to work, loading and unloading 20 ft and 40 ft containers from various customer sites.

These side loaders all incorporate the Swinglift HMI Canbus system which provides increased safety and operator protection by preventing unsafe lifting operations. Full operation is possible from a safe working distance.

Scott says that the innovative design of the new Swinglifts has helped to reduce running costs, while the loading capacities give the fleet greater flexibility.

Along with being impressed by the quality of Swinglift’s side loading trailers, Scott says that the high levels of aftersales service provided by the brand have also been an asset. “The service and aftersales support from Swinglift has been second to none. With full support for our fleet throughout Australia and New Zealand, we are covered wherever we go. We have a great partnership with Swinglift and share common values. We are proud to align ourselves with such a like-minded company.”

Fast Fact
Swinglift side loaders are available with two chassis design options. The original or unique lattice chassis offers a very low tare weight while maintaining excellent strength; while the I-Beam chassis offers an alternative when comparing with other brands of side loaders.

Fast Fact
An innovative New Zealand engineer named Rob Wynyard developed the Swinglift brand of side loaders. “The background to Swinglift is typical of many stories where innovation results from an enquiring mind,” says Gordon Dyson, General Manager at Swinglift Australia. “Back in 1968, Rob Wynyard developed his ideas for a better container-handling system after watching cranes, large forklifts and other materials-handling equipment sometimes struggling to load or unload boxes efficiently – with some ending in disaster.”

Part of the Patchell Group since 2004, Swinglift has maintained its commitment to innovation, becoming one of the leading suppliers of truck or trailer-mounted container-handling equipment in the Asia-Pacific market.

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