Trailer Magazine

Solid as a rock

  • From the August 2018 issue.
Solid as a rock

Combining exceptional strength and versatility with an increased payload and long list of safety benefits, owner-operator Campbell Hayes says his B-double hopper set from Thinwall Trailers continues to gain attention wherever it goes.

Combining exceptional strength and versatility with an increased payload and long list of safety benefits, owner-operator Campbell Hayes says his B-double hopper set from Thinwall Trailers continues to gain attention wherever it goes.

Campbell made the switch from a tipper set to his first belly dumper combination just over a year ago, with the trailers purchased in mid 2017. After traversing more than 120,000 kilometres, his trailers have continued to soldier on without a single hitch.

Based in Wagga Wagga, in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Campbell carts product throughout New South Wales and into Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Previously, Campbell ran a business carting livestock and bulk products, but due his location in the Riverina, he decided to switch over to grain. “Local demand led me to purchase a tipper. My work was predominantly farmer based before the drought, carting direct from farms, but because it’s been so dry I’ve moved into other things too, like fertiliser – and it’s predicted that drought conditions may be even worse next year. I’ve been doing grain work, in among farming, for about 15 years now,” he says.

Campbell had been interested in purchasing a belly dumper for some time, but was concerned as to whether or not this option would be strong enough to stand up to the rough conditions he often travels through. After switching his tipper combination for a Thinwall B-double hopper set, Campbell was able to achieve a payload increase of five tonnes.

“It’s amazing how light the Thinwall trailers are compared to how solid they are. Structurally, they are great trailers. I’ve been pleasantly surprised and I really can’t fault them. Thinwall has a sound, solid product that certainly gets a lot of attention everywhere I go, because they are so different,” Campbell adds.

Thinwall Trailers is the exclusive agent for Titan Trailers from Canada, which manufactures aluminium bulk haulage trailers for North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. Key to their design is the patented Thinwall product, a double-wall extruded aluminium panel that is lightweight yet extremely tough. The result is a smoothside trailer body that delivers long life and efficient performance.

Titan’s patented process means it can complete welding for one side of an entire Thinwall assembly, in a single automated pass. This ensures consistent machine-welded seams all the way through, enhancing the aluminium’s strength.
On the panels, the inner wall is thicker than the outer wall to absorb load impacts and prevent interior damage from penetrating to the outside. The aluminium web between the walls is integral to the extrusion, with no mechanical joining.

“Being machine-welded with wafers all the way through is what makes the panels so solid,” says Campbell.

“These trailers are put together like a jigsaw. In some ways they are overbuilt to ensure they are really rigid and solid. When I first came across Thinwall, I thought the trailers were either going to crack or be really good – and the latter was the case.”

Another benefit Campbell points to is the fact that his B-double hopper set doesn’t have any flex. “Tipper trailers can twist more than what these do, so on our rough roads over here, these hoppers come into their own. They tow beautifully, due to the rigidity of the frames and lack of twist.”

Campbell adds that the safety benefits of a belly dumper stretch beyond eliminating the risk of hitting overhead obstacles, with the trailers offering a variety of benefits when it comes to unloading as well. “Because they don’t tip up, they can’t tip over, so they are safe to use even in severe winds or in a really wet paddock. The hoppers are simplistic and straightforward. There are no hydraulics, so there is no chance of oil leaks. It all comes down to gravity so it is simple and safe. There also aren’t any tail gates to jam your fingers in or chains that can break – those silly little things that shouldn’t happen, but sometimes do.”

When the hoppers are opened, discharge of the load self regulates and flows without any spillage, meaning there is no dust or mess to contend with. “It eliminates the need for dust masks, so it makes a hell of a difference. I can do anything from five to 15 loads in a day,” says Campbell. “One of the big advantages that I wasn’t aware of is because of the angles in the floor, there are voids in the trailer which have been used to enclose all the air valves and air tanks, so they can’t be hit by stones or get covered in dust, which is a big selling point.”

After putting his B-double set through its paces, Campbell says that Thinwall is a perfect fit. “In what I do, I don’t think I would go back to tippers. Thinwall has been a good choice, and I’d do it again. Belly dumpers aren’t mainstream yet in this sort of work and I had my doubts too initially, but they’ve proved to be very flexible, and as a one-truck operator, I need to be flexible. My trailers are over a year old and they still look brand new.”

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