Trailer Magazine


Steel yourself

  • From the November 2017 issue.
Steel yourself

Equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, has the in-house Performance-Based Standards expertise to ensure trailer combinations maximise their potential productivity and efficiency gains.

Australia’s high productivity Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme continues its ongoing evolution process, growing in leaps and bounds over the ten years since its introduction. As the scheme becomes more widespread across the industry, the potential for creating innovative designs is starting to be explored. As trailer designs become more inventive, the level of knowledge from all stakeholders required also becomes more important than ever, which is why equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, has the in-house expertise on how to use its equipment to optimise combinations.

“Involving the equipment manufacturer in the vehicle specification and PBS design approval process will ensure that productivity and reliability are maximised. I’ve worked on many PBS-related projects since starting at SAF-Holland, and this has proven true every time,“ says SAF-Holland’s Senior Engineer and PBS expert, Adam Ritzinger.
The potential of the collaborative approach is apparent in a recent PBS-approved quad-axle semi-tipper manufactured by Western Australian trailer builder, Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE). The 53m3 tipper was purpose-built to haul shredded scrap steel for Liberty OneSteel on a short route through Melbourne’s west with a specific goal – to run the highest possible mass.

According to BRE Managing Director, Damion Verhoogt, this goal was achieved through a combination of using lightweight materials with the quad-axle design. “The chassis are manufactured from Strenx 700 and bodies from Hardox 450 from SSAB, which keeps the trailer’s tare weight down,” he says.

“The high strength material allows us to optimise design of all components, from mudguards to chassis and bodies. Less steel is less tare weight while still keeping required cubic capacity. Also Hardox gives us superior impact and dent resistance as well as abrasion resistance that is required when carting up to nine loads of scrap steel a day.”

In a similar vein, the semi-tipper’s quad-axle design is set up to maximise mass of 27.5 tonnes on a specific route while keeping equipment weight at a minimum, which is where SAF-Holland’s lightweight equipment and in-house PBS expertise plays its part. “All quad-axle combinations under PBS are required to have a steerable axle,” Adam says. “This combination achieves that through the use of our Intra- and Modul-series air suspensions, but goes one step further. The front axle is a conventional rigid axle in a liftable, Intra-series suspension, the two middle axles are rigid axles in Intra-series suspensions, and the rear is a steerable axle in a Modul-series suspension. This combination of equipment satisfies the PBS standards and meets OneSteel’s operational requirements at the same time.”

As the SAF-Holland Intradisc setup is the lightest low-maintenance parallel bearing axle on the market, it contributes to maximising the combination’s possible mass. “On top of that, our installation method doesn’t require as much steel as others to transfer the loads from the suspension to the chassis, making it lighter overall without compromising strength or safety,” Adam says.

Maximising safety features was also a priority for this tipper, Damion adds, explaining that he engineered a unique hydraulic safety system with Wi-Fi remote controlled in-cab operation. “The system has incorporated sequence functions and proximity sensors for all tailgate, lock, opening and tipping functions,” Damion says. “Processes have to follow an exact order for operation. For example, the seat belt must be connected before the tipping operation can be activated. This makes it extremely easy and efficient for operators, and also reduces the chance of accidents while tipping.”

The PBS-approved quad-axle semi-tipper is now in use, carrying its 33 tonnes of scrap steel around Melbourne with the highest level of operational safety, Adam says. “No other heavy vehicle equipment supplier has PBS expertise in-house. This allows us to specify equipment and work together with trailer builders and assessors to achieve outcomes like this,” Adam says. “Together with BRE, we’ve delivered the highest possible mass and access for the end-user, thereby maximising their productivity and efficiency.”

Fast Fact
The relationship between Bruce Rock Engineering and SAF-Holland dates back to the 1980s, when the trailer builder first started using the Holland Hitch products.

Fast Fact
SAF-Holland backs all its equipment and components, including the Intradisc plus Integral system and steerable axles with a comprehensive six-year, one million-kilometre warranty.

Fast Fact
By eliminating the need for U-bolts, clamping plates, axles seats and nuts, the Intradisc system requires less maintenance than alternative designs, allowing the user’s equipment to clock up more hours working, rather than sitting in a workshop. The low maintenance unit is also completely sealed, so no dirt or debris can penetrate through to the inner parts and compromise the integrity.

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