Trailer Magazine

Strength in numbers

  • From the May 2018 issue.
Strength in numbers

When it recently came time for building and construction material supplier, Hanson, to add to its growing Western Australian tipper fleet, Bruce Rock Engineering came to the party with a solution that offers reduced tare weights and optimum strength.

Delivered over the past few months and put straight to work, delivering sand and aggregate products throughout Perth, the latest purchase from Hanson’s Western Australian division is comprised of eight tri-axle semi trailer and seven truck and dog tipper combinations.

This order builds on a decade-long relationship between Hanson and trailer manufacturer, Bruce Rock Engineering, strengthening ties between the two businesses.

Hanson produces aggregates, including crushed rock, sand, gravel, crusher dust, road base and premixed structural and decorative concrete. Given the nature of the construction industry, Hanson’s tipper fleet is certainly put to the test on a daily basis. Having to transport heavy and sometimes abrasive payloads can wreak havoc on equipment so Hanson seeks out suppliers that can offer equipment capable of standing up to the challenge.

And SAF Intradisc plus Integral continues to answer the call. Hanson has been a long time supporter of this lightweight yet robust suspension solution, which is fitted to a large portion of the fleet – from the company’s tippers, to its cement tankers and agitators.
So unsurprisingly, Hanson requested the SAF Intradisc plus Integral suspension system be incorporated into the new trailer order from Bruce Rock Engineering.

The innovative axle, suspension and brake package was first introduced onto the Australian market in 2009. A decade on, it has proven itself as a solid match to the nation’s harsh and often unforgiving environment.

Though it is known for being extremely tough and durable, SAF Intradisc plus Integral is also lightweight, with Hanson revealing the suspension system is up to 500kg lighter than some of those used in the past – equating to more payload and greater productivity.

Unlike conventional brake discs, the SAF Intradisc features a unique two-piece brake disc designed to prolong service life, through less wear. The disc is cast onto a splined adapter ring and bolted to the wheel hub. As a result, the connection between the adapter ring and the brake disc has absolutely no play. The disc can expand radially and then contract as it cools down. This means that the hot spots sometimes caused in conventional brake discs are completely avoided, reducing the amount of stress in the material and eliminating the risk of brake pads moving out of alignment or discs cracking. Since the braking surfaces stay absolutely flat in every operating state, the pads last much longer.

“The SAF Intradisc is definitely one of the lightest axle and suspension modules on the market. It’s backed by a really good warranty and relatively low maintenance as well,” says Damion Verhoogt, Managing Director at Bruce Rock Engineering. “For the operator, it is lightweight and pretty low maintenance. From a trailer manufacturer’s point of view, it is easy to fit and easy to design around. There are benefits for both the manufacturer and the end user. Historically, Hanson has used the SAF Intradisc suspension a lot in the fleet, so they know exactly how well it performs out on the road.”

To ensure optimum strength without compromising on payload, the new trailer combinations all feature a Strenx ultra high tensile auto fabricated chassis. The tipper bodies are constructed using 3.2mm Hardox 450 plate, which offers exceptional strength, impact and abrasion resistance, delivering a trailer tare weight that is comparable to aluminium.

“The payload advantages being achieved are quite significant, especially given that each of the trailers have a full chassis and complete steel body. These trailers have come in with great tare weights of 5.9 tonne for the tri semis and 7.7 tonne for the five axle dog trailers, giving payloads of up to 31 tonne for the semis and 47 tonne for the 8x4 with five axle dog trailers,” explains Damion. “A lot of the weight savings have come from being able to develop a clever design that incorporates lots of our own research and development. There is a fine line to tread between strength and weight. As a trailer manufacturer, we need to be able to choose and select components that deliver optimum strength but also offer weight savings – and the SAF Intradisc does just that.”

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