Trailer Magazine

The whole package

  • From the July 2018 issue.
The whole package

Having used SAF-Holland’s G36L fifth wheels across the fleet for the last few years, Visy has now also turned to the brand’s trusted Intradisc suspension for the first time, on its 22-strong order of new PBS B-doubles. By incorporating this equipment and technology by SAF-Holland, Visy is achieving lighter tare weights, greater levels of safety and reduced maintenance.

Established in Melbourne in 1948, Visy has grown into a leading global force in the fields of paper, packaging and recycling. Its sizeable nationwide fleet includes approximately 450 trailers and 220 trucks, with a large portion based in Victoria.

The newest trailers, being built by Vawdrey, will be used nationally, predominantly to cart glass bottles and jars, which is a task that has its own set of specific needs. “This task requires a different pallet size, for better stacking capability. We have gone for PBS not for the weight benefit, but because of the different axle configuration that was needed. The glass pallets are narrower but longer than a standard pallet, so we have had to extend the B trailer and shorten the A trailer, making the overall configuration 26 metres. This will allow for about four additional pallets per load,” explains Visy’s National Driver Trainer, Geoff Rowley, who has been with the business for 35 years, working in various roles, including as an owner driver for more than 20 years.

“There is also a space in the middle of each trailer, which is controlled by gates. This provides a gap of nearly 200mm between pallets in the centre of the trailer for safe cartage, as the gates work to restrict any movement.”
Conscious of fuel efficiency, Visy doesn’t run any of its equipment empty, so it was important for the trailers to be versatile enough to use for general freight too, which is made possible by moving the centre gates.

Visy has been working closely with SAF-Holland for the past two years, implementing the G36L low lube fifth wheels onto every prime mover in the fleet, and on all newly purchased A trailers. Geoff says that the product’s ease of operation was a major drawcard. “Drivers aren’t having to do any bending or anything like that when trying to unhook the trucks and trailers, and we haven’t had any safety issues either. We’ve also found the low lube option creates less mess – drivers aren’t getting covered in grease, and neither are the airlines. It also helps to enhance the service life too.”

Each of the new B-double combinations has also integrated SAF-Holland’s RECOSS technology for added safety. RECOSS, an acronym for ‘Remote Control Safety System’, is SAF-Holland’s coupling sensor system that features prime mover dash integration. It supports the driver’s separate visual confirmation of a correct coupling by providing additional warning notifications that are displayed on the indicator screen of the prime mover’s dashboard. Currently, RECOSS has been incorporated into approximately 100 prime movers in Visy’s fleet.

“RECOSS features three sensors on the fifth wheel, all wired to the truck’s ECU. Ultimately what this does is, instead of having additional gauges on the dash, notifications of coupling and uncoupling are shown in the dash cluster,” explains Bill Cassar from SAF-Holland. “There is a specific set-up for prime movers from different manufacturers. We have worked closely with three of the European manufacturers, and now Volvo, Scania and Mercedes-Benz prime movers can integrate the RECOSS technology.”

Visy has updated its entire line haul fleet to the Volvo FH16, and going forward, the RECOSS system will be included on all new prime mover purchases.
Along with the G36L fifth wheels and RECOSS technology, Visy has also specified SAF-Holland’s Intradisc suspension on the 22 new PBS combinations. “We chose the Intradisc because of the lighter tare weight. We were looking for the lowest tare weight we could get and this is saving us about 150 kg per axle configuration,” says Geoff.

“The other reasons we went for both the G36L fifth wheels and the Intradisc suspension are because of their added safety features and low maintenance. At Visy, we are always looking for these sorts of efficiencies so we can continue to improve our business.”

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