Trailer Magazine

Thinking outside the box

  • From the December 2018 issue.
Thinking outside the box

Performance-Based Standards specialist, MaxiTRANS, has delivered a practical approach to a recent certification. To maximise the productivity of a new contract, vegetable producer and logistics company, Bonaccord, added two 27-metre PBS-approved Maxi-CUBE refrigerated B-doubles to its fleet.

Based in Bairnsdale in Victoria’s East Gippsland region, Bonaccord was started by husband and wife Max and Kath Ingram in 1960, when they purchased a 54 acre dairy farm. By 1975, vegetable growing was added into the mix to supplement the dairy income.

Its logistics arm, Bonaccord Freightlines, transports approximately 22,000 tonnes of produce from the farm each year, along with transporting goods for its wide customer base. Bonaccord reliably transports along Australia’s east coast utilising its 50-strong MaxiTRANS fleet, with the vast majority being Maxi-CUBE refrigerated vans.

Patties Foods, best known for its famous pies, is also located in Bairnsdale. It has been a long-time customer of Bonaccord, which has been supplying the food manufacturing business with its vegetables for over 20 years.

This partnership between the two businesses has now been cemented even further, with Bonaccord recently awarded a Patties Foods freight contract.

Two 36-pallet PBS approved 27-metre Maxi-CUBE refrigerated B-doubles service the contract, running between Bairnsdale and Melbourne. Both combinations cart frozen pies from Patties’ facility and into Melbourne, while on the return trip they carry cardboard, maximising the efficiency of the round trip.

Utilising two of Bonaccord’s existing 24-pallet Maxi-CUBE B-trailers, they have been coupled with new 12 pallet Maxi-CUBE A-trailers to create two new PBS-approved B-double combinations. Both are approved for use on the Level 2B Cubic network at up to a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 68.5 tonnes.

When it comes to PBS, MaxiTRANS has a proven track record. Since the scheme was introduced in 2007, MaxiTRANS has produced over 1,600 PBS-approved units, meaning customers can be confident MaxiTRANS understands and can deliver specific solutions tailored to their needs. 

“We wanted to make use of our existing trailers, so I said to MaxiTRANS, this is what I want to do, can you do it? And, they did it all,” says Ross Ingram, Director of Bonaccord. “The only thing we needed to change on the existing trailers was to switch to a Thermo King slimline refrigeration unit in order to make the combination compliant. MaxiTRANS made it simple and easy for us to achieve PBS certification.”

The practical approach to this certification was that MaxiTRANS developed a solution using a standard 12 pallet A-trailer, with a 24 pallet B-trailer. When compared to a conventional B-double, these particular combinations can achieve an additional two pallets per trip. “With cartons coming back from Melbourne, it gives us extra space. When we are carrying a lightweight product, it means we can get more in, so when we are carrying pies or cardboard for example, it really helps with efficiencies,” says Ross.

One of the B-double combinations utilise the Maxi-CUBE Slide-A-Side system. As the pallets being carried for the new contract are wider than standard, they need to be loaded via the side of the trailer. The Slide-A-Side system provides the load restraint characteristics of a rigid wall van with the flexibility of a curtainsider. It features push button air operated door lifts and a one-handed opening and closing door mechanism.

With Bonaccord’s PBS-approved B-doubles now on the road for a few months, Ross confirms that they have been running very well. Looking ahead, he is planning on having the entire fleet operating under PBS in the near future.

Fast Fact
A report recently released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NVHR) and the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) that examined the uptake and growth of PBS approved units operating on Australian roads revealed that MaxiTRANS has produced more PBS approved units than any other trailer manufacturer.

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