Trailer Magazine


Tieman`s New PBS ‘Tri Train’™ ... Railroading Performance!

  • From the November 2019 issue.
Tieman`s New PBS ‘Tri Train’™ ... Railroading Performance!

The latest Performance-Based Standards innovation from Tieman Tankers, the ‘Tri Train’, is significantly boosting operational safety and efficiency for South East Petroleum.

South East Petroleum is a fuel distribution business based in Esperance, WA, and was established by Richard and Jan Nulsen in 1985. The Nulsen family’s involvement in the fuel distribution business goes back three generations, beginning in Salmon Gums in the 1930s. The current owners are Grant and Michelle Harris, direct family connections to Richard & Jan Nulsen.

South East Petroleum is a BP and Castrol distributor that delivers fuels, oils and lubricants to industry, agricultural and mining customers around the south east region of Western Australia.

Tieman Tankers is industry renowned for bringing ground-breaking Performance-Based Standards (PBS) designs to market. Recent innovations like the ‘Super Pocket’ and ‘Super Triple’ have increased efficiencies and improved safety for fleets throughout WA. To introduce another new tanker concept that increases existing payloads by up to 30 percent though, is a significant step change for the industry.

When South East Petroleum reviewed its fleet needs, they partnered with Tieman Tankers on another first to the tanker industry: the `Tri Train` – a 42m PBS combination, which has a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 148 tonnes, a diesel payload exceeding 125kl and will operate on level 3 approved 36.5m routes.

Roll coupling the tankers to the tri-axle dolly with a turntable is a first for the tanker industry. Through smart engineering, Tieman`s new patent applied design has now enhanced dynamic stability at speed giving a quantum leap in safety for vehicle operators and business owners.

Michael Edwards, South East Petroleum Operations Manager says: “This design passes all of the strict PBS testing criteria, delivering a more stable towing configuration (compared to a traditional Ringfeder tow eye setup) which results in a safer, more user-friendly combination to tow down the road”.

The rearward amplification on any standard triple road train when tankers are connected by a Ringfeder can be severe when an evasive manoeuvre is needed or when the condition of roads are marginal through uneven camber or rough, winding or narrow road conditions are experienced.

For Michael, safety is one of the most important features of the ‘Tri Train’.

“Being involved in the fuel industry, safety is our main priority every minute of every day,” he says. “We want to see our product delivered safely and our drivers` home to be with their families every night. Tieman through their PBS expertise have helped to ensure that we are actually keeping ahead of industry standards. The sheer volume of stringent and rigorous testing that this combination went through on paper and in computer simulations by both Tieman and Tiger Spider before anything was  fabricated was mind boggling and that is what gives us the confidence that this vehicle is as safe as possible out on the highway.”

Michael took the ‘Tri Train’ for its maiden trip, and a number of trips since, and confirms it is a pleasure to drive out on the highway.

“The combination doesn’t sway or rock behind you, it just holds a single silhouette in the mirror and follows true like it`s on train tracks,” he says. “The combination is fitted with EBS disc brakes incorporating roll stability which gives us peace of mind that if anything does go wrong we have the latest technology helping to keep our driver, cargo and environment safe. By being able to deliver more payload each trip we have reduced our truck movements on the road per week which in turn reduces the chances of one of our vehicles being involved in an incident.”

The distances and diverse terrain that the fleet traverses, according to Operations Manager, Michael Edwards, demands reliable and efficient modern road tankers to keep their customers fuelled.

“The efficiency and productivity gains of this combination will help to future-proof our business model,” he says. “There hasn’t been a leap in productivity like this in our region for some time and I can’t see anything equivalent being developed any time soon. The extra payload capability is really helping us manage our workload, resulting in less strain on drivers and older equipment and also gives us the flexibility to take on new business opportunities as they arise.”

The fact that the Tieman ‘Tri Train’ is Australian made means a lot to South East Petroleum.

“As a local family owned and operated company we want to see jobs and industry remain in Australia,” Michael says. “It was great to visit the factories (Kenworth and Tieman) during the build and see the people working on our project, knowing that we are helping support the people who live in our communities and putting back into the local economy.”

Michael says Tieman shares his kind of passion for thinking outside of the box and have been great to partner with.

“Tieman’s willingness to listen and their can-do attitude gave me the confidence that this build was in the right hands from start to finish.

“The team at Tieman have provided great after-sales support. Brodie Tieman and Ben Blasetti in particular have been simply a phone call away and continue to answer any of my queries and provide assistance. The guys even visited our depot when we got the combination on the road which is no small feat (3,300km flying) given that we are regionally located and that is really appreciated and gives us great confidence in their support and commitment to stand behind their product.”

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