Trailer Magazine


Tough to the core

  • From the July 2018 issue.
Tough to the core

Offering incredible resistance to wear, dents and cracks, Hardox has been crafted to outperform and outlast. Many manufacturers across Australia and New Zealand turn to this abrasion-resistant steel, manufactured by SSAB, to ensure their equipment can stand up to some of the toughest of tasks.

The Hardox In My Body logo has become a symbol of toughness. Only manufacturers whose products meet SSAB’s strict quality requirements are granted licenses to add the logo to their products. These companies have extensive knowledge of steel properties and understand the advantages of using SSAB’s range of steels, and apply this knowledge to their own product development.

Western Australian tipper-specialist, Roadwest Transport Equipment & Sales, prides itself on building transport equipment that is long lasting and precision built. General Manager, Darren Kennett, has worked at Roadwest for the past 13 years and says the company has been part of the Hardox In My Body program for as long as he’s known.

“Roadwest uses the whole Hardox range, as well as SSAB’s other products Domex and Weldox, now known as Strenx. We use all sizes, ranging from 3.2mm to 10mm thickness. Some customers request 6, 8 or 10mm thickness for demolition work, where trailers have to withstand things like big chunks of concrete being thrown at them. We’ve made bigger 100 tonne trailers using 10mm Hardox, too.”

To ensure maximum strength and minimum wear, Roadwest’s flagship model, the Hardlite side tipper, is manufactured completely from Hardox 450 wear plate. Its ‘floating body’ design aims to improve strength, reduce impact damage and assist with load ejection.

Darren says that the key benefits of using Hardox are its strength and durability. “Our end tippers and side tippers are predominantly made using SSAB products. We don’t use very much mild steel because mild steel couldn’t handle what Hardox takes – it would just bend and break.”

Cory Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer at family owned trailer manufacturer, Kennedy Trailers, based in Bairnsdale, Victoria, agrees. “We are definitely getting the longevity out of Hardox. We’re even exceeding what SSAB suggested would be the lifetime of the material by a long shot, especially over in the Pilbara mining region in WA. With other steel products we’ve used in the past, we weren’t getting the same life. I’d say Hardox probably doubles or triples the life of the trailer body,” he explains.

“Some of our larger customers are over in the Pilbara and the feedback we’ve had is that the bodies hold up a lot better, so that reduces maintenance significantly. The bodies aren’t wearing through and they aren’t getting any of the usual cracks either, so our customers have been impressed. We’ve had such a good run out of Hardox. It’s a superior type of material; and there aren’t any bending or folding procedures you have to stick to either so it is really easy to work with.”

Kennedy Trailers has been using SSAB’s range of steels for over 10 years, but only recently applied to be part of the Hardox In My Body Program, after it was suggested by an SSAB engineer visiting from overseas. “We don’t use any other high tensile steel at all, so guarantee of supply is a massive thing for us, as well as the back up from SSAB overseas. If we ever have any questions or want to try something a little different, we can run it past their engineers first,” Cory adds.

In New Zealand, trailer and rigid body builder, Transport Trailers, is another manufacturer enjoying the benefits of being a Hardox In My Body member, joining the program in March 2013, after being approached by New Zealand SSAB distributor, Real Steel.

“We had been making mild steel bins but found it wasn’t really a feasible product for us. They were good at the start but got damaged quite easily. We are one of the few licensed Hardox In My Body producers in New Zealand, but there are many manufacturers now using Hardox in their build,” explains Adrian Cornes, National Sales Manager at Transport Trailers.

“It’s a great selling point,” he adds. “When customers ask why they should buy from us, we can tell them we are a licensed supplier so we can guarantee our work, our product, and they have a better resale value.”

In recent years, Adrian reveals there has been growing demand for Hardox among his customers. “A few years ago, when we first started using Hardox, there was a production line for aluminium bins and only a small percentage were being made of Hardox. Now we’ve had to change the way we do things and create a production line for Hardox too. We’re now producing about 70% in aluminium and 30% in Hardox,” he explains.

Adrian says that since turning to Hardox, the company no longer builds with mild steel. “Mild steel and Hardox are like chalk and cheese. We want to supply the best to our customers. Hardox is a superior product so that’s what we run with. A steel bin is not just a steel bin any more. Once, they were just used for the grunt work and nobody expected them to look pretty. Now with Hardox, we’ve got a product that can maintain its look and shape too.”

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