Trailer Magazine

A ‘dolly’ good idea: Freighter

  • Posted on Thursday 16th, May 2019.

As part of its reveal at the Brisbane Truck Show, MaxiTRANS is displaying a Freighter rigid drawbar converter dolly designed to eliminate the inherent drawbacks of the hinged drawbar dolly.

The rigid drawbar dolly is the result of a ‘proof of concept’ project undertaken by the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) Industry Technical Council (ITC) with the valued support of equipment suppliers including MaxiTRANS, JOST, Alcoa Wheels, WABCO, Bridgestone and Hendrickson.

Established to enhance the Australian trucking industry’s safety, professionalism and viability, the ITC is a working committee that provides technical input and best practice advice to the ATA.

According to the ITC, the project has been made possible by collaboration between manufacturers, suppliers and operators, amassing resources and knowledge in the interests of the common goals of improving on-road safety and operability of multi-combination vehicles.

The project was conceived following ATA member discussions surrounding the dynamic issues with hinged drawbar converter dollies featuring airbag suspension.

Specific issues raised include brake reactivity, tyre wear and the potential for diminished dynamic stability of a multi-combination due to wear in the dolly drawbar pivot bushes.

While conventional steel spring suspended dollies tend to be less susceptible to these issues, the ITC highlights the need for air suspension on dollies as it is the industry standard for new semi-trailers.

With the project now complete, a number of examples of the ‘proof of concept’ rigid drawbar converter dolly will be operated by ATA members for engineering and operational assessment.

The performance will be also reviewed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

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