Trailer Magazine

Drake on creating the 117-tonne quad-quad super B-double

  • Posted on Tuesday 9th, October 2018.

The Drake Group has been in operation for 60 years and has reflected on its achievements, including the 117-tonne quad-quad super B-double it commissioned for transport company, Chalmers.

According to Drake, the need arose for a new type of trailer as exporters felt the need to pack more goods into containers as possible, exceeding the usual 20-tonne mark and sometimes going up to a weight of 30 tonnes. Even so, the limits of packing two containers on a quad-tri combination presented an opportunity to look for a new transport solution.

Chalmers State Manager – Queensland, Peter Cusack, said that striving for new innovations is nothing new for the company.

“For the past 15 years, we’ve been using a quad-tri combination with a gross mass of 108-109 tonnes,” he said. “But with the growth in exports and containers getting heavier and heavier, we could see a future where it would no longer be efficient to cart two containers at a time on a quad-tri.”

Carting three containers at once instead of two presented a massive increase in productivity and cost-efficiencies, according to the trailer builder, even though the Chalmers depot at Fisherman Islands is within close proximity to the Port of Brisbane.

The Drake Group, including O’Phee Trailers, worked with local industry and government regulators to ensure that the quad-quad design could do the job reliably and safely.

Chalmers reportedly worked closely with representatives from the Port of Brisbane, The Drake Group’s O’Phee Trailers and equipment supplier, BPW Transpec, over a period of four months. With The Drake Group already having an extensive experience building trailers to suit any weight or size requirement, BPW Transpec provided the heavy-duty axles and suspension systems for the job.

“While there are already quad-quad combinations on the road, none had until this point been cleared to carry 117 tonnes, so extra considerations had to be taken,” Drake said.

“The combination had to undergo a series of compliance tests from the Department of Transport and Main Roads engineers to ensure the weight was distributed evenly across the trailer beds.

“The end result is a new type of quad-quad super B-double that is permitted to carry three heavy containers in and out of the Port of Brisbane. The combination can’t go beyond that area but has already seen great results for the company. A new bridge is currently being constructed that will accommodate the combination, and perhaps more will follow as people see the clear advantages of the quad-quad super B-double.”

Chalmers received the bespoke quad-quad combination August last year. In September 2017, Chalmers Industries Managing Director, John Carew, said that trailer reliability was the key feature of this new innovation.

"Because this is the first one on the wharf, we needed to make sure it was capable of doing everything we wanted it to do,” he said. "Mick O'Phee knows his stuff and pays particularly close attention to detail with the specification of every trailer O'Phee builds."

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