Displaying great restraint

Supplied by Forest Centre Australia, ExTe auto load binders operate from the truck’s air system and make the critically important task of load restraint safer, simpler and quicker. Andrew James, owner of Jamesy’s Transport, swears by the product and says he wouldn’t go back to manual ratchet straps.

Based at Benalla in north-eastern Victoria, Jamesy’s Transport is a three-truck operation that carts pine posts, hay and concrete feeding troughs for farmers and rural supply stores.

In common with many small transport business owners, Andrew, or Jamesy as he’s usually known, runs a tight ship, utilising the best in equipment to ensure his operation is as safe and efficient as possible.

For the past six years he has been hauling pine posts which today makes up about 90 per cent of his work, with the remaining 10 per cent comprising the transport of concrete feed and water troughs and hay.

Each of these products has specific load restraint requirements and according to Jamesy, the ExTe auto load binders work brilliantly on each type of load, saving him significant time on every trip because he doesn’t need to stop every 100km or so to re-tension straps.

He transports the loads of pine posts either double or triple stacked on custom built Pumpa flat-top trailers featuring removable bolsters and ExTe pneumatic self-tensioning load binders that continually self-adjust during transit to ensure the correct strap tension is maintained as the load settles.

He says the ExTe product provides peace of mind during the trips which include hauling the raw posts from Mount Gambier to Benalla where they are treated before being transported to the end users including rural and farm supply stores all over Victoria.

“Above everything, it gives us the reassurance that while we are travelling nothing is going to move,” Jamesy says.

“These types of loads shift very easily and the roads we travel on are getting rougher which means we need to have a system in place that ensures our loads are secure at all times. You’ve only got to hit a rough patch which makes the trailer wiggle its tail and the load will move if the straps aren’t super tight.”

Andrew James: “Having experienced the multiple benefits of ExTe straps, there’s no way I would go back to manual straps.”

It’s easy to appreciate Jamesy’s enthusiasm for the ExTe self-tensioning straps when he mentions that when he had manual straps he had to stop at least every 100km for re-tensioning. The productivity saving from not having to do this is a no-brainer.

“Once you use them you wouldn’t go back to manual straps – they’re so much better and safer,” he says. “They’re especially useful at night because you can’t see if the straps are loose, it gives you that extra peace of mind.”

While round hay bales are notoriously difficult to restrain properly, Jamesy says the ExTe straps take it in their stride.

“I drive out of the paddock with the air on to tighten them down then when I reach the road they have settled down with enough tension so I can turn the air off for the rest of the trip,” he says. “Otherwise, they would overtighten and dig into the hay too much, especially when it’s very dry.”

For operators carting fragile loads on a regular basis, Forest Centre offers the option of an air pressure regulator that enables the pressure to be infinitely adjusted to precisely the right level to suit the load being carried. The pressure can even be adjusted on individual straps to enable some to grip tighter than others in cases where different products are carried on the one trailer.

While Jamesy doesn’t have this feature added or any regular need for making adjustments, when carting round concrete troughs he says he appreciates the consistently high tensioning force; unlike manual straps used in the past, he’s never had one of the ExTe straps slip off.

“Because they are extra wide straps (75mm) and they consistently maintain the correct tension even after the load settles, they grip on like a bulldog and never let go,” he says.
With the undeniable safety benefits of ideal strap tension at all times combined with the time savings from not having to regularly stop to re-tension straps, Jamesy reckons ExTe pneumatic straps are a big win-win for his transport operation.

Fast Fact
ExTe pneumatic auto-tensioning straps provide added safety, peace of mind and time saving when carrying awkward products that are prone to settling on long trips and over rough roads.