Trailer Magazine

Pushing the envelope

  • From the November 2019 issue.
Pushing the envelope

One of the latest innovative trailer creations to roll out of Tuff Trailers’ Queensland factory is an 8x8/10x8 widening platform with Tuff hydraulic suspension and Tridec command-steered BPW axles built for Hogans Heavy Haulage.

There appear to be no bounds to the engineering and construction abilities of the talented team at Tuff Trailers, seemingly able to continually up the ante in producing custom built trailers to suit individual customers’ specific needs.

Hogans Heavy Haulage is a long-term Tuff customer with a similar modus operandi – striving to be the best in its field. As such, the company is keen to utilise its valuable equipment in the most efficient ways in order to maximise return on investment.

This latest acquisition includes a modular designed steerable platform that can be operated as either an 8x8 unit with an overall combination length of 26 metres and a tare weight of 46 tonnes, or – with the addition of the 2x8 clip section fitted to the rear of the 8x8 – a 10x8 measuring just under 30 metres overall combination length and taring at 53.5 tonnes.

Importantly, the clip section is readily detachable thanks to a simple yet exceptionally strong pinned and bolted connection along with quick release hydraulics, air and electricals.

According to Hogans’ Workshop Manager, Mick Wenham, the whole procedure including removing and reinstalling the rear bar and ramps assembly can be done in under 1.5 hours.

Adding to the versatility is the fact that the clip 2x8 section is also compatible with a Tuff 6x8 widening platform currently under construction for Hogans. Once this is commissioned the company will be able to simultaneously operate the 6x8 and 10x8 units or swap the clip from the 10x8 to the 6x8, turning both into 8x8s.

In the 8x8 format and with the platform in its fully narrowed (3.1m) position, Hogans can operate around the clock on Queensland roads. Alternatively, converted to a 10x8 and fully widened to 4.7m, it can be used for daylight-only transporting of wider, longer and heavier loads. When the trailer is widened it has a central loading clearance of 700mm at ride height and there are RUD load-rated lashing points strategically located along both decks.
There is a long list of additional special features incorporated into the 8x8 platforms, including a ‘live’ gooseneck
which compensates for uneven ground or road conditions, thus maintaining consistent weight on each of the drive wheels for enhanced traction and reduced wear and tear.

Digital weight scales for both the gooseneck and suspension enable the load to be positioned precisely for ideal weight distribution across all BPW axles and Alcoa wheels fitted with the new Michelin X Multi T2 tyres.

The Tuff/Tridec double-acting hydraulic suspension enables individual axles to be lifted and hydraulically locked in position without the need for retaining pins.

The hydraulic suspension provides a huge 600mm of vertical travel. With a ride height of 1080mm, the decks can be lowered to 940mm and raised to 1540mm. Importantly, the suspension cylinders have complete rod protection through the entire stroke to ensure maximum protection and reliability.

The Tridec steering provides a massive steering angle of up to 62 degrees, with each steering axle set up to enable trailer tracking in line with the prime mover and with minimal tyre scrub. The steering also includes manual override via radio remote control for low speed manoeuvring, a particularly useful feature when backing into tight confines or manoeuvring into position to install the rear clip section. 

Also hydraulically operated is the landing leg, with the hydraulic power unit – featuring two displacement pumps and a hydraulic air compressor – mounted above the gooseneck. On each side of the gooseneck is a patented TUFF Ezy Lift Tyre Carrier capable of carrying four spare wheels per side. This comprises a robust folding hydraulic arm system, not dissimilar in operation to landing gear on aircraft, that lowers the wheels from their travelling position to the ground and vice versa, thus reducing workplace health and safety risks.

Ongoing maintenance is drastically reduced with the use of self-lubricating bearings/bushes and sealed for life bearings fitted to the suspension and steering system. In fact, the only greasable components are the auto slack adjustors fitted to the BPW axles and the fifth wheel assembly – which incidentally is also adjustable to facilitate ideal weight distribution across the dolly and drive axles.

And last but by no means least, each of the 80 BPW drum-braked wheels is prevented from locking under heavy braking by a Knorr-Bremse EBS/ABS braking system that has been designed with close collaboration between Tuff Trailers and Knorr-Bremse. 

Hogans Heavy Haulage Director, Jason Hogan, is quick to sing the praises of the team at Tuff Trailers, describing them and himself as early adopters of new technology to incorporate into the trailer builds.

“I really enjoy working with Tuff Trailers in designing and spec’ing our trailers – for me it’s more about the trailers than the trucks because the trailer is what carries the payload,” Jason says. “These latest units are a testament to the engineering abilities of Tuff Trailers and the abilities of the whole Tuff team in making it happen.”

Similarly, Tuff Trailers Managing Director, Denis Di Pasquale, has high praise for his team of employees and the highly regarded long-standing relationship the company has with Hogans Heavy Haulage.

“We are very proud of this project, a lot of time and effort has gone into it,” Denis says.

“This project would not have been possible without the hard work and passion of our Tuff team and our key suppliers.

“It’s also a pleasure to build trailers for a great company like Hogans, with people who share our passion for building quality products that push the bounds of innovation.”

Fast Fact
Versatility plus. The 10x8 widening steerable platform built by Tuff Trailers for Hogans Heavy Haulage has a modular rear clip section that is easily and quickly removed to turn it into an 8x8 unit.

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