Trailer Magazine

Strength in connections

  • From the May 2020 issue.
Strength in connections

Having started as a livestock trailer manufacturer in mid-2013, Rytrans has forged a solid reputation for constructing quality, long lasting units. From the outset, JOST fifth wheels and landing legs have been key components in every build.

Nearly seven years ago Rytrans Managing Director Ashley Daley set up shop in Toowoomba and began repairs and modifications to customers’ trailers.

A boilermaker by trade, Ashley had previously worked for another livestock trailer manufacturer so knew all the ins and outs of building and repairing them, the latter, in particular, giving him vital insight into typical areas where he believed improvements could be made.

This stood the business in good stead when not long after the time came to commence manufacturing its own livestock trailers.  

“We took notice of the things we were fixing in our customers’ trailers – things like corrosion damage, wear and tear, cracking – and engineered ways to improve our own designs to avoid these issues,” Ashley says.

For example, corrosion can be a huge problem in the floors and lower areas of livestock trailers due to the constant presence of animal effluent.

According to Ashley, the Rytrans builds incorporate a number of measures to counter corrosion in these areas.

“In our standard manufacturing process every internal corner is angled at 45 degrees rather than 90 degrees,” he says. “That way the effluent can be easily flushed away when the crate is washed out rather than sitting in corners and on horizontal surfaces and causing corrosion.

“We also use a thermal metal spray on all vulnerable areas which is essentially a cold galvanising process applied after the finished crate is sandblasted,” Ashley says. “This goes on before the primer and top coatings.”

The business has grown steadily since inception and today employs about 40 people comprising boilermakers, labourers and mechanics.

Ashley says he is immensely proud of his staff, each of whom has risen to the challenge of meeting his stringent requirements and learning the processes he has developed to produce crates of an ‘industry best’ standard.

“When I started the business in July 2013, I owned a MIG welding machine, an oxy-acetylene set, two grinders and an empty workshop,” he says. “I had a longing to start out on my own, employ people and really make a difference in the transport industry. It’s been a tough journey in some respects, but I’m happy I chose this path.”    

The latest creation to roll out of the Rytrans facility is a B-double set built for Martins Stock Haulage. It features a JOST JSK37CXW fifth wheel which is bolted rather than welded to the lead trailer subframe.

Ashley is quick to elaborate on his reasons for using JOST components in every livestock trailer and dolly the company has built.
“We’ve used JOST components from day one because they’re high quality, trouble-free and, we believe, the best equipment available,” he says. “We don’t short-cut on anything – all our steel is Australian-made and we buy local wherever possible.” 
The list of JOST products used by Rytrans is extensive, including fifth wheels, king pins landing legs and wheel rims.
In reference to fifth wheel installation on the lead trailer, Rytrans prefers to bolt rather than weld them onto the subframe.

Ashley explains that this style of fifth wheel attachment prevents undue stresses in the subframe and is also the procedure JOST recommends. It’s a method Ashley intends to use on all new builds moving forward.

“We also double skin the bottom flanges of all our subframes which ensures optimum strength at the rear of the lead trailer where the fifth wheel is mounted,” he says.

According to JOST Australia Head Engineer, Sam Ellis, bolting ensures the fifth wheel is securely connected to the chassis without the risk of introducing pre-loading into the components. This can occur if there is a slight misalignment in the pedestals prior to them being welded to the frame.  

“A key advantage of bolted pedestals is that the parts can be removed easily for maintenance or a change of specification, such as a change in fifth wheel height or type, or if the trailer needs to be used in a different application,” Sam says.

Ashley also hints that this latest combination for Martins is the first to have a new style of Australian-designed air suspension height control valve that he believes will revolutionise the handling and road manners of typically high centre of gravity vehicles such as livestock trailers and concrete agitators. 

“I can’t say too much about it yet, but it’s been 12 years in the making and uses valves made in Italy,” Ashley says. “Suffice to say it’s another story for another day.”

Meanwhile, the inclusion of JOST components in all its builds will continue to ensure Rytrans keeps producing livestock trailers of the top-shelf standard required by customers like Martins Stock Haulage.

Fast Fact
Having a wealth of experience in livestock trailer manufacturing, Rytrans has exclusively used JOST components such as fifth wheels, king pins and landing legs in every trailer the company has built since its inception in 2013.

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