Trailer Magazine


Tipping the scales

  • From the April 2020 issue.
Tipping the scales

Always looking to innovate and set new industry benchmarks, MSP Group owned MSP Transport has acquired two Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE) six-axle dogs pulled by matching Kenworth T610 8x4 tippers. The combination payload capacity is an extremely healthy 51 tonnes.

MSP Transport is a division of the MSP Group of companies which is owned and operated by Mark Pickard. Mark’s father Gordan Pickard established himself in the building and construction industry in the 1960s and this presence has subsequently been built upon strongly by his sons Mark and David Pickard in their own right. The Pickard name has long been regarded as an industry leader in South Australia.

The MSP Group of Companies now encompasses a diverse range of businesses including a trade centre, timber and trusses, steel, joinery, bathroom, building supplies and of course concrete and quarry products. All up, the company directly employs over 400 people plus many hundreds more contractors.

Central to MSP Transport’s fleet over the past four years are eight PBS-approved 6x4 tipper and five-axle dog outfits, each sporting a gross combination mass (GCM) limit of 63 tonnes. These cater for the transport of the sand and aggregate needs of the company’s batching plants as well as its teaming partner SA Premium Concrete’s batching plants and major asphalt customers, all of which are primarily located in suburban Adelaide.

However, the company has recently upped the ante further still, taking on a pair of what can only be described as the ultimate in PBS tipper and dog combinations to date – 8x4 prime movers towing six-axle BTE dog trailers. The load carrying capacity is a super impressive 51 tonnes and the GCM is 73 tonnes.

The combinations are utilised on a 24/7 basis delivering off-the-charts capacity.  They are permanently allocated to set runs supplying sand and aggregate from MSP Group’s own quarries to its concrete division and other partners’ facilities. This has enabled MSP Transport to tailor the combinations to the highest levels to optimise the carrying capacity, efficiency and safety performance.

Hallett Concrete operates over 100 concrete agitator trucks and together with SA Premium Concrete operates from 11 fixed and mobile concrete plants. A new addition to this stable is the SA Premium Concrete operated high-capacity state-of-the-art wet-mix batching plant at the central Adelaide suburb of Mile End.

This plant along with the others are hungry beasts needing to be constantly fed with high quality quarry products. This process will now be done even more efficiently by these new high-performance combinations.

Kym Pointon, the Project Manager for these new high productivity combinations, goes on to explain that the new combinations are superior to B-doubles in this operation as they are more manoeuvrable and flexible, and can also carry far more payload.

“It’s a concept we’ve been working on for 24 months now and we’re very pleased we’ve been able to get it off the ground. It’s enabled us to really push the envelope with the weight we can carry.”

He says the PBS approval process for the new units was relatively straightforward, helped by the fact that they are operating on B-double routes on which the other eight PBS truck and dogs in the fleet were already running. This combined with strategically located batching plants enables the company to leverage efficiencies to keep ahead of the competition.

Kym acknowledges the important roles the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have played in providing excellent support in the processes of getting all the required approvals and permits in place.

He says the two new BTE six-axle dog combinations will be joined by another two identical trailers that will be pulled behind 6x4 prime movers. He describes this as a test case that if successful over the next three years will lead to all units in the fleet being specified in this ultra-high productivity guise.

In terms of features of the new BTE trailers, Kym says safety is the company’s top priority. The units have Razor power tarps and QuickSilver body liners to ensure the product exits the trailer quickly and completely. Furthermore, they have electronic tipping sensors which automatically stop the tipping process if the system detects a dangerous lean in the body that could lead to a rollover situation.  This combined with a rigorous risk assessment process conducted on every single tip off point will ensure the optimum use of these assets.

As for the reasons for choosing BTE trailers, Kym says the company has a long association with Southern Cross Transport Equipment Group (SCTEG) which is located adjacent to MSP Transport’s depot at Dry Creek. Having recently become the South Australian agent for BTE equipment, SCTEG was in a good position to supply the trailers that MSP Transport was seeking in its quest for boosted productivity.

“We’ve received good reports about BTE’s equipment and after doing our due diligence on the product we were confident of the quality and build integrity of BTE trailers and that they would stand up to the rigours of our 24/7 operations,” Kym says.

According to Andrew Schipper, Sales Manager at SCTEG, BTE tippers are an important addition to its trailer range which includes flat-top, drop-deck and extendible trailers that the company manufactures in-house. 

“These new units for MSP Transport are the first BTE combinations we’ve sold and we’re looking forward to expanding the market penetration of the BTE range in South Australia,” Andrew says.

In wrapping up, Kym says MSP Transport aims to stay at the leading edge of PBS operation with a continual drive to introduce new equipment that raises the bar in terms of productivity and efficiency.

The flow-on benefits, according to Kym, include the ability to continue supplying the steadily increasing quantities of raw materials needed at the batching plants in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Fast Fact
MSP Transport recently took delivery of two new high-productivity tipper combinations comprising BTE six-axle dogs towed by Kenworth T610 8x4 body tippers. Payload capacity of each combination is a colossal 51 tonnes.

(Image L-R: Kym Pointon and Andrew Schipper.)

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