Hamelex White: At the forefront of PBS

Set up by the National Transport Commission (NTC), Performance Based Standards is a nationally agreed process for assessing innovative heavy vehicle alternatives that provide substantial productivity gains not possible under general access guidelines.

“PBS focuses on a vehicle’s on road performance rather than on its length and mass, ensuring that the vehicle complies with all standards of stability and rollover risk,” explains Craig Wallace, Hamelex White National Sales and Marketing Manager. “The implementation of PBS enables each combination to carry more freight.”

On the search for a vehicle that would master the strain of the annual grain harvest, Riordan contacted Hamelex White. After consulting Hamelex White, the company ordered a PBS approved rigid and 5-axle dog combination custom built to outperform a classic B-double configuration.

“The new aluminium combination maximises both flexibility and payload, so it is a better option than a common B-double,” says Riordan Transport Manager Joe Strawford. “It requires less set-up and running cost, but provides a similar payload to a usual B-double. And the configuration is not as complex as a B-double; hence not as expensive. At the end of the day, it will earn the company more money per tonne.”

The new vehicle tips the scales at 63 tonnes, achieving a payload of 43 tonnes. “The result is due to Hamelex White expertise,” says Joe. “At the moment, they are at the forefront of PBS compared to competing trailer manufacturers. They know more about PBS applications and already have experience with grain specific equipment.” Compared to a quarry configuration, a grain trailer needs to comply with specific demands. “As we’re swapping products all the time, the trailer has to be as contamination free as possible,” Joe explains.

“In the agricultural environment, we need the body to be user-friendly, with safety being high on the list. This is why the trailer is equipped with Access doors, enabling the driver to enter the inside of the trailer and wash it out from a safe working level.”

In addition, not having to uncouple a B-double to unload will not only save Riordan precious time, but also improve OH&S standards. “As the vehicle remains coupled, we’re eliminating any risk from uncoupling a trailer. The unloading times compared to a B-double were reduced from 40 to about 15 minutes.”
Delivered in December, the new combination is operating throughout regional Victoria. “It is working fantastically and handles a lot better than I thought it would. It is also very stable on the road,” says Joe Strawford, who can compare Hamelex White’s latest design to a standard B-double every day, as Riordan’s fleet consists of about 30 trailers – including six B-double sets. “A tremendous growth compared to the humble beginnings of the company,” says Joe.

Established in 1996 by Jim Riordan, the company began transporting grain, fertiliser and other bulk commodities with only one tipper truck in the Lara region. Soon the business began to flourish, carting fertiliser from the old Victorian Bulk Handlers (VBH) site at Lara to New South Wales, and transporting grain back to Geelong and Melbourne. After Jim Riordan purchased the VBH site, adding silo and shed storage to the business, the story of success commenced. Storing and transporting malt barley, the business grew in volumes and extended into a grain trading business. In 2003, Riordan began to pack containers for export clients, which in peak periods saw the Lara site receiving and packing grain 24 hours a day.

Today the business has many facets and operates as a fully integrated grain business with storage sites located throughout Victoria and New South Wales. It operates a fleet of 11 company trucks and about 30 trailers. “We do not stop exploring new opportunities to add benefits to the business,” says Joe Strawford. “We’re looking for new PBS applications all the time, trying to make the development of special equipment work along with the authorities.

That’s why we cooperate with Hamelex White. They are a leading manufacturer of PBS approved vehicles, and they have proven profound understanding of the industry.”

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