Trailer Magazine

BTE combination is a ‘Smart Tip’ for Hercus

  • Posted on Friday 19th, June 2020.

Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE) has produced a new product called Smart Tip for northern Victoria based Hercus Transport.

The combination is a B-double that is cleverly designed so as not requiring the rear trailer to be unhitched to unload the lead unit.

Hercus Transport caters for the agricultural sector and has been operating for 25 years hauling grain fertiliser, lime and gypsum in tippers, as well as hay on drop-deck trailers.

The transport business is run in conjunction with farming and commodity trading operations, as explained by Hercus Transport Managing Director, Brett Hercus.

“We supply a lot of dairy farms with grain and canola meal, the latter coming from Graincorp crushing plants at Numurkah and Wagga Wagga,” said Hercus.

The company currently runs three Kenworth conventional prime movers and 10 trailers, including the latest set which is its first BTE combination to join the fold.

Hercus, who went to school with BTE Managing Director, Alan Griffiths, said BTE developed the Smart Tip concept with input from himself and his drivers to ensure the finished product met his exacting requirements.

“BTE decided to develop the Smart Tip combination and we were invited to join in with the process, which has delivered a very smart set of trailers in both function and looks,” said Hercus, adding that there are two very important factors that determine the success of a trailer or combination.

“It must be right commercially and it must also work for the drivers in an operational sense,” he said.

“It comes down to little things like where you position the steps, broom holder and tarp winders, for example, to make things as smooth as possible for the operator.”

Both trailers feature manually operated side to side roll tarps with the lead unit fitted with a right-angle drive system that enables it to be operated from the front of the trailer due to space restriction at the rear.

Hercus also specified a ball-race turntable on the rear of the lead trailer.

“This gives extra stability and a smoother ride but the downside is that it weighs a bit more than a fixed unit,” said Hercus.

He also appreciates the BTE reinforced chassis, specifically around the hoist mounting and body pivot points which are subjected to extra stresses during tipping.

The greatest attribute of the Smart Tip is reported to be its capability to tip off both trailers without unhitching.

“We cart a lot of gypsum and lime for farmers so we can jack-knife the trailer around in the paddock and unload both trailers without the time and hassle of unhitching,” said Hercus – adding that grain is generally unloaded this way too, with his experienced drivers adept at backing up to augers and hoppers using the jack-knife method.

Hercus said the company customarily keeps its prime movers and trailers for around seven years, by which time they have generally covered just under one million kilometres.

“We like to keep our trucks and trailers updated regularly, and because we look after them we get a good return when we sell them,” he said.

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