Next level innovation

The talented team at Tuff Trailers has been hard at it producing two quite different niche trailers for two successful family businesses. Colpak has received a 7x8 Steerable Low Loader complete with a 3x8 Clip. P&S Haul-em picked up a new 4x4 Extendable Steerable Low Loader with a 11.4m lower deck that telescopes to a whopping 20m.

When it comes to building bespoke trailers featuring the highest standards of quality and innovation, Tuff Trailers is right up there.

The company was founded by Denis and Nicole Di Pasquale in 1994 and has since built a solid reputation for supplying trailers that suit the individual needs of customers like Colin Pakai who owns Brisbane-based heavy haulage specialist Colpak Logistics.

Col has been buying Tuff trailers since 2006 and has now purchased more than two dozen Tuff units for his fleet. He says the ability of Tuff to build trailers exactly how he wants them is the primary reason he continues to buy them.

“Every one of our trailers is specialty built and every unit has improvements over the previous units,” Col says.

“That’s why I like dealing with Denis and the Tuff team because you can chuck ideas at them and they will work out a way to incorporate them into the build.”

Col mentions that he’s found the resale value of Tuff trailers to be second to none, due to the high-quality innovative designs that are custom built to go the distance under harsh Australian conditions.

He praises the Tuff/ Tridec command steering system which is fitted to his three newest Tuff trailers including his latest – a 7×8 Steerable Low Loader which comes with an added 3×8 Clip that converts it to a 10×8.

“A major advantage with this unit is that it closes to 3.1 metres wide which allows us to travel at night in Queensland – this was a big advantage for us because it enables us to get the edge over our competitors. It also comes with BPW ECO Plus axles and Knorr-Bremse EBS braking and is constructed with superior SSAB Swedish high-grade steel,” Col says.

“We do everything from 0 to 150 tonnes in weight so this new unit will complement the rest of the fleet in enabling us to offer a complete transport solution to our clients – whether big or small.”

“It turns on a dime.” Peter Martignago is super impressed with the Tuff/ Tridec full-time powered steering and independent suspension on his new drop-deck Extendable.

Peter Martignago, Managing Director of P&S Haul-em, recently took delivery of a unique 4×4 Extendable Low Loader with powered steering which is active full-time in forward and reverse. The trailer consists of independent hydraulic suspension, as well as a lower deck that stretches from 11.4m out to 20m.

Based at Penrith in western Sydney, Peter says most of his trailers are Tuff because when he orders them he always gets exactly what he needs to suit his individual requirements.

Bringing Peter’s Tuff trailer tally to 18 – with the first one having joined the fleet over 20 years ago – the latest unit is a no holds barred version that ups the ante considerably compared with previous units he’s bought.

Trailer Magazine visited Tuff Trailers’ premises at Crestmead (Brisbane) the day Peter picked up his new unit and was highly impressed with the level of technology that had gone into the product, along with the quality of the finish.

Indeed, the smooth steering action of the trailer was a sight to behold as each wheel responded instantly to the slightest change in direction of the prime mover when turning. It looked as though someone was turning an invisible steering wheel for each trailer wheel – so precise was the action.

Similarly impressive was the operation of the MacPherson Strut-style independent hydraulic suspension that Trailer Magazine was able to witness firsthand via GoPro footage. On its maiden voyage the video footage showed how each axle unit soaks up minor road variations with very little movement transferred to the trailer frame. In fact, the components looked and behaved in a remarkably similar fashion to those of the front suspension and steering on a modern car.

Following his first trip with the trailer from Brisbane to Sydney, Peter says he was blown away by how closely the trailer tracked with the prime mover during turns and how well it tracked behind the prime mover on the highway.

“It steers so well that I had to stop myself from oversteering – around roundabouts it takes heaps less room than a conventional trailer,” he says.

“At the roundabout at Heatherbrae on the way down from Brisbane I just stayed completely in the left lane and it steered around beautifully with about one foot of clearance between the trailer wheels and the kerb.”

Similarly, when backing Peter says he was amazed how much less room it needs to reverse at a right angle into a space.
“It turns so quick that when I went to load it took me three goes to get into the shed. That’s only because I haven’t had a trailer like this before. But once you get used to it there is nothing else that compares – it turns on a dime.”

Peter says another significant advantage of this trailer and the tri-drive Kenworth combination is that it can carry a 38-tonne payload without needing a dolly, thus significantly reducing running costs.

All in all, the latest units bought by Peter Martignago and Colin Pakai are two fine examples of the Tuff Trailers philosophy of designing and building trailers that are completely outside the box in terms of form and function.

Fast Fact
Different operators, similar expectations. Colin Pakai and Peter Martignago are loyal, long-term Tuff Trailers customers who believe in the value of having top-shelf trailers built and equipped exactly to their individual requirements.

Colpak’s Tuff 7×8 Steerable Low Loader has a closed width of 3.1m, allowing it to travel at night in Queensland.