Being able to operate loaded both ways on a round trip between Central Queensland and Brisbane is key to success for Emerald Carrying Company.
The company recently invested in a new MK III O’Phee Convertible which is used to haul gravel from the Gemfields region to Brisbane, returning with general freight.
The O’Phee Convertible is a versatile trailer that can be converted from a flat-top to a tip-over-axle tipper with the addition of gates and side curtains.
Adding to the versatility, it features a Ringfeder coupling enabling it to be used as the lead trailer in a double roadtrain combination.
“We have quite a few O’Phee Convertibles in our fleet because they enable us to do backloading all year round,” said Emerald Carrying Company Fleet Manager, Matt Haylock.
“We continue to purchase O’Phee Convertibles because of the high-quality workmanship that goes into them – they’ve been making them for years and they know all the ins and outs of them.”
Back in the 1970s and ‘80s the Convertible trailer was a popular choice with many operators because they could use them to haul grain at harvest time as a tipper and as a flat-top hauling general freight at other times. That was in the pre-curtainsider era when tarping loads was a common occurrence and workplace health and safety was not high on the agenda within the industry.
According to Haylock, not having to protect the load from rain (unlike grain) means that side curtains on the gates are all that is required to set the Convertible up for gravel haulage.
“It’s pretty easy freight for us, really,” he said – adding that the unit is often part of a B-double where it’s coupled behind a curtainsided lead trailer.
The lead trailer has hydraulic lines plumbed through it so that the Convertible can be tipped without needing to unhitch the combination.
The new Convertible is dressed up to the nines thanks to Emerald Carrying’s striking earthy livery complemented by a full set of chromed alloy wheels.
Haylock is a third-generation member of the Emerald-based family-owned company that was started by his grandparents Bill and Joan Haylock as a general freight haulage service in 1965.
The company diversified into petroleum haulage in 1994 and steadily grew this arm of the business to the point where today it accounts for around 85 per cent of the work.
Typically running 65-tonne Gross Combination Mass (GCM) B-doubles and road trains at up to 135 tonnes GCM, depending on the destination, the trucks load from fuel terminals at Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Brisbane, and deliver all over Queensland.
As for the O’Phee Convertible trailers Emerald Carrying Company owns, Haylock said the first units were purchased soon after the turn of the century and the company has stayed with the brand ever since due to the high levels of product quality and customer service.
“Mick O’Phee is good to deal with and we have had a trouble-free run with our O’Phee trailers, which is why we keep buying them,” he said.