PBS Approval Offers 20% Gains in Productivity

This new aluminium trailer brings the PR Cootes Holdings Pty Ltd fleet up to 15, almost exclusively designed and manufactured by Hamelex White as a result of the long-standing relationship between the two companies.

Delivered in August, it is being used to cart quarry products around eastern Victoria for Holcim Australia Pty Ltd – one of Australia’s leading suppliers of aggregates, concrete and other related products with over 100 years of experience.

Holcim Australia Pty Ltd has also played a significant role in assisting to obtain the productivity benefits by ensuring the ordering and scheduling processes are route assessed and that all Holcim Quarries and loading point weighbridges are conversant with the permit obligations. Training and Safety Supervisor at Holcim Australia Pty Ltd, Gary Clarke ensured that there was a smooth implementation between the drivers, quarries and Customer Service Centre at Holcim.

And as Paul Cootes of PR Cootes Holdings Pty Ltd explains, this tipper is doing its job perfectly. “Having PBS approval on this unit is already providing phenomenal benefits, it has increased productivity by around 20 percent. It’s just terrific and so versatile. This combination can be delivering to a rural roadside delivery in the morning and a metropolitan concrete plant in the afternoon if need be with the same level of productivity that is expected from a B-double. It’s basically hauling B-double weights but has greater flexibility in terms of where it can travel and a far lighter tare weight for the same gross mass. Permits are required to travel along B-double routes however flexibility can be achieved by working with local councils for concrete plant access and less prominent roads in the network. I would say that the versatility of this unit is by far, one of its greatest advantages.”

With over 24 years of experience, Paul Cootes is no stranger to the transport industry, and running a safe, efficient and reliable fleet is always high on his agenda. His business practice thrives on continuous improvement and therefore Paul will only place a driver that has a Multi Combination licence into any of his PBS vehicles, as they are carrying similar weights to a B-double. TDT driver training in Dandenong recently provided three of Paul’s drivers with the MC endorsement, which heavily focuses on route planning and other skills that complement vehicles carrying higher mass weights. “The PBS scheme does not require an MC licence as part of the criteria, but from a best practice point of view, I believe it to be beneficial,” he says.

This new tipper is the fourth PBS approved unit purchased by PR Cootes Holdings Pty Ltd, all of which are manufactured by Hamelex White. The first three PBS approved units have a 56 tonne gross mass, while this is the first to have 57.5 tonne gross mass, enabling it to carry up to 40.6 tonne payload.

Amongst those impressed with the capabilities of the new trailer is its driver, Sebastiaan Kuyer who says, “It actually handles better at 57.5 tonne than it does at 50 tonne.”

PBS certifier, Bisitecniks played a large role in enabling the PR Cootes Holdings Pty Ltd units to obtain PBS permits. “The main elements of PBS approval are vehicle access in terms of where the vehicle is permitted to travel; specifications, which need to go into great detail for the assessment; the inspection of the equipment; and the final approvals and permits,” explains Paul Walsh of Bistecniks. “For any vehicle that can’t comply with the prescriptive regulation, PBS is really the only avenue available, and what PBS approval generally means is higher productivity. The types of vehicles that PR Cootes Holdings Pty Ltd operates are achieving significant increases in weight because of PBS.”

For increased safety, the four axle dog trailer has been fitted with a body-up alarm system. The body-up alarm system provides drivers with an audible and visual alarm to indicate that the tipper body is elevated and help prevent it from obstructing any overhead hazards that it may be subjected to, including powerlines which can otherwise cause a significant risk to the driver. This system works through the hydraulic system in the truck and registers any pressure on the hoist, which triggers the audible tone and LED display in the cabin of the truck. An additional mirror has been fitted at the front of the truck to eliminate blind spots.

Further to this, extra lighting helps to provide increased visibility. The tipper has been fitted out with Narva LED stop/tail lights, side lights, and reflectors to the rear and sides.
Other features include Hendrickson Intraax 15” overslung suspension at a 370 mm ride to the front and 380 mm ride height to the rear, Hendrickson Intraax 10/285 PCD aluminium centrifuse drums, Hendrickson axle lift kit to the front axle at the rear of the suspension group, air pressure gauges, V. Orlandi tow couplings, BPW DK90/20 turntable, A.B.C ABS brakes, Camilleri retractable tarp, Alcoa 10 stud 285 PCD 22.5” aluminium wheels, Michelin 11R 22.5” tyres and a Glasurit paint finish.

“Hamelex did a very good job in building the unit to exacting specifications which is vital when seeking PBS approval,” states Paul Cootes. It’s a very precise methodology so you need everybody to do their job to the millimetre. I would like to acknowledge the cooperation we had between Hamelex White, its suppliers and the consultant Bisitecniks in order to get these approvals and get the unit out on the road.”

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