The latest GLT bulk load walking floor trailer is breaking new ground for efficiency.
The Australian trailer industry is consistently creating and developing new solutions for operators looking to find a better way to do business. With an industry that is increasingly competitive, it’s satisfying to find that new solutions for our market rarely come from overseas but are developed locally by engineering and design teams that know and understand the industry and that can work well with the customer to improve efficiencies.
It’s a common comment that in the transport industry, it’s not what you can earn that makes the profit, it more a case of what you can save, compared to your competition.
Graham Lusty Trailers is a shining example of a company that doesn’t churn out identical fridge pans or licence designs from overseas. Under Managing Director James Yerbury and with the exceptional knowledge and drive of company founder Graham Lusty in the background, GLT continues to surprise transport operators and other manufacturers with its new developments.
TrailerTorque has been monitoring the ongoing development of the GLT PBS approved 54 foot moving-floor Easy Steer trailer since the prototype debuted at the Brisbane Truck Show last year. Now, with all the necessary approvals in place for its operation, this high-volume walking-floor trailer offers a volume capacity of 127 cubic metres from a unit with a tare weight of just 11.5 tonne to achieve a payload of 31.5 tonne.
This trailer can replace a conventional 26 metre B-Double moving floor combination, bringing a reduction in up-front costs, a lowering of vehicle combination registration cost by up to 50 percent and lower maintenance costs and lower turnaround times for unloading.
Capable of discharging a full load of woodchip in around 10 minutes, the 64 foot Easysteer trailer uses Hallco Industries aluminium plank moving floor and is particularly suited to carrying low-impact products.
The aluminium-slat flooring moves rearwards in unison, then retracts in a three-phase movement before its next combined rearwards movement. When reclaiming a load into the trailer body the system simply reverses the unloading procedure. The trailer is fitted with a full RAZOR rollover mesh tarp system.
From an appearance perspective apart from the greater length of the combination the immediate difference relates to the inclusion of a quad-axle set-up, with the front axle using the Elphinstone Easysteer axle design.
This combination has full PBS approval and permits to run HML 54 tonne on the PBS Level 2 A Network within Queensland and NSW.
The trailer body at the rear sits on an Elphinstone load-cell weighing system which is then mounted onto a ball-race attached to the Elphinstone suspension module.
GLT has licensed the Easysteer design from Elphinstone Australia and has initiated an ongoing research and development programme to increase its availability in moving floor and tipper applications. The Easysteer system is also suitable for use with products such as logging, pole trailers, flatbeds, pressurised tankers, bulk tankers, side tippers and container side lifters.
The Easysteer module gains a 5-tonne payload advantage over a tradition tri-axle spread. The way the suspension system tracks also increases the handling performance of the trailer.
With the rear bogie able to achieve a 25-degree steering axle – effectively double that of a standard self-steering axle – it provides the operator with a payload similar to that achieved with a quad-axle trailer with one less axle while providing increased manoeuvrability with a substantial reduction in tyre scrub, less tyre wear in general and reduced frame stress.
The Knorr-Bremse EBS system integrates the basic functions of braking control, ABS and ASR, into one electronic system. The advantages of electronic control over conventional pneumatic control are shorter response time and braking distance, resulting in increased road safety.
The electronic braking system (EBS) has additional functions such as control of wear, downhill cruise control and coupling-force control (CFC), a system that distributes optimal braking power between a prime mover and semi-trailer.
It is estimated that, in the European Community, the equipping of all trucks and buses/coaches with electronic systems would result in 500 fewer deaths and 2500 fewer injuries due to road accidents each year.
Knorr-Bremse is continuing development of active and passive driver-assistance systems and is thereby making a significant contribution to increasing safety on the roads.
The product programme in the area of electronic systems ranges from legally required ABS (anti-lock braking systems), through EBS (electronic braking systems) to ESP (electronic stability programmes) and ACC (adaptive cruise control).
The EBS system fitted to the bulk load moving-floor trailer has cabin control switches to enable operation from within the truck for the various trailer functions. Monitoring of the Elphinstone load-cell weighing system is also available from inside the truck cabin.
Hendrickson light weight INTRAAX narrow bush air-bag suspension features the company’s WH23 axles with HXL7 drum-brake wheel ends, providing a rigid axle/beam connection combined with tri-functional bushing for an ideal combination of ride softness and stability. The addition of the HXL7 wheel ends creates a wheel-end system that is 100 percent field serviceable, backed by a five-year on-road, 1.2 million kilometre warranty as standard.
“Instead of the traditional tri-axle set-up, this trailer uses special axle spacings with a tandem group and a single axle which enable an increase in payload of four to five tonne,” says GLT’s Marketing Manager Simon Frederickson.
“The way the suspension oscillates, and turns is quite unique. Because wood chips are a light product, at around 380 kg per cubic metre, we need to go longer with the trailer to get the 127 cubic metres. Payload wise, the trailer can carry up to 32.2 tonne when coupled with the twin-steer truck it has been designed around.
“It’s all about improving productivity and increasing safety. As we eliminate a second trailer within the combination, the time required to unload is also decreased because there is no need to unhook trailers to unload,” Simon added.
This combination has full PBS approval and permits to run HML 54 tonne on the PBS Level 2 A Network within Queensland and NSW and has been designed specifically to handle wood chip. The trailer body at the rear sits on an Elphinstone load-cell weighing system which is then mounted onto a ball race attached to the Elphinstone suspension module.
GLT has licensed the Easysteer design from Elphinstone and will be further developing the design to suit the moving-floor and tipper applications. The Easysteer module gains a 5-tonne payload advantage over a tradition tri-axle spread. The way the suspension system tracks also increases the handling performance of the trailer.