Grant Albinus has a set up on his trailers to maximise productivity. KGB Transport, based in Inverell NSW, has used a sliding lead trailer, which can function as the lead trailer on a B-double or an A-double. However, the process in changing over the two types of combination can be tricky.
The solution Grant has come up with though is simple and saves time, without extra cost. He has a single rear trailer and two lead trailers. One makes up a B-double and the second, with a dolly makes his combination an A-double. Changing over takes less than 30 minutes and is simply a matter of dropping a rear trailer, dropping a lead and then picking up the other lead and backing onto the rear trailer.
The design of the Tefco lead trailer on the A-double is also more effective than the sliding lead as the weight of the slider mechanism is saved. Grant can get an extra two tonnes of payload by using this set up. The extra productivity has proven to be able to pay for the cost of the third trailer.
“I did all of the figures and worked it out that it made sense to get another trailer,” says Grant. “It also works well to give me more volume for lighter products. It’s 750 mm longer than the B-double bin and gives me better volume when I need it. It’s been worth doing.”
The A-double set up runs under the Performance Based Standards (PBS) regime.
“The PBS side of things has improved,” says Grant. “My first truck and dog were delivered as a PBS unit. You built the unit and then you applied for PBS. You had a unit sitting there that you couldn’t use until you’ve got your PBS through and that could take up to nine months.
“Now, when I order my trailer from Tefco the PBS process is started. That means when you go to pick up the trailer you’re just about there and all of the paperwork comes through. The hassle then is that you have to apply to get the access for the unit in different places. That’s the area they really need to improve. Why does everyone have to keep applying for the same routes every time.”
There are already A-doubles with precisely the same specifications using many routes already, but the operator still has to go thorough a permission system for each vehicle. Operators are seeking to have an ‘as-of-right’ system enabled if the unit they are using is the same spec.
“Everything has to go through the portal now,” says Grant. “I have just had to do seven applications. Out of those, four of them are with new routes no one has done before, to try and get into some new locations. If anyone in the loop says no, that’s it.
“No one rings you and tells you that they can’t approve it because of a particular reason or makes recommendations of what you would need to change in order to get approval. You get an email telling you that your application has been denied, thank you for your application and your $70.”
This process of having to apply, try out a route and test the process may have to be repeated quite a few times before access is granted. There is very little feedback from the authorities to help the operators in getting their applications and their specifications right and develop trailers to maximise productivity.