This week we are looking at trailer moving gadgets. Anyone who has worked in the trucking industry is aware of the problem, all of the prime movers are out on the road and this one trailer needs to be moved for some reason. Bigger fleets can usually afford to run some kind of yard truck, either an ageing ex-highway prime mover or a dedicated custom built yard tug. However, for many it’s a matter of waiting for the first truck to return to the yard to get the job done. These gadgets do seem to offer an alternative.
Here’s another example of the kind of thing available elsewhere in the world, this time with added complexity, remote control. This suggests the next stage would be a robot yard gadget shifting trailers around to a preset program, squeezing trailers into tight spaces with precision:
This one is claimed to be able to handle trailers weighing up to 23 tonnes. This means it’s not going to capable of shifting your loaded B-double sets around the yard:
However, if you need something shifting from A to B, here is the ultimate tool, also likely to cost the ultimate price. This system from Mammoet will shift anything anywhere:
Here’s a YouTube regular, known as ‘Always Off Road’, he knows there’s a right way to lift a bin and this week he is showing us how he loads and unloads bins hauling sugar cane out of the paddocks and into the refinery. This is a simple, but highly effective, system used wherever cane is grown. If you ever wondered how this task was handled, now you know.
Not all bin lifts are quite as straightforward. Here we have a rigid Mack trying to load a heavy skip bin full of construction materials, I’ve got to say the driver does very well in an iffy situation:
The Australian Armed Forces utilise a similar technology on their new multipurpose trucks, demonstrated here:
If you are going to pick up one bin, why not pick up three?
Diesel News is not quite sure what is going on here, but this Mack is reckoned to be showing “Pure Pulling Power”. Here we have a 1972 Mack Truck, which appears to be performing a wheelie with a load of logs. This Mack has a two stick Spicer 5×4 transmission and a V8 Detroit engine. You don’t have to look at the images, just close the eyes and listen the engine roar.
Here we have something similar, with a heavy haulage unit losing it a bit near the top of the grade as the front wheels leave the ground:
In this example from Sweden, what is going is perhaps a little easier to work out. The load is obviously, heavy and the truck does have pulling power, but there may be a little bit of trickery going on here. The prime mover almost certainly has a sliding turntable, they are very common in Europe. It’s difficult to see any detail on the wheel hubs as they pass by, but it would a good bet the rear axle on the prime mover is a lifting tag. After a bit of practice it would probably be possible to time the pressing of axle lift button to coincide with the power coming in as the accelerator is pressed. Then, hey Presto! A B-double doing wheelies:
this is probably the nearest we can fu=ind to real wheelies in a truck. Theirs is what happens in Canada, where the crazy French Canadians are into drag racing fully loaded B-double trucks. The lifting steer axles are showing us the real thing, ‘Pure Pulling Power’!
This week we look at heavy haulage around the world. This is a very specialised area of the transport industry and requires highly specialised equipment. Each country has its own way of doing things, but, for everyone the job is the same, get a bloody big thing from A to B without damaging anything. Easier said than done!
This is how they do it in Finland.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, in the far West of Canada, this operator hauls the big stuff up through the Rocky mountains:
This is reckoned to be the biggest road prime mover in the world. It’s an 8×4 Tractomas from France. It is powered by a Caterpillar C27 engine. That’s a 27 litre engine pumping out, an amazing, 4000 Nm of torque and producing over 1000 hp:
We do handle some pretty big loads here in Australia. In this video Triton Transport is hauling the biggest wheel loader in the world, a LeTourneau L-2350, out of Perth. The largest capacity bucket option for the L-2350 is a huge 40.5 cubic metres and the machine can lift 72.5 tonnes. This enables it to load an Ultra Class Terex MT6300 (a 363 tonne capacity truck) with only five passes and in just over three minutes. The L-2350 is the only wheel loader in the world that is designed to load the bigger Terex MT6300s:
Now to two heavy haulage operations, no longer with us. First, a McAleese Tri Drive Kenworth taking a Komatsu WD900 out of the Chittering Road House , Western Australia
And second, a mob of HHA trucks in Bendigo to move a ring gear for a drag line crane to Blackwater, in Queensland:
This scene is part of every truck driver’s nightmare, rolling over on a relatively innocuous bend at a reasonable speed. It only takes the smallest misjudgement of speed of flick of the steering wheel to lay a truck over like this. Anyone who has watched this kind of thing happen will realise just how many times they came close to rollover without even realising they were in danger of losing it.
The margin of error in terms of speed on a corner like this is only a fraction of one per cent. Of course, from the point of view of the car driver looking on, as this monster truck careers down the roadside, this is just another reckless truckie endangering other road users.
Here is an example of another truckie looking bad, but this time it’s their own fault. Touching the traffic light the first may be excusable, just, but hitting it three times is just ridiculous;ous and not helping our cause in any way:
However, at least we are not as bad as the crazy Russians!
Christmas is here and with all of the bad news around trucks and Christmas, coming out of Berlin, it is our job to show the positive side of the relationship between truck and the community. This is an annual parade, which takes place in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada,. Local truckies cover their trucks with lights and parade through the town in the lead up to the festive season.
Here’s a longer video of the same parade:
Of course, Cocal Cola probably started the craze with its Christmas truck ads:
Here are a couple of videos of Coca Cola trucks in Christmas crowds, the centre of attention.
This video, titled ‘Krazy Kiwis Kornering ‘ was made by Diesel News on a recent visit to our friends on the other side of the ditch. This particular corner is a well known to truckies in New Zealand. It’s called Bulli Point and is a tight blind ben right on the edge of Lake Taupo, about twenty minutes south of Taupo town. Importantly, it’s on Highway One, the main route in NZ, which connects Auckland to Wellington, and on to Christchurch via the ferry.
On this major freight route these trucks meet with caution (we see one of the truckies calling the bend on the UHF, as he passes), in a situation where the New Zealand government has decided to allow large trucks relatively untrammelled access to all roads in the country. It is almost the exact opposite to the situation here in Australia, where even if the truck is perfectly safe and capable of using a particular route, the local road owner will often arbitrarily disallow access.
New Zealand has developed a generic truck type, the 50 Max, and it is allowed on all roads in the country. An eight wheeler pulling a five axle dog is allowed to run to 23 metres long and to 50 tonnes, as of right. This can go up to 62 tonnes if a permit is involved.
In most cases trucks and paragliding don’t mix, but for one day in Croatia’s Dynamic Alps the combination worked well. A Volvo truck, demonstrating its dual clutch system with minimal interruption in torque hauls a paraglider around the countryside and even under a large bridge.
The driver in this, the latest of the stunts Volvo have set up and released on YouTube, is Kiwi Louise Marriott who was declared the most fuel-efficient driver in the on road category of Volvo Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge in 2015 in the Thai city of Hua Hin. In winning the Fuelwatch Challenge, Louise recorded 17.5 per cent less fuel consumed, when compared to the highest amount of fuel burnt on the day.
The paraglider is pro, Guillaume Galvani. His Facebook page lists hi interests as paragliding, skydiving, base jumping, photography, kitesurfing, climbing, paramotoring, traveling. Needless to say, he is not risk-averse.
Here’s an explanation of how the stunt was set up and what needed to go right to succeed:
Just so we keep all of this in perspective. Paragliding can be quite a dangerous sport:
One of the perennial problems suffered by trucks is the car towing a caravan losing control and causing mayhem, more caravan capers. If truck drivers were driving a combination the same size, they would have had to undergo training. At the same time, someone who has never driven anything bigger than a Hyundai Excel can go along to a caravan yard, but a monster can and start towing it with anything with a towbar.
With the holiday season approaching, the danger of this kind of thing happening in front of a truck increases. Often the caravan starts to wiggle coming through the disturbed air around a truck and the driver does not have the skills to bring it back under control.
There is no training requirement to tow something which actually needs to be handled with care. The basic dynamics of a car and caravan are all wrong with the towing point a metre behind the rear axle of the car. This is just an accident waiting to happen, and it does!
Here’s another one from the other direction:
Here we go again! These drivers have no idea what to do once the caravan gets a wiggle on. They seem unaware of what is going on before the caravan is completely out of control:
Here’s a simple video explaining just how to build a truck. The young are under the impression all of these things which make their life comfortable and fun, just pop out of nowhere. The trucking industry needs to do more of this, showing the process needed to get anything to the consumer, letting people understand how much the whole world depends on trucking and trucks.
Sometimes, we in the trucking industry need to be told just how important we are. Ignored and disregarded, our industry is one of the vital building blocks which makes modern society tick.
Here a truck driver in the US tries to show what life on the road is like. However, this doesn’t show others just how important trucking is to modern life.
Again we have a mini-documentary showing us how the UK health service supply chain works. Apparently, the warehouse is the main story and the trucking side of it warrants about three seconds:
Here is a union video telling the world about how badly Walmart treats those in the supply chain, without mentioning those transporting the goods across the world once!