ATA and MaxiTRANS lead industry innovation

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 24, 2019

The Australian Trucking Association‘s Industry Technical Council and MaxiTRANS are leading industry innovation, by tackling an exciting engineering ‘proof of concept‘ project.

The ITC is a working committee that provides technical input and best practice advice to the ATA.

“The project explores the further development of a rigid drawbar converter dolly and comes after ITC member discussions regarding the dynamic issues with hinged drawbar converter dollies, especially brake reactivity and tyre wear,” ATA chief engineer Bob Woodward said.

“Manufacturers and suppliers are looking for safer designs, and operators are seeking improved productivity with safer outcomes.

“With immense support from MaxiTRANS and ITC members Hendrickson, Alcoa Wheels, Bridgestone, JOST and WABCO, the project is a collaboration of the resources and knowledge of manufacturers, suppliers and operators all working towards a common goal,” he said.

From concept to reality, the converter dolly project was on display in the MaxiTRANS exhibition space at May‘s Brisbane Truck Show.

Andrew McKenzie, MaxiTRANS Group general manager sales and marketing, said the display generated an extraordinary amount of interest throughout the course of the show.

“Despite being an essential part of the trailer combination, it is sometimes neglected or overlooked. However due to the advent of A-doubles, it has certainly become increasingly important. MaxiTRANS, in conjunction with the ATA, has been working on the concept for quite some time and understand that while the rigid drawbar may or may not suit every combination, we are confident that the initial trials will demonstrate the safety benefits to the wider transport community,” he said.

The dolly will now be trialled by ITC members and customers of the MaxiTRANS and the supporting companies.

“The interest the dolly project has gained is overwhelming, with many requests to participate in the trial from industry operators as well as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator,” Woodward said.

“The project and trial play an important role in enhancing safety and productivity. The needs of our industry are constantly changing, and the ITC is essential to ensuring operators and businesses stay up to date with best practice.”