Victorian linehaul specialist, Ausway Transport, last week unveiled its first PBS-approved B-triple combination.
The high productivity freight vehicle is running Melbourne to Adelaide, return, pulled by a 600hp Cummins-powered Kenworth K200.
The B-triple allows Ausway, who often carries parcels for the likes of StarTrack and Australia Post, to increase their volume given mass isn’t the primary factor.
The combination comes in under 68.5 tonnes when loaded and crucially contains more pallet space than an A-double.
Most of the fleet’s latest dedicated lead trailers, which are manufactured by Vawdrey, are roadtrain-rated and engineered to be interchangeable as a middle trailer with the inclusion of a wiring harness connection.
This move ensures Ausway Transport is now EBS compliant across its entire fleet.
By the end of July, Ausway expects to have eight new lead trailers from Vawdrey in their possession.
With things tracking as planned, another four B-triples will go online for the fleet in August.
The extra articulation point of the B-triple has proven beneficial in areas of handling according to Bobby Sooch, Ausway Transport Managing Director.
“It doesn’t rumble as much down the road as a roadtrain because of the dolly,” he said. “Even road-users are more friendly around triples compared to roadtrains. The drawbar on the dolly scares a lot of people on a roadtrain.”
Manoeuvrability is superior to a roadtrain, not to mention safer, according to Sooch, who expects to preference more B-triples than roadtrain combinations going forward.
Sooch had initially considered running a Tautliner pan combination before it became evident the B-triple would better suit their needs.
“Initially we wanted to have a lead pan and drop deck B-double behind it but the measurements on the turntable proved challenging with the actual turntable being welded to the rollback trailers,” he explained.
Smedley’s Engineers is handling the PBS approval process which will encompass 12 full combinations with provision for 14 B-triples in total once the remaining units are certified.
“Smedley’s completed the Performance-Based Standards set up for us,” said Sooch.
“Jackson Heil has been our Account Manager and he was really good to deal with,” he said.
“He has a lot of knowledge.
“It’s exciting and we’re really happy to see this transition in the business, once these all roll out, we’ll go into the next phase.”
Sooch said the project had been underway for 12 months in total including conception, procurement and engagement with Smedley’s through to completion.
The K200 big cab is hard to miss especially at night with its lights, side markers and glow-in-the dark antennae.
“The extra lights on the triples assist when entering some narrow single carriage roads and helps to signal oncoming traffic when approaching a much larger vehicle especially on dark nights,” said Sooch.
“With the lights on top we’ve found you can judge it from further away given the greater visibility they have. I think the lights should be compulsory on the top and bottom of prime movers,” he said.
The antennas are red facing backwards and amber facing forwards, making them ADR compliant, giving these distinctive glowstick-like accessories a two-in-one validation.
The second B-triple also launched by Ausway will be pulled by a Volvo FH16 XL 700hp.
“The initial plan is to do two daily into Brisbane which will bring the fleet up to eight B-triples,” said Sooch.
“Then two into Adelaide, followed up by another two into Sydney. As the numbers grow, we will split the fleet into more triples.”
This week Ausway Transport has also taken delivery of four new Kenworth K200s featuring the same powertrain for these interstate high productivity freight movements.