Broadbent gets PBS approval for A-doubles

Broadbent Bulk Services gains approval for A-double configuration between Toowoomba and Port of Brisbane

Broadbent gets PBS approval for A-doubles
Broadbent gets PBS approval for A-doubles

January 25, 2012

Broadbent Bulk Services has been given the all clear to run A-doubles to and from the Port of Brisbane in a move the company says has "dramatically" increased productivity.

The Queensland company was recently granted approval to run the configuration under secured performance based standards (PBS) between Toowoomba and the port.

Operations manager Shane Noble says he began looking at the prospect of using an A-double to meet customer demand and improve efficiency.

"We’re now running two A-doubles per day from our base in Toowoomba to the Port of Brisbane which has increased our productivity dramatically," he says.

"We’re now able to send two full 29 tonne containers to the port and bring four empty containers back – that means we have one driver doing the job of two and freeing up the other rig to perform other duties."

Noble says he had the idea of using A-doubles for a while but found the use of a steerable dolly in the configuration made the switch to the configuration too expensive.

"If we were able to use the performance based standards laws to find an A-double combination that wasn’t only legal but affordable, it would mean that we would be able to be that much more efficient when it came to getting our loads to their final destination," he says.

Trailer manufacturer Freighter despatched its engineering team to look into the matter and says reports back indicated the use of a steerable dolly did not really change the performance of an A-double.

"In fact, changing from a steerable dolly to a regular dolly eliminated a few problems in our eyes such as tyre wear and poor performance on rough roads," A Freighter Queensland manager, Eric Ey, says.

As well as ditching the use of a steerable dolly, Freighter says its engineers constructed the trailer to suit a bonneted truck to meet Noble’s requests. Freighter used wide axle spacings on both of the skels and dolly to counteract the bonneted truck.

"Not only can they carry two 29 tonne containers on that route, but on a higher mass route they could go up too two 32 tonne containers. That’s a huge load," Ey says.

The Queensland Government in 2010 permitted PBS-approved vehicles of up to 30 metres to travel the 154km route between the port and Toowoomba.

Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the ability of A-doubles to carry two 40ft or four 20ft containers can significantly reduce the number of trucks on the road.

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