June 2018 Trailer Magazine Cover Story
Established in 1988, Black Mount is the leading bulk water supplier in Australia, servicing the country with a fleet of more than 30 tanker combinations. Its pristine fleet of stainless steel, food grade water tankers have become a trademark, and a reflection of the quality of its pure spring water.
When Black Mount recently tendered for a large transport contact, Tieman Tankers knew it needed to come up with a solution that stood out from the competition. The tanker manufacturer answered the call with their new Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved 26m ‘WaterLiner’ concept.
Michael McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer at Black Mount, says the business received two 26m `WaterLiner` combinations from Tieman Tankers in December last year to cart spring water from sources in the Southern Highlands, south of Sydney, to Asahi’s water processing plant in Blacktown, New South Wales.
The PBS process took several months to complete, involving numerous consultations with Tieman Tankers as well as Black Mount vehicle operators, who worked in close collaboration with government agency, Roads and Maritime Services NSW, to ensure appropriate safety standards and permit requirements were met. Thankfully with Tieman`s in-house PBS access support and experience the process was made seamless.
“The goal was to minimise the number of journeys on the road for vehicle operators,” Michael says. “This also benefits the community, with fewer tanker combinations on the road, and is good for local road infrastructure as well as it helps to minimise wear and tear on the roads.”
According to Michael, water cartage fleet operators typically tend to favour single tankers for their manoeuvrability and tight turning circles. He says that this has been the industry trend for the past 10-15 years. Black Mount’s point-of-difference is its industry-leading vision to maximise productivity through modern innovation.
Though 19m, 20m and 25m B-doubles were previously preferred by Black Mount, Tieman’s unique new ‘WaterLiner’ design not only offers a game-changing 25 per cent increase in payload, but with a steer axle on every axle group, the combination can access the water source and water processing plant with ease. According to Michael, the new combinations are achieving a better-swept path than a 19m B-double.
“Future proofing designs has to be front of mind for any investment,” Michael says. “While this 26m ‘WaterLiner’ has already made other designs obsolete, Tieman has also built the barrel with extra capacity to allow future potential mass increases by road owners. As infrastructure is improving, what you purchase today should be used for the next 15 years, not potentially obsolete in five years. That also importantly protects the resale value of equipment. The combination also offers flexibility in being able to split and use the tankers as singles if ever required.”
Top of mind for Black Mount was ensuring that the combination was easy to use for vehicle operators, so extensive consultation with its many experienced drivers was a key part of the design process. As the road transport industry moves to minimise working at heights risks, the `WaterLiner` has been designed with side manway entrances and easy to access load/unload points with over fill sensors fitted.
Comprised of food-grade stainless steel, the `WaterLiner` combinations feature optimum dynamic stability, which is essential for the drivers. This means that the tanker combination will track well, especially on winding country roads.
“The combination has proved that even at speed on undulating cambered roads in Southern New South Wales, it tracks perfectly straight, giving the operator peace of mind to maximise their safety,” Michael says. “No one can ever say when an evasive manoeuvre at speed will be required, but knowing the Tieman design has best stability at speed really gives owners and operators that peace of mind.”
Other features include Electronic Braking System (EBS) and anti-rollover technology.
According to Michael, Black Mount continues to maintain a leading role in Australia’s water cartage industry by exceeding the operational needs of its customers. “Collaborating with Tieman Tankers reinforces our competitive advantage. By investing in high-capacity road transport equipment that is safe and driving innovation, Black Mount is committed to providing a premium bulk water cartage service to our customers.”
Located in Millbrook, Victoria, the original source of Black Mount spring water is believed to have been created following a volcanic eruption three million years ago that resulted in two craters being formed inside a volcanic cone. As rain falls on the mountain, it is captured in the cone and filtered along the way, before the purified water reaches the springs on the lower slope of the cone.