New Tieman ‘Super Pocket’ A Game Changer
Stevemacs Bulk Fuel Haulage is a family owned company based in Kewdale, Perth, Western Australia. Established in 2003 by Steve McWhirter. The company carts bulk petroleum products within WA covering towns as far north as Exmouth, south to Albany, and east to Meekatharra Kalgoorlie and Ravensthorpe.
Travel time for Stevemacs drivers can vary but destinations like Exmouth can mean a couple of days from when the truck leaves the fuel terminal to when it returns. Even key regional centres like Albany and Kalgoorlie are around 400-600 kilometres away from Perth respectively so every extra litre of payload makes a difference to the efficiency of the Stevemacs fleet.
Pocket road trains are the common transport configuration in WA for most hauliers. The pocket road train designs have changed over many years with the main limitation being the 27.5m overall length allowed – 6×4 and 8×4 trucks are the common type of trucks used and payloads of approximately 78-83kl of diesel with a tri-axle dolly can be achieved depending on truck selection and the duty of the freight task.
‘Tieman are at the forefront of Performance-Based Standards (PBS) tanker innovation in Australia, across multiple bulk liquid and dry bulk industries,” according to Tieman Tankers Director, Col Tieman.
“We have been working with WA Main Roads to introduce the biggest game changer the WA transport industry has seen for many years.
“Our new ‘Super Pocket’ design has a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 111 tonnes and importantly has been approved to be used on Level 2 routes out of Kewdale and Coogee fuel terminals to key regional centres in WA.
“Over many months supporting data has been provided to WA Main Roads to allow the comparison between a standard prescriptive 27.5 m pocket and our ‘Super Pocket’ to take place,” he says – explaining that the ‘Super Pocket’ has a level 1 swept path with a rear steer axle on the rear of each of the quad axle groups. “But the game changing approximate 95kl of diesel payload will mean maximum fleet efficiency for many Tieman customers like Stevemacs in the future.”
Tieman has designed the tankers to provide maximum flexibility so they can carry motor spirit or diesel or a mix of both.
“No matter what the product carried, our ‘Super Pocket’ innovation will be the next evolution of pocket road train in WA,” Col says.
Stevemacs through Truck Centre WA, selected a Volvo FH 700HP Tri Drive Globetrotter cab including full aero package fully assembled and locally engineered at Volvo Group local manufacturing plant in Wacol, Brisbane. The gearbox is a ATO3112 Ultra low crawler & multi speed reverse.
The Volvo airbag suspension includes changes to the rear suspension pedestal to incorporate the same rear suspension as on Volvo’s proven bogie drive already offered across the range with four bags per axle, 12 bag airbag in total for full suspension and fast reacting articulation for maximum traction in all applications.
The latest Volvo safety package includes forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control, lane support system, departure warning, and driver alert support warning system.
York Duratrac suspension with Pann 22 disc brake axles have been selected by Stevemacs on both the tankers as well as the the fixed tri axle dolly manufactured by Southern Cross Trailers. The light tare weight of the York axle configuration gives optimum payload and the large 430mm rotor has found improved brake life. The lateral stability at allowed speeds of up to 100km/hr is said to be excellent. Each of the quad axle tankers has a rear steer axle which is assisting the combination to turn even better than with a standard 27.5m pocket road train giving great access into fuel terminals, fuel depots and retail service stations.
For Steve, the impact that Tieman’s ‘Super Pocket’ has had on his fleet comes down to moving more volume with only one vehicle.
“Driver hours are the same, fuel and tyre wear is near on-par along with far greater payload and fewer truck movements per year effectively improves vehicle operator safety,” he says – adding that his business took delivery of its first Tieman tanker some 24 years ago. “We purchased our first Tieman tanker back in 1995, and we still operate that tanker five days a week on regular rural farm deliveries. Our Stevemacs / Great Southern Fuel Supplies fleet comprises about 85 Tieman tankers in total. My dealings with Tieman have always been positive and I feel they respect customer feedback and design ideas.”
With the land freight task due to significantly increase in coming years, it takes innovative companies like Tieman to introduce game changing technology. The extra payload alone on the ‘Super Pocket’ compared to a prescriptive 27.5m Pocket, will pay for the total capital cost of the combination many times over the operating life.
In 2014 Tieman made a major investment in Perth with the opening of a tanker service and repair division, now known as Road Tank Repairs WA. With Managing Director partner Brad Onley, after sales service and spare parts for tankers is Tieman’s point of difference for all customers who operate in WA.
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