buckle DOWN

Freighter’s in­ge­nious so­lu­tion to the time-con­sum­ing task of un­do­ing and fas­ten­ing trailer buck­les

Deals on Wheels - - Front Page -

With most in­dus­tries un­der the pump in the mod­ern era, sav­ing a few sec­onds or min­utes in any process has be­come al­most an ob­ses­sion.

It’s no dif­fer­ent for the road trans­port in­dus­try. Dead­lines need to be met – while at the same time main­tain­ing a safe work­ing regime.

Freighter, part of the Max­iTrans group, has come up with a prod­uct to meet both needs in the form of the T-Liner Mark II.

Aimed at cus­tomers who are look­ing for a more cost-ef­fec­tive trailer, the T-Liner Mark II’s ma­jor talk­ing point is the re­duc­tion from 22 buck­les to six. And that, ac­cord­ing to Freighter gen­eral man­ager Mario Colosimo, equates to a sav­ing of roughly 10 min­utes per drop.

Freighter has com­bined the tech­nolo­gies from ex­ist­ing in­no­va­tions to come up with the T-Liner Mark II. Im­por­tantly, Max­iTrans’ patented Ez­iLiner ‘cur­tain arc’ sys­tem uses high-strength ny­lon rope running through a series of arcs at the bot­tom of the cur­tain to cre­ate ver­ti­cal ten­sion quickly.

“It’s easy to main­tain, be­cause each arc has its own piece of rope and that piece of rope can be re­paired and re­placed if nec­es­sary,” he says.

Colosimo points out that pre­vi­ously it wasn’t pos­si­ble to re­duce the num­ber of buck­les on a cur­tain with­out loss of ver­ti­cal ten­sion.

“It’s vi­tal to en­sur­ing the cur­tains stay safely closed and don’t flap in the breeze when in tran­sit.

“What we’ve had to do is make a buckle that ap­plies more force to the strap,” he says.

“On top of that, by at­tach­ing the buckle around the tie rail, it gives us ex­tra lever­age in pulling down the cur­tain. So it’s a big­ger buckle with a longer han­dle.”

As­sist­ing the buckle is the in­clu­sion of a non-slip clamp which en­sures the high forces that the buckle pro­duces are held in place while in tran­sit.

“With cur­tain-side trail­ers, ever since they were in­vented, and that’s any­one’s trailer, buck­les have had a ten­dency to loosen,” Colosimo con­tin­ues.

“Most buck­les re­quire ad­just­ment when you open and close them. With this par­tic­u­lar buckle, we’ve given it more stroke so it doesn’t need ad­just­ment when you open and close it, and we’ve clamped the tail of the strap so it won’t go out of ad­just­ment.

“Ev­ery time you open and close it, it goes back to the same spot. You won’t have loose cur­tains. That’s a ma­jor im­prove­ment, and that’s a patented fea­ture,” he says.

“In a nut­shell, we’re com­bin­ing two tech­nolo­gies that we’re very com­fort­able with – the buckle and the arc style cur­tain – mak­ing it a trailer that will en­sure you’ve got a tight cur­tain all the time. The cur­tain won’t go loose, and it’s easy to use.

“If you’re a driver that’s got to open and close cur­tains all the time, you don’t do them tight be­cause it’s just harder to do up and undo.

“So if you’re go­ing to open and close a 22-pal­let trailer with 44 buck­les, four or five times a day, you won’t do them tight.

“The T-Liner Mark II’s de­sign means it will al­ways go back to the same spot – it will al­ways be the same tight­ness; there’s no ex­cuse.

“Plus, when you’re go­ing to six buck­les a side, you’re us­ing less buck­les any­way, so the like­li­hood of them be­ing used prop­erly to cre­ate an ad­e­quate cur­tain seal is much higher.”

This de­liv­ers OH&S ben­e­fits, with the chances of repet­i­tive strain in­juries be­ing re­duced.

More­over, safety has be­come an im­por­tant part of Max­iTrans’ doc­trine in-house, ac­cord­ing to group gen­eral man­ager sales and dis­tri­bu­tion An­drew McKen­zie. And cus­tomers are also ben­e­fit­ting from the com­pany’s safety strat­egy.

“Start­ing with about 2006 to where we sit to­day, we’ve been able to re­duce lost time and in­jury fre­quency rate by about 80 per cent,” he says.

“In more re­cent times we’ve en­gaged the ser­vices of a com­pany called DuPont to come and help us fur­ther re­duce that to the next level, which has been fan­tas­tic and we’ve seen some great re­sults from that.

“From that, we were able to sit back and look and go: ‘What’s the next step? How can we take that same phi­los­o­phy to the mar­ket? And how can we try to de­sign bet­ter, faster, safer trail­ers for both truck drivers and op­er­a­tors but also the broader com­mu­nity?’”

The Freighter T-Liner Mark II is cer­tainly ful­fill­ing that obli­ga­tion, while giv­ing bud­get-con­scious cus­tomers an in­ge­nious op­tion in the com­pet­i­tive taut­liner trailer mar­ket.

The cur­tain won’t go loose, and it’s easy to use.

1. Freighter’s new T-LinerMark II2. Mario Colosimo out­lines thefea­tures of the big buckle 3. The buckle is at­tached to the tie rail, so no chance of com­ing loose4. The new T-Liner fea­tures Freighter’s ‘cur­tain arc’ tech­nol­ogy

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