ALE’S heavy-lift team
YOU’LL always have a friend at your local tyre dealership with a trailer like this.
The ALE Heavy Lift hydraulic trailer has no fewer than 448 tyres. Yes, you read that correctly, 448.
The trailer has 112 axles, 56 on each side, with four wheels per axle.
The trailer is based on the premise of many hands making light work, although the weights it can carry behind Kenworth C509 prime movers are extraordinary.
When two of the ALE prime movers work together, they can haul a gross combined mass of 500 tonnes.
Four of the custom Kenworths have been put to work on special projects in remote Western Australia.
They are currently transporting huge pre-fabricated steel plant structures to the BHP Billiton Jimblebar iron ore project in the Pilbara region in an operation that could take up to one year.
The equipment is trucked from Port Hedland to the mine site near Mt Newman, which is a 500km trip.
It must seem far longer than that to the drivers and support crew, because the fully loaded combinations do not exceed 25km/h.
The kind of loads ALE moves put incredible strain on truck components, especially clutches, so ALE has just refitted two of its C509s with Allison 4700 full automatic torque converter transmissions.
It says the transmission is perfectly suited to the task and works well with the Cummins 447kW (600hp) ISX engines.
‘‘In terms of performance, the Allison torque converter multiplies the engine’s torque, which helps when you are starting off with a 350-ton load,’’ says ALE Heavy Lift general manager John Kelly.
‘‘It means the driver doesn’t have to ride the clutch and ensures smooth take-off and gear changes.’’
Allison autos mean the trucks work better when paired, as the transmissions change at the same time.
The ALE Heavy Lift hydraulic trailer loaded with mining equipment being towed by an Australian-made Kenworth C509