To facilitate the clean-up of vast swathes of plantation timber affected by the recent bushfires, logging operator and timber exporter Malec Bros has taken delivery of 22 B-double logging skels built in record time by trailer manufacturer, Vawdrey Australia.
Malec Bros has purchased a brace of new Vawdrey B-double log trailers to carry harvested pine logs from its Holbrook (southern New South Wales) depot to its Melbourne depot where the logs are transferred to containers for export. Once filled with logs each container weighs around 29 tonnes.
The new skel log-carrying combinations are specifically designed for the job, featuring four bays with each bay carrying 3.9m lengths of logs.
“We’re doing the clean-up of all the burnt timber from the bushfires last summer for the government,” Malec Bros Managing Director, Matthew Malec says – adding that the harvested timber is subsequently loaded into containers and exported to China where it’s used in the country’s construction industry. The seven day per week operation is expected to take up to three years to complete and will provide much-needed jobs in regional areas of the country.
Matthew estimates around three million tonnes of timber will be harvested from millions of acres in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland that were scorched by the fires, providing ongoing work for close to 600 people.
The 22 Vawdrey skel combinations along with 22 DAF prime movers were purchased specifically for this operation, with the entire batch of trailers built within the astonishingly short timeframe of seven weeks.
“We were very impressed with how quickly Vawdrey was able to build these trailers for us,” Matthew says. “We told them it was imperative that they were built in time for us to start this job and they didn’t let us down.”
The latest trailers. according to Matthew, have performed exceptionally well since being put into service.
With a tare mass of under 22 tonnes including the prime mover, the Vawdrey skel combinations are Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved for a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 68.5 tonnes and a payload capacity of 47 tonnes.
“The great thing about them is the light tare weight – with that payload capacity we are carrying about two tonnes more with every load compared with our other combinations,” Matthew says.
The trailers run on air suspension while aluminium rims also contribute to the light tare weight.
The combinations also feature WABCO Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) that were supplied and fitted by Melbourne-based heavy vehicle braking specialist Air Brake Systems.
Speaking more broadly about the company’s latest equipment acquisition, Matthew says he is pleased that the Vawdrey trailers were manufactured in Australia, and that the DAF trucks were assembled at PACCAR’s Bayswater plant, all of which provided valuable jobs for Australians during these trying times.
Malec Bros is a loyal and long-term customer of Vawdrey Australia and PACCAR, with the company operating both the Kenworth and DAF makes of prime movers. Each of these products is proudly built by highly skilled Australian workers at respective factories in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
“Throughout this awful Covid period and beyond we will continue to buy Australian-made equipment wherever possible with a view to helping keep as many Australian people employed as possible,” Matthew says. “By ordering Australian-made equipment we feel we are also supporting the local industries that supply components to the trailer and truck manufacturers including the axles, brakes and other components.”
Fast Fact: Vawdrey recently completed a large order of B-double log skel combinations for Malec Bros. The Dandenong-based trailer manufacturer built the entire batch of 22 combinations in seven weeks.