Leveraging the benefits

Auswide Transport Solutions has called upon the extensive experience of Vawdrey Australia for the production of high productivity Performance-Based Standards approved Titeliner B-doubles to further improve its operations.

Having commenced operations in 2007, Melbourne-based Auswide Transport Solutions has grown significantly to embody a fleet of more than 130 prime movers and 450 trailing equipment units.

The core business model is to provide a safe and reliable nationwide freight service using semi-trailers, B-doubles and road trains. The company’s compliance requirements are maintained using Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and Maintenance and Mass Management under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) as well as Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation.

Auswide claims to be the largest third-party logistics (3PL) provider in Victoria and among the top five largest 3PL providers in Australia.

Having grown to this size while maintaining a razor-sharp focus on operational safety and efficiencies, it’s hardly surprising that Auswide has embraced Performance-Based Standards (PBS) in a big way, as evidenced by its latest significant order of Vawdrey Titeliner B-double sets.

The order includes a good number of tri-tri (axle) double drop deck B-doubles which are 4.6m high and approved to operate at up to 68.5-tonne Gross Combination Mass (GCM).

The units are 30m long with a 42-pallet capacity and a voluminous 215m3 combined load space. Critically, mezzanine decks fitted to both top and bottom decks of both trailers mean that the total available volume can be effectively used by adjusting the mez deck heights to suit the freight dimensions. In addition, these combinations also feature sliding mezzanine deck posts to assist in maximising freight tasks.

A full complement of BPW axles and suspension includes self-steerable axles on the rearmost positions of both lead and tag trailers, providing the dramatic reduction in swept path necessary for such a long B-double combination.

Other features of note include WABCO EBS, Intelligent Access Program (IAP) approved on-board weighing system, Vawdrey’s load-rated Lift-A-Gate system fitted to the side gates along with load restraint rated curtains.

According to Tom Pausic, National Operations Manager at Auswide Transport Solutions, the new combinations will be initially used on the linehaul route between Melbourne and Sydney carrying a wide variety of time critical general freight on behalf of its customers which includes parcels, palletised freight and cages. After the combinations are bedded in, they will likely be sent farther afield to the other mainland capitals including Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Tom says the mezzanine decks are a critical component of the new combinations as they enable cargo volumes and payloads to be maximised on every trip.

“We service a wide variety of customers and their freight often includes odd shapes and sizes ranging from parcels, pallets and caged freight,” he says. “As a result, the mezzanine decks make the trailers very versatile for our customers’ operations and their freight requirements.”

In common with many operators seeking to take advantage of PBS, Tom says while the design, certification and manufacture of the new trailers has gone smoothly, the process of gaining route approvals and ‘final mile’ access has taken longer than anticipated.

Despite this, Tom has glowing praise for Vawdrey in terms of how quickly the company was able to manufacture the trailers and deal with all the ins and outs of the approval process in the current climate of Covid-19.

“Hats off to Vawdrey, they have done an excellent job of building the trailers and helping us get all our ducks in a row despite external circumstances beyond their control,” Tom says. “They have really made the process more bearable than it otherwise would have been.”

He adds that the difficulties faced pale into insignificance compared with the valuable productivity gains that PBS has brought the company and that he expects these new combinations will be the first of many more to come.

“Our clients will see significant advantages from the use of these trailers,” he says. “The eight additional pallet spaces (compared with a standard 34-pallet B-double) coupled with greater internal capacity and added weight allowances will mean far fewer incidences of split consignments and freight being left on the floors. The indirect cost savings to these customers due to their pick-up and delivery (PUD) trucks not having to circle back for the remainder of the consignment, from other linehaul arrivals, will be evident almost immediately.”

Paul Vawdrey, Director of Vawdrey Australia, says it’s great to see companies like Auswide embracing PBS and making the considerable investment in new equipment that has a positive effect on productivity, thus helping them to better manage the growing freight task.

“We are pleased to be able to work with Auswide to manufacture these high productivity trailers that will make a huge difference to the company’s operations,” Paul says.

With the help of Vawdrey Australia, Auswide will continue to procure state-of-the-art trailing equipment to keep it at the cutting edge in terms of productivity and safety – two critical elements of today’s road transport fleet.