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When Gary Byford was a shy 16 year old starting his apprenticeship, he couldn’t have guessed how the commercial road transport industry would look in 2020 – or that he would play a role in its development.

After finishing his apprenticeship, Gary spent 11 years as section foreman, then headed out on his own, repairing tankers for local milk companies in Strathmerton. In 1975, he officially started Byford Equipment with a goal to find smarter ways to transport milk and develop new products. “I have been able to understand the right fit of truck and freight task, and work on efficiencies, longevity and ongoing ease of use for the operators and drivers,” he says.

Gary says the biggest change to the transport industry in his half-century career has undoubtedly been the introduction of the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme. “Now with PBS gaining acceptance, it adds a new dimension of excitement to the industry where manufacturers can strive to gain the best efficiencies through new innovations,” he says. “It has taken drive, determination and patience to reach this point of acceptance and understanding in the industry which is being reflected in the productivity benefits.”

Passionate about developing new products to suit his customers’ needs, Gary points to the Byford PBS-approved 26m tanker design as a career highlight. “Our current 26m tanker design has by far been the most productive and exciting product we have ever produced,” Gary says. “By re-arranging the axles into tandem groups, has allowed the increase of weight per axle group. The design uses the same number of axles as a 25m B-double, but they are spread differently, which gives a six tonne productivity gain overall.

History of Innovation

Evolution of Innovation

1966 Gary Byford’s early career

Gary Byford starts his boiler making apprenticeship. Five years later, 21-year-old Gary is promoted to factory supervisor.

1975 Repairs

As a sideline to the family dairy business, Gary begins repairing milk transport tankers.

1978 Fabrication

Demand dictates the construction of a new, purpose-built factory in Strathmerton, Victoria.

1983 Tanker

Byford Equipment refurbishes and extends a used tanker to increase the capacity from 9,500 litres to 18,000 litres for a third of the price of a new tanker.

1984 Bottom man-ways

Byford Equipment introduces and patents bottom entry man-ways, bottom CIP lines, vertical hose swivels and automatic fail safe breathers to tankers. These innovations quickly become – and still remain – the industry standard.

1996 Fabrication

Byford Equipment introduces the first demountable pump module (DPM) retractable hose reel. Mounted on the prime mover, it can be easily relocated between vehicles when needed.

2000 Side Winder

The first prime mover-mounted, horizontal ‘Side Winder’ retractable hose reel is being introduced to the industry by Byford Equipment.

2004 Moama move

Byford Equipment introduces the first demountable pump module (DPM) retractable hose reel. Mounted on the prime mover, it can be easily relocated between vehicles when needed.

2005 Hose reels

Byford Equipment builds a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Moama, New South Wales.

2010 DPMII launch

The next generation of demountable pump module (DPMII) retractable hose reels is launched. It can be mounted on the prime mover or the front of a trailer and quickly relocated between units or for maintenance.

2011 Bitumen tanker

Byford Equipment fabricates its first bitumen tanker.

2015 20m AB-Double

PBS Approved, it can achieve a swept of 5.8m, the design is accredited for a 50.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) on Level One roads and up to 63/5 Tonnes GBM on level Two roads under PBS legislation

2015 26m A-Double Patent Product

PBS Approved, the key feature of the 26m A-Double is its exceptional manoeuvrability. Swept path of 6.33m only. Most conventional 19m B-Double is around 6.7m thus making it extremely user-friendly.

2018 30m HPFV A Double Combination