Jan 23 2020

In mid-October, Byford Equipment successfully staged its second PBS Demo Day of 2015. With the first event held in Queensland earlier this year, the tanker specialist now invited the industry back to its home base in Moama.

As a strong Performance-Based Standards (PBS) advocate, Byford Equipment is not only working hard to promote its portfolio of industry-approved tankers, but also to educate the wider transport industry on the advantages of high productivity freight vehicle design. To do so, the family-owned business is regularly bringing together PBS affiliated groups of the highest order. In October this year, Byford continued its mission of promoting the benefits of PBS by hosting another PBS Demo Day at its headquarters in Moama, right on the border between Victoria and NSW. Like the previous event held in Brisbane in February 2015, Byford’s objective was to get the most influential PBS figures present and communicating.

“It was important for us to showcase just how much potential there is behind the scheme,” says Gary Byford, Managing Director. “As an OEM, we have gained a lot of experience in the field so we wanted to demonstrate just how far we have come in furthering the PBS idea. But, we also wanted to visualise how many parties are involved in getting innovative transport equipment on the road. It’s a complex process, and it’s a real team effort if you want to go through it successfully.”

On display were Byford’s most innovative PBS-approved concepts to date, a 26m A-double tanker combination and a 20m AB-double. The two models are part of the company’s ‘MAXLESS’ campaign that promotes ‘maximum payload, maximum access, less axles, less turning circle’ and stresses the need to design and manufacture flexible trailers that can operate at higher mass limits in tight environments. The 30-plus delegates that attended included representatives from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) NSW, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) through to local government representatives. “The event proved to be a huge milestone for the business, but more importantly, for the acceptance of innovative heavy vehicle design in the wider community,” Gary says. “We were very impressed with the quality of visitors that came.”

Byford’s Demo Day was also visited by component specialist BPW, Dr Hans Prem of Mechanical System Dynamics, as well as a range of prominent transport businesses – including McColl’s, Murray Goulburn (MG) and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. Having those fleets in attendance enabled a “productive dialogue between authorities and the industry,” as Gary notes. Besides live demonstrations, Byford also outlined how its involvement with the NHVR and road authorities has helped get the PBS-approved combinations on the road, including an overview of access areas in each state and a detailed presentation on the cost-of-life savings for these vehicles over traditional trailer models.

In addition, Dr Prem gave an overview of how bridge calculations are performed for heavy vehicles, giving valuable insights into how and why the 26m A-double and the 20m AB-double are designed they way they are; while Les Bruzsa, NHVR Chief Engineer, presented an overview of the rapid growth in PBS vehicle adoption (see main story on page 22). In a further boost to the Byford objective, Les also stressed the importance of co-operation between agencies, operators and OEMs.

NSW RMS provided valuable insights into some of the challenges in providing access and assessing bridges, and the transport body’s work to gazette high productivity routes and the variety of PBS vehicles that are applicable to those roads.

From an end user perspective, Glen Fulton, Group Asset Manager from Murray Goulburn, (MG) outlined a number of key benefits achieved through PBS, such as productivity increases, improved OH&S standards and extended tyre life.

“MG is one of our biggest customers and the team there is clearly dedicated to PBS, as the purchase of the 26m A-double has proved,” Gary says. He adds that the Demo Day was not just about highlighting what Byford-branded PBS units are capable of, but about showcasing the potential of PBS in general as a future transport concept for the Australian economy. “PBS is not just about productivity, but also about road safety, component wear and maintenance,” Gary states. “People tend to forget those positive side-effects, but they are vital both from a business and a community point of view.”