Road Trains 60m long.

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 12:49
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Just heard on the radio [WA] that there is to be a trial of new, larger road trains [60m] carrying Iron Ore into Port Headland. these are 6.5m longer than any at the moment they will be restricted to 95kph. It is a three month trail, but at the cost of these you can bet it will be permanent.
Where normal trailers have two point swivel between, these will only have one swivel point.

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Reply By: Michaeljp - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:22

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:22
I don't see any problems with this. 1 extra trailer at the rear. If a company has a fleet of road trains thats 1 less prime mover for every 4 or 5 road trains they own. Thats 1 less road train on the road. Thats 1 extra second you will be on the wrong side of the road when over taking it.
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Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:25

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:25
One extra trailer is only a normal bus length increase. Round them up just as easy.

Longer is ok, larger may take more road though.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:50

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 13:50
If there doing 95 I won't be passing them I am not in that much of a hurry. Most likely have to pull over and let them pass. Thats OK with me as someone has to work and pay tax.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 14:21

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 14:21
Cannington ore trucks must be close to that. You find them between Cloncurry and McKinley

Have seen them with 12 small trailers/bins

Alan
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 14:43

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 14:43
Some of those units Toll were using may have been up there, Alan, but now Linfox has the freight contract, they are using the units pictured. Looks long in the photo, but am very sure they're not over 53.5M, and are governed at about 87-88kph.

Pass them regularly on that McKinlay-Yurbie section.



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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 15:17

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 15:17
These "new" rigs are known as Super Quads, and Mitchell Corp were using them (illegally) on the Woodie-Woodie run in 2004.

The new approvals make Super Quads fully legal in W.A. and they are limited to 90kmh, not 95kmh.
They are only 6.5M longer than a current triple roadtrain, there will be no noticeable difference between these rigs and a standard triple roadtrain, apart from the fact there are four trailers instead of three.

ABC Stateline tried to make a big hoo-haa about Mitchell Corp being outrageous criminals, by registering their rigs in QLD and avoiding excessive W.A. stamp duty, and by running rigs that were not "garaged in the state" and by running rigs that were 6.5M too long.

Nothing was ever done about Mitchell Corps "illegal" rigs, mining means too much to W.A.
The infringements by Mitchell Corp were relatively minor - just being a little too long, and the "garaging" issue.

What was the illegal activities, was the QLD transport inspectors who registered Mitchells trucks and trailers without inspecting them.
The rigs were all new anyway, so the inspection fraud was not a major fraud.
However, it does remain open to question as to whether Mitchell Corp or one of its employees or owners was guilty of bribery.

The length issue is regarded as non-event, the Mitchell trucks were registered legally in QLD, stamp duty was paid - anyone can avoid excessive stamp duty by purchasing in another state (I've done it myself) - and the "garaging" issue is also a minor issue.
When it comes to "garaging", how often are interstate transport trucks regularly "garaged"??

Roadtrains are a fact of life in the Outback, the important thing is having good roads that make it safe to pass them.

Main Roads WA and other interested parties are closely observing the 3 mth Super-Quad trial and will report back with their findings as to any problems encountered. It's highly unlikely any major problems will arise and these rigs will become part of the regular road scene.

Cheers, Ron.

MinRes gets nod for Super Quads

First Super Quad trial

2004 ABC news story on Mitchell Corp "fraud".
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:07

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:07
These rigs are and have been a fact of life in the NW for quite a while.
The concentration required steering these behemoths is something I very much respect.
They have a job to do, a destination they need to arrive at and I for one don't need to be an obstruction.
At any given point in time we don't have a destination planned but we still want to get there.
So when I hear on the UHF or see one coming up behind its pull over time for me.
mike
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:17

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:17
We were at the front of a queue once at a set of "road works" traffic lights. It turned green so we headed out. Little did we realise that a twit with a bundle of trailers was overtaking the queue at speed in one of them. It was nearly the biggest road smash in years. He got an ear full from the traffic controller and we (in the long queue" got off the road some very nearly rolling etc. Bloody idiot. He reminds me of the ones that hit trains.

To finish I will say that I try to help them when I can. And respect their size. But not their stupidity when breaking the road AND WORKPLACE safety rules.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:37

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:37
These new Super Quad rigs are extremely high tech, cutting edge technology, and Howard Porter spent 9 mths with Qube finalising the design of the trailers.

They carry 140 tonnes as against the 114 tonnes of triple roadtrain tippers, so the outlying iron ore (and other ores) miners are getting their mining costs reduced again to help them stay competitive in the current low commodity prices environment.

These new rigs are more dynamically stable than any earlier road train design - they use the latest European prime movers that are fitted with electronic braking systems, GPS, electronic monitoring, and Driver Safety Assist arrangements that combine radar, cameras, and electronics, to assist the driver to avoid dangerous situations.

The rigs meet the new Performance Based Standards scheme which is designed to iron out anomalies between States, and to match rigs to the roads and conditions that they will meet.
They are also designed to meet, and they are included in, the National Intelligent Access programme - which is a very high-tech truck-monitoring program.
The IAP uses satellite tracking and wireless communication technology to remotely monitor where, when, and how, heavy vehicles are being operated on the road network.
The IAP is designed to assist transport operators to achieve productivity gains, better turnaround times and increased profits, by allowing more access, or increasing allowable mass, in exchange for (strict) compliance.

However, at the end of the day, the rigs are only as good as the best driver the companies can find.

Cheers, Ron.

W.A. trialling Super Quads

The PBS System

The IAP scheme
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:42

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:42
Wait until they go driver less like the trains..............................
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:56

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 17:56
John - That's O.K. - your new 4WD will be driverless as well, by then - so it will just be a shoot-out between computers and sensors, while you go along for the ride .......... [;-)

I hope I'm not around by then - but it's scary just how fast the schemes to develop driverless cars are progessing.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: D-MaxerWA - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:28

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:28
Driverless trucks are being used on mine sites already. A mate of mine runs some and has the world record for the number of movements on a shift. The only problem they have is when a willy willy crosses the road in front of one of them. That causes a chain reaction of heavy braking which a person driving would ignore. Won't be long before that is sorted out though.

Personally, I am for driverless trucks on the road. It is being done in Germany, albeit with a "driver" in the truck, who is not actually doing the driving.
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:31

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:31
I did forget about the driver less mine trucks......................
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 19:39

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 19:39
Probably won't make much of a difference to most of us, Peter. Anything over 19M, travelling at 90 clicks or more needs a degree of attention if one wishes to overtake it. And an asthmatic 4wd towing a 2 tonne plus 'van isn't an ideal highway unit for such a venture. No doubt these 60M units will be restricted to mainly mine roads in the Pilbara?

The omission of dollys makes for a very stable unit........the trailers follow the prime mover like a snake, and there's none, or at least very, very little "flick" that is prevalent with triples, that have 2 dollys in their configuration. Just a mild jerk on the steering wheel will see the 3rd trailer on a triple flick out either side, for up to half a metre.

Ron mentioned Mitchell's. I heard that they were bought out by Toll, so with that backing they might insulated a little from requirements that would see us mere mortals up before the Beak.

There'll be plenty more of these "trials" over the years ahead, in an attempt to reduce overheads. Toll has the go to run B-Triples on the Hume, albeit at only 90 clicks. That'll scare the watsits out of some Mum 'n Dad Sunday drivers, I'll wager! :-)

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:29

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:29
Hume is dual lane all the way now, shouldn't scare anybody passing one, they will just wonder why it is taking so long, LOL
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:52

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 20:52
Ha ha, like that, John!

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 21:04

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 21:04
Bob - Back in the early/mid '80's, a bloke called Ivan Mrza (now dead, RIP Ivan) was a big-time contractor around Kalgoorlie, and he was amongst the first of the triple roadtrain operators around the W.A. Goldfields.
In those early days, the dollys all had short drawbars to reduce overall length, and my God, they were a snaking nightmare!

I can remember following the trail of one of Mrza's triple tippers on a dirt road near the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter - and I kid you not, the last trailer wheeltrack, looked like the trail left by a sitting dog wagging his tail!
The snaking was so bad, the last tandem bogie was kicking up a wave of curved dirt each side, that made the road end up looking like a big snake track!

The move to long dolly drawbars solved a lot of the snaking problem - but you certainly have to be on your game to ensure you don't do any rapid steering movements with 3 trailers!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 21:53

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 21:53
Here is a pic of a Mitchell Quad that I took at Woodie Woodie Mine in 2002.
They were running these on public roads from the Mine to Pt. Hedland.

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Follow Up By: D-MaxerWA - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 22:12

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 22:12
I remember them, was up there in 2004 building a couple of sheds. 1 of the operators was smart, he hauled in diesel, collapsed the bladders and returned with a load of manganese.

On the way driving in, I thought there must have been a bushfire. Turned out to be one of these rigs driving out and stirring up the bulldust. Gave them plenty of room when they approached, the road was as rutted as I have ever seen anywhere and down to 30km/hr at best in some places.
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Reply By: Kevin P7 - Friday, Oct 09, 2015 at 00:46

Friday, Oct 09, 2015 at 00:46
How about this for a rig?
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Reply By: New Man - Friday, Oct 09, 2015 at 09:38

Friday, Oct 09, 2015 at 09:38
Not a big issue on the Great Northern Hwy - plenty of long straight stretches to pass. A few extra metres won't make a difference. It is the "overwidths" that can be difficult. I got stuck behind a house in 4 sections (4 trucks) while I was heading up to Newman the other day. That took a bit of effort to pass.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 at 23:10

Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 at 23:10
I remember seeing a video on community TV .. several years ago ..... it featured the "new Tri-drive Kenworth" towing a double B double with what looked like full length A trailers .... that is a prime mover an A trailer, B trailer then a dolly with another A trailer and a B trailer..... they where using it to haul fuel into the remote mine sites in WA out of Perth.

Cant remember any more details ..... but this sort of thing seems to have been happening for a while.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 14:19

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 14:19
Bantam - Yes, they have the 2AB quad roadtrain - now they have the BAB quad roadtrain.

There is also the ABB quad - a semi trailer with a dolly and B-triple behind it.

2AB quad roadtrain

BAB quad roadtrain

S.A. Govt media release on new BAB quad and ABB quad roadtrains in use - June 2015

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:01

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:01
seems all those forms are legal and running on QLD roads on the nominated routes.

http://massmanagement.com.au/pdfs/qld/QLD%20Multi%20Combination%20gazette%20072013.pdf

I have seen video of and an engineer friend of mine says he has done work on 6 trailer side tipping road trains running on private mine roads that have a big detroit and an auto box in the rear trailer.

Ya scrattch ya head and wonder whay that did not build rail.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:27

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:27
Rail can't compete with roadtrains because of its humungous cost and inflexibility. This argument has raged since the 1920's when trucks started to compete with rail.
In todays world, roadtrains along with excellent roads, win hands-down, until the amount shifted is in the millions of tonnes a year.

With big road-building equipment, you can knock out a sizeable length mine haul road in weeks at a cost of a couple of million dollars - railways take years to install and cost in the hundreds of millions and even billions.

Locos run to $5,000,000 a piece, rail ore trucks are $150,000 each, a rail line runs to 5 or 10 million a km. Just the earthworks alone on the new 330km Roy Hill rail line ran into $630M. Then the cost of the line, signalling, etc, triples or quadruples that again.

Many mines only have smallish ore bodies that just can't justify the cost of a rail line. In mining circles, they often specialise in finding smaller ore bodies within trucking distance of a large ore body (known as "satellite" ore bodies) and these are then trucked into a central treatment plant.

In the case of iron ore, there are numbers of smaller iron ore producers who only have small ore bodies, where it's cost effective to roadtrain the iron ore to the nearest port.
If the ore body runs out, becomes uneconomic due to lowering commodity prices, or some other factor - then the miner can just get rid of the trucks, and they don't have the burden of a now-useless rail line to carry.

The trucks can move off to some other project - and that project can cover a wide range of hauling options.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:59

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 15:59
yeh and pretty much nobody entertians light and medium rail ..... which can be more or less portable.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 19:51

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 19:51
Light and medium rail is only good for passenger transport. In the old days, when they used 2' gauge line, as in the mines - or 3' 6", as in the woodlines - they could move them around and run a relatively low-cost operation.
But in todays world, you have to be able to haul 100 tonnes in every rail truck - and that mean 68kg rail line, the heaviest they make.
With 68kg line, comes the need for solid and major earthworks and ballasting underpinning the line loads.

Even with the heaviest upgrade of the old 3' 6" narrow gauge, the line was only good for 20 tonnes per axle.
They could go to 23 tonnes per axle, but maximum speed was reduced to 70kmh at that "overload".

A typical maximum weight haul for a train consist on narrow gauge was 2,500 tonnes - and on a lot of sections and curves they were limited to 60kmh.
Compare this with todays iron ore lines that run 40 tonnes per axle and travel at 110kmh.
Add in 2.5 to 3km long consists, dragging 30,000 to 45,000 tonne payloads, and you can see why there's only one choice for iron ore miners when it comes to hauling with rail.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 20:37

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 20:37
My error on the historical axle loadings there. The maximum axle loads of 20 and 23 tonnes were actually for the early standard gauge.
The maximum 3' 6" narrow gauge axle loadings were 13 tons for 60lb (27kg) rail and 10 tonnes for 45lb (20kg) line.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 23:05

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 23:05
they don't put 100 tonnes in every trailer of a multi-combination ....... trucks are limited to about 9 tonnes per axle on public roads and the engineering limit is about 10 tonnes per axle. .... so most trailers even off highway dog trailers would be limited to 40 with twin duals front & rear or 60 tonnes tripples fronT & rear and that is gross.

Narrow guage is still used in QLD and northern NSW for sugarcane in combination with trucks that mount the carrages in the fields then transfer to rails ...at arround 10 tonnes per cage 2 cages to a truck and they would run 20 or 30 maybe up to 40 cages per train.

Cane is more a cubic load .....but it would be reasonable to expect 20 tonnes of dirt per bin on light rail ..... that would work on a similar scale to rubber tyred trucking.

I recon light rail similar to what is used for cane and previoulsy used in mines....... rail is much more energy labour efficient and would be viable especially electric or diesel electric ....... but the majority of the transport industry is focused on rubber tyre trucking and diesel.

The other advantege of small truck light rail is that the carages are relativly cheap and material is not loaded and unloaded as much ....... the caragees are taken right to where the material is extracted and loaded directly ....... the carages are not emptied till the material reaches its end destination ........ if used like the cane industry does ....... the carages are used as a rolling stockpile to feed the plant.

On small scale operations this would work.

just some thaughts
cheers


cheers
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