Located in Caringbah, a suburb in southern Sydney, Hopper Transport mainly runs prime movers built by Swedish brand Scania and has recently taken delivery of the first of three new Volvos that will soon complement the fleet.
As both Scandinavian brands use SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) to meet the latest exhaust emission standards, they require on-truck storage of a urea product (AdBlue) that is injected into the exhaust to break down harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) into water vapour and elementary nitrogen. Hence, carrying a sufficient supply of AdBlue is an issue Bryan is facing with increasing regularity.
In addition to the added cost of purchasing the AdBlue product when away from the home base, Bryan is mostly concerned about the potential for contamination of the urea when being refilled from an unknown source. Even a partially blocked urea nozzle can lead to the engine “de-rating” itself – not a situation anyone would want to encounter somewhere in the vastness of the Nullabor Plain.
According to Bryan, most of his Scanias had already been fitted with an extra chassis-mounted AdBlue tank, but only with the Sydney-Perth division of the business expanding he realised the full advantage of being able to carry even more AdBlue on a vehicle. The question thus became, how to store it?
To find an innovative solution to cart more of the valuable liquid on a B-double combination, Bryan called on the engineering team at Krueger Trailers to develop an innovative method that utilised the “wasted” space behind the nose cone of the lead trailer. After all, nature hates a vacuum, so Bryan and Krueger have come up with an innovation that certainly makes best use of the space by incorporating an extra storage tank for AdBlue.
The design brief, however, called for the use of the standard nose cone so that if it was damaged, at any time it could easily be replaced. As a result, Krueger opted for a custom made solution based on High Density Polyethylene (HPDE), built by Wrengco Tanks at Belmore in Sydney.
The tank includes internal baffles so that there is no splash or surge as the AdBlue level decreases with use. The tank when empty weighs 80kg, which is around half the weight of what a similar sized metal tank would be. In addition to the weight saving advantage, the use of HDPE provides high impact resistance and the material will not corrode. Marine grade stainless steel fittings are also used to maintain longevity.
The nose cone tank holds just over 200 litres which, combined with the dual truck-mounted tanks of 125 litres each, permits the truck to travel from Sydney and Perth and back without the need to add any extra urea. Gravity feed is used to top off the truck tanks from the nose cone tank, usually during a normal fuel stop.
The extra weight of the tank is ideally located almost over the trailer pin and the drive axles. And since much of the freight handled by Hopper Transport is bulky rather than heavy – think B&D Roller Doors, Brownbuilt Office Furniture and Hi-Tech Oils – the extra weight on board at the beginning of the trans-continental trip is not really an issue.
The new trailer set is based on Krueger’s latest 4.6-metre high design featuring double drop decks and the patented Slide-a-Gate hanging gate system. Polyweld manufactured the spectacular side curtains and managed to include remarkable detail in the design.
But, it’s what’s hidden behind the nose cone that, for the time being anyway, makes this combination really unique.