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A first for TMC and Tuff Trailers

TMC has now been supplying Tuff Trailers with running gear for several years, so developing 2 rows of 8 suspension for a new dolly was simply a natural progression.

Over the past few months, Tuff Trailers has worked on the development of its first 2 rows of 8 dolly which has now been completed.

“While many manufacturers build their own suspension to fit underneath the dolly, we chose to go through TMC and requested they build a suspension to suit – we were very particular that we wanted to close up at 2.5 metres. We’ve had a lot of customers ask us to build rows of 8 dollies, but there hasn’t been an axle and suspension system on the market that we’ve been happy with. Between liaising with TMC and our own departments, we were able to come up with the right hanger mounts, right bolting system and the correct widths. This suspension is the first of its kind for TMC,” says Tuff Trailers’ Managing Director, Denis Di Pasquale.

He adds, “TMC supplies us with a lot of running gear for trailers we custom build. We told them of this concept and asked if they would supply us with this type of suspension and axle combination. They said they were up for it. TMC has always been able to give us what we need and that’s important when you are custom building low loaders and semi trailers of various frame widths. When it came to these rows of 8 axles and suspensions, TMC was our only choice. They were willing to do it and it’s worked out very well.”

The dolly opens from 2.5 metres to 4.25 metres and is constructed of Weldox 700 and Domex 700 steel. To widen the dolly, the operator is able to flick a switch and pull a lever to raise the axles off the ground, which ensures that there is no extra wear on the tyres. Another two levers are simply pulled so that the dolly opens up. It is fitted with air-operated pin locks that secure the dolly into position.

“We have designed this dolly to be more efficient, stronger and a good tare weight. We physically looked at what everyone else offered and spoke to numerous customers on the pros and cons of different dollies on the market. This has enabled us to come up with our own design.”

It was found that a common issue relayed by many customers was that the tyre carrier was almost always located on the gooseneck. This meant that spare tyres were quite high and operators would need to get them down in order to use them. Denis explains, “Generally, spare tyres are located at head height or higher which can make the task of getting them down quite difficult. Those who run low loaders would know that tyres are always needing to be changed because they get quite hot, work hard and carry extremely heavy weights. These tyres are really pushed to their limits. With this in mind, we have chosen to locate our tyre carrier underneath the dolly as we had a good portion of room in front of the axle groups. We have designed a tyre carrier that is hydraulic so that at the push of a button, it unlocks and lowers the tyres to the ground. The operator can easily take the tyres off and change them, before pushing a button to raise the tyre carrier back up.” In addition, the dolly has been fitted with heavy-duty hydraulic landing legs that come down at the push of a lever, even if the dolly has been connected to the truck with a trailer attached. Unique features of the dolly are its air-operated sliding turntable that has been incorporated with the flanges; and its fully enclosed wheel guards that contain aluminium inserts with anti-rattle latches. These have been louver punched for better ventilation. The dolly is finished off with Hella LED lights all around; and is sandblasted, primed and painted in 2 pac paint. “We have had an operator test the dolly out on the road and he was very impressed with how well it tracked and how well it travelled over rough roads. It has now done thousands of kilometres and carried in excess of 75 tonne payloads, the axles are working well with the tyres running square and true,” adds Denis.

To see footage of this dolly in operation, log on to www.tufftrailers.com.au.