Wednesday, June 29, 2011

✈Worldwide Wednesdays: Australian Road Trains

Where shall we travel to today?....

Australian Road Trains, AUSTRALIA
I've been around many tractor trailers before but I've never heard of or seen ones like these!  Can you imagine driving one of these, pulling so many trailers??...

Australia has the largest and heaviest road-legal vehicles in the world, with some configurations topping out at close to 200 tonnes (197 LT; 220 ST). The majority are between 80 and 120 t (79 and 118 LT; 88 and 132 ST).

They have the Double (two-trailer) road train combinations which are allowed in most areas of Australia, and the Triple (three trailer) road trains which operates in western New South Wales, western Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with the last three states also allowing AB-Quads (3.5 trailers).
Darwin, the capital of Northern Territory, is the only capital city in the world that triples and quads are allowed to within 1 km (0.62 mi) of the central business district (CBD).

Road trains are used for transporting all manner of materials; common examples are livestock, fuel, mineral ores, and general freight. Their cost-effective transport has played a significant part in the economic development of remote areas; some communities are totally reliant on regular service.

Road Train Configurations Allowed in Australia

'K' represents the largest road trains operating in Australia, and therefore, the world. Called a "Powertrain" or a "Body and six", these machines operate at The Granites Gold Mine in the western Northern Territory, and are used inplace of 200 t (197 LT; 220 ST) dump trucks, because of the distances involved on the haul run. As these trucks operate on private property, they are not subject to governed weight and length rulings, but instead are utilised in the most efficient way possible.

Northern Territory AB-Quad tanker road train.
Trailer arrangement is
B-double towing two tri-axle trailers.
Australian road trains have horizontal signs front and back with 180 mm (7.1 in) high black uppercase letters on a reflective yellow background reading "ROAD TRAIN". The sign(s) must have a black border and be at least 1.02 m (3.3 ft) long and 220 mm (8.7 in) high and be placed between 500 mm (19.7 in) and 1.8 m (5.9 ft) above the ground on the fore or rearmost surface of the unit.

 World's longest road trains

Using its Australian-designed
Titan model,
 Mack recaptured the world record
 for the
 longest road train ever
with a single prime mover

Pic by John Denman, Australia
  • In 1989, a trucker named "Buddo" tugged 12 trailers down the main street of Winton, Queensland.
  • In 1993 "Plugger" Bowden took the record with a 525 hp (391 kW) Mack SuperLiner pulling 16 trailers, but a few months later this effort was surpassed by Darwin driver Malcolm Chisholm with a 290 tonnes (285 LT; 320 ST), 21 trailer rig extending 315 metres (1,033 ft).
  • There was some back and forth in the 1990s between Winton and Bourke, New South Wales, with the record finishing in Winton with 34 trailers.
  • In 1999 the town of Merredin, Western Australia officially made it into the Guinness Book of Records, when Marleys Transport made a successful attempt on the record for the world's longest road train. The record was created when 45 trailers, driven by Greg Marley, weighing 603 t (593 LT; 665 ST) and measuring 610 m (2,001 ft) were pulled by a Kenworth 10x6 K100G for 8 km (5 mi).
  • On October 19, 2000, Doug Gould set the first of his records at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, when a roadtrain made up of 79 trailers, measuring 1,018.2 m (3,341 ft) and weighing 1,072.3 t (1,055.4 LT; 1,182.0 ST), was pulled by a Kenworth C501T driven by Steven Matthews a distance of 8 km (5 mi).
  • On March 29, 2003, the record was surpassed near Mungindi, New South Wales, by a road train consisting of 87 trailers and a single prime mover (measuring 1,235.3 m (4,053 ft) in length).
  • The record returned to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, on October 17, 2004, when Doug Gould assembled 117 trailers for a total length of 1,445 m (4,741 ft). The record nearly didn't fall, as the first prime mover's main driveshaft broke when taking off. A second truck was quickly made available, and pulled the train a distance of 1,500 m (4,921 ft).
  • In 2004, the record was again broken by a group from Clifton, Queensland which used a standard Mack truck to pull 120 trailers a distance of about 100 metres (328 ft).
  • On February 18, 2006, an Australian built Mack truck with 112 semi-trailers, 1,300 t (1,279 LT; 1,433 ST) and 1,474.3 metres (4,836 ft 11 in) long, pulled the load 100 metres (328 feet) to recapture the record for the longest road train (multiple loaded trailers) ever pulled with a single prime mover. It was on the main road of Clifton, Queensland, that 70-year-old John Atkinson claimed a new record, pulled by a tri-drive Mack Titan.


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