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World First Attempt to Improve Livestock Transport Trailer Durability

28 Aug 2015 4:42 PM | Deleted user

The livestock transport industry is trialling a world first for the manufacture of cattle and sheep crates.

The sector hopes to develop a tougher trailer to last longer in rugged rural conditions.

Cattle and sheep trucks traverse some of Australia's roughest terrain, clocking up millions of kilometres, sometimes on terrible roads.

That travel, as well as physically containing the stock, withstanding animal waste and hosing down of crates all contribute to the wear and tear.

Some of the industry's largest players say they are looking at using stainless steel to build the cattle and sheep trailers.

David Byrne's company, Byrne Trailers, at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, designs trailers.

He said the new designs should be more durable.

"The main point of difference will be the material that the tailers are to be manufactured out of, which is effectively stainless steel. The point of the material is to combat rust and fatigue and increase the life of the equipment," he said.

"It will actually make the crate a little lighter. Because of the high strength stainless that we're using, it'll be a lot lighter in different areas of the trailer."

However, Mr Byrne conceded the new trailers would cost more.

"It is considerably more expensive, but we believe with the deals we've done with certain companies from overseas, especially with the quantity we've had to commit to, we've been able to work with and get a reasonable price at the end of the day," he said.

Ross Fraser operates one of the country's largest trucking businesses, Fraser's Livestock Transport, out of Warwick in southern Queensland.

He said the company operated in some very difficult conditions and that could really knock the trailers about.

He said he hoped that while the initial outlay would be greater, switching to stainless steel would be a great saving in the long run.

"From a maintenance point of view and longevity for the trailers, I think there's some huge advantages," he said.

"I guess it'll take a while for us to find out what that advantage is, but given the rust we've had in our trailers over the last five or six years, we had to do something."

The two new trailers will be built by March 2016.

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