Since putting the PBS-approved truck and pig trailer from Byrne Trailers to work in early January this year, owner of Hannasky Livestock Carriers, Wade Hannasky, says he’s very impressed. The unit replaces an older Byrne livestock truck and pig, joining a fleet of four livestock B-doubles – with all but one combination built by livestock trailer specialist Byrne Trailers.
“The new truck and pig is nearly two metres longer so we’ve gained deck space and made the whole equation really work for us. It means we’re gaining more sheep or more cattle in every load. That’s especially great for our local work. The profit margin is much better with this trailer as we’re being paid per head. The longer length also means the livestock has more room to move,” he explains.
Constructed of stainless steel, the truck body and pig trailer can both be converted from one deck (for cattle) to two decks (for sheep). Under PBS, Byrne has achieved over 16 metres of deck space, which is more than 10 per cent greater than a regular truck and semi-trailer combination.
Wade says that as sheep are carried across two decks, the productivity gains are even greater. To put that in numbers, the combination can carry up to 50 more sheep than the trailer it replaces. “For our local work which is charged per head, we’re doing two to three loads a day, so we’re gaining up to 150 sheep with no additional workload.”
Based in Echuca, Wade owns the business with his wife Anna Hannasky, both of whom have lived in the area all their lives. Hannasky Livestock Carriers was started by his father Murray Hannasky nearly 40 years ago. Originally a farmer, Murray had his own tray body for local work. In time, this side of his business grew and during the 1980s, he began adding larger trailers into the mix. Wade joined his father’s side as a truck driver as soon as he was old enough to get his licence and has enjoyed travelling the open road ever since. To this day, along with running the business, he still enjoys getting behind the wheel and has taken several opportunities to test out the Byrne PBS truck and pig trailer for himself.
“I did 8,000 kilometres or so in the first couple of weeks of putting the trailer to work and it’s been really good – I’m very happy with it,” Wade says. “I’ve carted sheep, cattle and calves, and the amount of comments we’ve had has been incredible. We’ve even picked up a large-scale local cattle job on the back of this combination, because they were so impressed with how well it works. Trailers are a big investment, so it’s important to ensure they’re kept on the road and busy. Basically what Byrne achieved is exactly what I wanted.”
By having the combination approved under PBS, Byrne was also able to use BPW tandem suspension on the trailer, instead of a tri-axle, reducing tare weight, tyre drag, wear and tear, and consequentially, fuel consumption. A monocoque construction for both the truck body and pig trailer provides further tare weight reductions, while also improving strength.
“When you’re not operating at maximum weight all the time, it’s pointless going for an extra axle if it’s not really required,” Wade says. “Byrne was able to design the trailer with a tandem axle, while enabling us to achieve a higher weight under PBS.”
As well as the weight savings achieved from the combination’s stainless steel construction, additional weight savings come from the trailer’s unique composite retractable decks, which save a considerable amount of weight when compared to industry standard plywood decks.
Instead of a low deck clearance which is typical of this type of trailer, Wade opted for high deck clearance for greater versatility.
“Usually we would transport weaner cattle on one of our B-doubles, but with the higher clearance, we can get them onto this one too, which is another big gain. The truck and pig is only a touch shorter than the B-double, but can do a similar job,” he explains.
The combination can also be easily split to get into very tight spaces. As the drawbar retracts, it allows for easy through loading of livestock between the truck body and trailer.