Tipping trailer design nabs safety award
A major safety award has been given to an innovative trailer design that is expected to change the safety of tipper trucks and potentially save lives in the construction industry.
East Gippsland company Whelans Group Investments won the Health and Safety Invention of the Year award for its EjeKTa trailer design, which removes the need for trailers to lift as they tip.
Presented on 29 October in Melbourne, the award is part of the 2015 WorkSafe Victoria Awards, which celebrates businesses, groups or individuals who are making a dedicated commitment to safety, health and wellbeing and return to work in their workplace.
“We all put a lot of time and effort into developing the EjeKTa trailer and we are delighted it has received recognition," Whelans founder and Managing Director Charlie Whelan said.
“The trailer design eliminates many of the major hazards associated with the earthmoving and construction industry."
Whelans uses 15 tip trucks to transport rock, gravel, sand and asphalt in its earthmoving, road construction and maintenance, and quarry business. The EjeKTa trailer uses a hydraulic motion to remove a load from the trailer, overcoming dangers associated with lifting and tipping.
Whelans and Bairnsdale company Kennedy Trailers, which built the EjeKTa, developed the product together over 12 months.
“The biggest problem with a tipper is the height when they are tipping their load. Overhead obstructions, such as bridges and power lines, can create significant safety issues," said Kennedy Trailers Sales Manager Cory Kennedy.
Another major problem occurs when material in a tipper gets stuck in the bin. This often happens around the hoist well at the front of the trailer, which means as the tipper lifts the centre of gravity shifts dramatically, increasing the risk of a rollover.
“With the EjeKTa design, we eliminate these safety risks and also deliver luxury benefits, such as improved cycle times through an ability to unload in 38 seconds," Kennedy said.
“The design itself is hugely innovative. Others who have tried to solve the safety problems have come up with bandaid solutions for the symptoms, rather than addressing the cause. Nothing has ever been done to stop the bin going in the air, which is what causes the problem."
The product is expected to soon be available to the market, in particular for use in the quarry and constructions industries.
“Occupational health and safety is a big concern in all industries, and the EjeKTa would eliminate a major risk for any company that owns one. And if our design saves lives, that's a huge achievement," said Kennedy.
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