Prime Mover Magazine

Emerald Carrying Co aligns B-doubles with Michelin

Third generation Queensland-based transport business Emerald Carrying Co. has aligned its B-double combinations with Michelin for gains in payload, safety and fuel efficiencies it has delivered through its latest 275/70R22.5 range of tyres for commercial vehicles.

A long haul specialist in general freight and fuel deliveries, Emerald Carrying Co. (ECC) named after the small Central Queensland town where the business was first established in 1965, has entered its third chapter for the Haylock family with Matt, the grandson of founders Bill and Joan, the Fleet Manager in charge of around 100 prime movers and an estimated 250 types of trailing equipment.

ECC has a one driver, one truck policy, with its commercial vehicles operating on 14 hour shifts and hauling freight as far north as Darwin and fuel – and there’s a lot of it in demand – for open cut and underground coal mines that pepper the 60,000 square kilometre territory known as the Bowen Basin that stretches through the middle of the state.

In December 2015, Michelin started trialling its 275/70 tyres with Emerald Carrying Co. from its Mackay depot with a Michelin Field Engineer and Area Operations Manager overseeing the evaluation.

This was followed by further tests in Q1 and Q2, last year. ECC, which had been up until then a 11R22.5 X MULTI T fleet, saw major benefits from the trials according to Matt Haylock.

“We could see an immediate value in our fuel efficiency gains from the tyres and the drivers noticed the rigs were very responsive,” he says.

“We’ve since converted the majority of the B-double fleet to the 275/70 Michelins for our intrastate work.”

On crumbling, sometimes neglected regional highways in Queensland and off-road through some of the most sweltering areas in Australia, the Emerald Carrying Co. roadtrains and B-double combinations are hauled by Kenworths dispatched from one of the company’s five depots which include Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Emerald.

The smaller tyres, enable a lower centre of gravity resulting, according to Matt, in a lower load height and more even wear.

This has helped ECC to reduce its downtime for servicing and improved the driver experience, a crucial development for operators out working in the toughest of conditions.

According to Matt, ECC moves around 2 billion litres of fuel liquids a year. The busiest depot runs 60 B-double fuel loads a day, averaging 51,000 litres per load.

The majority of it goes into fuelling mining trucks and equipment with some local service stations also taking delivery of the fuel for retail purposes.

All of the Bowen Basin operations operate 24 hours and the ECC roadtrains are often destined for Mt Isa, Longreach, Winton, Alice Springs and the far north.

As the roadtrains go out on gravel and dirt road corrugations in these remote areas Matt says ECC opted to use the 275/70s specific for on-highway application through its large B-double fleet.

The company, since its earliest days in the Central Highlands and subsequent evolution into a diverse linehaul carrier, has been an early adopter of technology and tyres.

The benefits on low tyres in B-double configuration have been myriad in addition to providing greater access to Michelin’s service network, a foremost consideration running between remote outback locations.

Based on trials conducted out of ECC depots in Gracemere and Mackay, B-double tankers fitted with 275/70R22.5 X Multi T returned an average mileage result of 322,000km.

“The network is exceptional,” says Matt. “They’re really good. Adrian at Michelin always goes above and beyond to make sure we’re back on the road as soon as possible.”

The business, which has 300 staff includes Matt’s brother, Ben, who handles operations and his sister, Taylor, based in Brisbane, and a cousin, Scott.

“We’re all about looking for safety benefits,” Matt says.

“Given the 275/70 has a lower profile, making it smaller and safer there’s much less rolling resistance and noticeable fuel savings for us. They roll better and they’re more stable as well. My drivers tell me they also tow better.”

Every new B-double set has been ordered to run on 275/70 tyres as Matt updates the fleet, which he aims to get up to ten years out of each B-double combination.

“We’ve always used Michelin product,” he says. “Over the last 18 months we have been using their tyres exclusively.”

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