United Bulk to haul unique PBS chemical tankers

Company goes PBS to serve Sappi contract

United Bulk, a One Logix Group company, unveiled one of three Performance Based Standards (PBS) chemical tankers – the MMF – yesterday (4 December, 2018) in Johannesburg.

The MMF PBS tankers have a payload of 52-tonnes. They are the first of their kind in South Africa and will be used to serve a chemical transport contract United Bulk has with Sappi South Africa.

The 24-wheeled PBS MMI tankers will be tasked with hauling Caustic Soda for Sappi from Richards Bay to Umkomaas in KwaZulu-Natal and its surrounds.

While the tankers are within normal specification in terms of total length, width and height, its their increased payload capabilities that make them PBS units.

Caustic Soda (also known as Sodium Hydroxide and Lye) is an Alkali with a high specific density, which explains the lowered centre of gravity.

United Bulk PBS tanker handover

Designed and built by specialists CA Muller Fabrication in the Western Cape, the PBS tri-axle tankers are attached to MAN  truck tractors fitted with hypoid axles and ZF Traxion gearboxes.

“We were able to select our newly developed TGS 27.480 6×4 BBS – LX Cab – XHD version as the basis for this transport task.

“This unit, combines the best fuel efficient attributes of our on-highway 26-tonne prime movers, with the robustness of various components traditionally only see on off-road 33-tonne derivatives,” elaborated Eren Gunduz – Head of Sales and After Sales at MAN Automotive.

“With this standard XHD version, MAN is able to offer a 90-tonne GCM. With the introduction of the TipMatic TX transmission early in 2019, the same rig will be capable of 120-tonnes GCM.”

The three MAN vehicles are all Road Transport Management System (RTMS) certified and will begin to work imminently.

“Showcasing this final result of a 74-tonne Gross Combination Mass rig which is capable of 52-tonnes nett payload is a triumph for the team who have worked tirelessly to come up with a transport solution which can tick all of the boxes as being an industry first,” enthused Patrick Pols, managing director of United Bulk.

“We wish to extend a kind ‘thank you’ to the professional engineers from WITS University, CA Muller tanker-trailer manufacturers, MAN Automotive and the One Logix Management Team for the many hours of design time, simulations and regulatory cross-checks which were done to get to the breakthrough point,” added Pols.

Elaborating on the application, Pierre Scharneck, Operations Director at the United Bulk said: “The result we have achieved here, by bringing a transport solution which is able to transport 52-tonnes of caustic lye safely and efficiently for our customer SAPPI, sets a standard where we are able to do the work normally done with five combinations now using only three.”

The KZN province has been the most progressive of Provinces in South Africa when it comes to analysing and approving PBS operators, whilst at the same time actively demonstrating stringent law enforcement of the Road Traffic regulations.

This latest development is one of four very innovative transport solutions MAN has partnered with in the Province over recent years.

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