Tech Talk

ASET releases the brakes on exciting new trailer axle


You could never accuse Ken Pitt and Gordon Crighton of resting on their laurels when it comes to designing and building game-changing trailer technology at All Size Equipment Transport Services (ASET Services).

The brains behind bolt-on brake-shoe aligner Tru-Shu – the talk of the Brisbane Truck Show on its debut there last year – are now well down the track in developing their follow-up, a revolutionary new axle for ASET Services’ tri-axle and quad-axle low loaders.

“The goal with the axle is to build a gold standard axle that has benefits that are beyond what is currently on the market,” says ASET Services business manager Stuart Wearne.

Those include cutting brake shoe replacement time by over 50%, dramatically reducing brake maintenance time, as parts can be quickly changed without disturbing the hub, and lower inventory cost as superior parts are shared by the prime mover and trailer.

The result, adds Wearne, is that you end up with longer lasting parts because the brakes always run true and drums are self-cleaning from unnecessary grit and brake dust, even stones and mud.

Wearne says the design incorporates all the benefits of the Tru-Shu – a brake shoe support mechanism that fits directly on the existing shoe – with a host of other unique features.

They include anchor pin plates that even the wear of the brake linings, an anchor pin lock that spells the end of worn spiders with anchor pins wearing through bushes and into the axle housing, and side removing s-cam hub end bush housing.

Previously, if your s-cam bush housing was worn out there was no quick solution, says ASET Services.

The removable s-cam bush housing gives greater axle life by turning a non-consumable part into a replaceable one.

“We’re almost reinventing wheel with this new axle design, taking it from scratch and improving it from the ground up,” says Wearne.

“Now, it could take us a few iterations of actually manufacturing to weed out any other issues, but there are significant improvements in it that just save a lot of maintenance time.

“All the features are designed around making every part as good as it can be, but also when you come to do maintenance it should cut those costs by at least half, or more. So, these are significant improvements.”

Wearne says the next stage is road-testing three prototype axles on low-loader trailers of their own design in 2021, while also exploring expressions of interest for a joint venture on the new axle design.

ASET Services manufacture specialised low-loaders for their own use, transporting over-dimensional equipment around Australia.

“These trailers are patented and are extending, widening and have features such as hydraulic goosenecks that become loading ramps,” says Wearne.

“Building these trailers has led to development of various improvements such as the bolt-on Tru-Shu.”

Interest in the Tru-Shu continues to grow since the product launch at the BTS last May where visitors where three-deep around the stall learning how a $350 part could save a $1000 a year per trailer in damaged brake parts.

Even if your brakes have started to twist out the side of the drum the 10-minute application of Tru-Shu will put them back into alignment without the need for replacing the brake shoes or drum.

The shoes will simply bed back in and you will get maximum wear out of what is left.

Once border-restrictions are lifted, Wearne is now looking forward to capitalising on the BTS interest and doing more demonstrations of how the Tru-Shu can bring immediate savings to a wide range of fleets.

The company recently bought a high-tech 3D printer from Israel so they could create a 3D model of how the Tru-Shu works.

“At the moment we have something set up on the back of a Ford F250, but we want to put this in a box and be able to fly it around Australia to demonstrate how it works.”

Adelaide-based Whiteline Transport is an early Tru-Shu convert and has seen immediate benefits from its fleet, which regularly crosses the Nullarbor.

Workshop manager Phil Cook estimates that the addition of Tru-Shu has at least doubled the life of the trucks’ brake shoes.

“It actually was worth going through the motions of trying because it’s delivered what it said it would,” says Whiteline boss Sharon Middleton.

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