$553k boost for NT’s world-first air-powered, side-tipping trailer


An Alice Springs-based manufacturer, led by an Alice Springs local, will scale-up manufacture of the world’s first pneumatic, side-tipping, haulage trailer, dubbed Air Tip.

Air Tip’s co-funded project, worth $553,000, will combine equal investments of $276,500 from the company and the Northern Territory Government via the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF).

It is anticipated that this investment will create 10 new jobs in the Northern Territory over five years, including engineering, fabrication, professional and apprentice roles in Alice Springs.

Developed in collaboration with Ross Engineering and the Complete Group, Air Tip said the pneumatic side tipping trailer will offer improved payload capacity, reduced operational costs, reduced emissions and does away with the need for a power-take-off (PTO) mechanism to be fitted to trucks – allowing for greater flexibility and improved use of vehicle fleets.

The fully integrated trailer makes use of the truck’s standard pneumatic system which removes the need for fitment of expensive hydraulic systems – which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Owing to its unique design, Air Tip’s trailer integrity is improved whilst still reducing the overall weight of the trailer by 12 per cent and increasing the trailer’s payload by 4.8 per cent.

Through its engineering partner, Ross Engineering, Air Tip will also embark on establishing bespoke design, fabrication and contract manufacturing capabilities to support the NT manufacturing ecosystem.

“This co-investment will have broader implications across the Territory, giving Air Tip, Ross Engineering and the Complete Group the capability to design, engineer and fabricate componentry in Alice Springs – a capability once outsourced interstate,” said Clarke Petrick, Air Tip founder and managing director.

“The addition of new robotic laser cutting and CNC capabilities will enable us to test, develop and commercialise the Air Tip system in shorter timeframes, reducing the lag effect of having to outsource core manufacturing processes.”

The funding for the project is managed by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation with a vision to “transform Australian manufacturing to become an internationally competitive, dynamic and thriving industry with advanced capabilities and skills at its core.”

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