Agri Machinery Ireland has just sent two Carlow-built A&W Engineering trailers on a 17,275km voyage down under to its new owner near Melbourne in Australia.
This marks the company’s first sale of trailers outside of Ireland or the UK. The trailers left Dublin Port on Saturday where they were shipped to Southampton, then on to Singapore before the final stop in Australia.
The 26ft trailers are destined for a large contractor who owns four foragers and hires in a further four foragers during the busy period. The trailers will be used to haul grain, silage and maize.
In Australia, the harvesting of forage is charged by the tonne and not by the acre as is common across Ireland. As a result, many contractors there pull mobile weigh bridges to weigh each load of forage.
To get around this, these trailers are fitted with six load cells (two at the front, two at the middle and two at the rear hinge points).
This means the live weight of material in the trailer is constantly portrayed on a screen in the tractor’s cab.
The trailers in question are both 26ft long and 8.85ft (2.7m) at the widest point. They have 1.5m solid sides with additional 1m extensions all-round for silage. The tri-axle trailers are equipped with a simple rear steering mechanism. The trailer sits on a 10-stud sprung drawbar and axle (45t rated suspension), while it is shod on 560/60 R22.5 tyres.
The tipping rams are controlled using a standard spool valve. However, in order to have a reduced overall spool valve requirement, several hydraulic functions are controlled through a custom-designed electro-hydraulic control box in the cab.
This controls the locking and unlocking of the steering axle, the folding headboard (mainly required for maize), the split folding top cover, the hydraulic tail door and two rams on the rear axle which shift the weight distribution for increased stability when tipping.
Other spec includes a Lincoln auto-greaser and LED lights. Interestingly, the trailer has an eye-type hitch and not a spoon coupling. Weighing in at 10,250kg, the trailer is rated to carry 19,750kg.
The deal was agreed through Gordon Spillane from Meath-based Agri Machinery Ireland, who retails equipment for A&W Engineering.
Gordon explained: “The contractor who bought the trailers found and contacted us online. He is one of the biggest contractors in Australia.
“The internet has meant the world has become a smaller place, so there’s no reason Irish manufacturers can’t export worldwide.”
It’s understood the cost of exporting trailers this distance is around €10,000 per unit, and delivery will take around two months.