Freighter has today announced the release of a new auto-fastening load restraint TautLiner trailer, named the “AutoHold”. Freighter says the new product is “the best closer in the trailer business” due to a patented sequential closing system which ensures the curtains fasten at the touch of a single button, even in windy conditions. The AutoHold is available in two models – with curtain buckles for easy adjustment or without buckles for a clean appearance.
Whether with buckles or without, the major feature of the new trailer is one-touch fastening and unfastening of the load restraint curtain. Drivers no longer need to open and close every single buckle when loading and unloading, instead simply pressing the button and watching as the trailer’s pneumatic system does the work for them. Freighter says it expects this will save operators around 15 minutes per stop, greatly increasing operational efficiency, leading to more drops per day and less stress for the driver.
Freighter General Manager, Mario Colosimo, said that the Company’s most advanced model has been designed with simplicity in mind. “We’ve been careful when introducing this new piece of technology, to ensure that it is as failsafe as possible,” he claimed. “We’ve designed a simple pneumatic control system with proven industry components, to ensure that everything just works and that there are no nasty surprises for operators.”
Colosimo continued, “Together with pneumatic unfastening, fastening is operated by a spring return, assisted by pneumatic control and with an over centre lock to fully secure the locked position.”
“As a further failsafe, should drivers ever get stuck without access to air, the curtains will fasten via its spring return system, meaning they can get back on the road back to the depot and not be left stranded unable to close the curtains,” he said.
Fastens in the wind
Another key feature of the AutoHold, said Colosimo, is the patented sequential fastening system, which ensures the curtain closes even in windy conditions. After the button is pressed, curtains begin to fasten sequentially, starting from both ends of the trailer and quickly working inwards, pulling the curtain closer to the trailer as they go.
“By the time the final catches fasten, the centre of the curtain has been pulled right in next to the trailer, removing the chance of missed catches,” he claimed.
With or without buckles
Freighter has made two versions of the AutoHold available for sale – one model with curtain buckles and one model without. “This comes down to operator preference,” said Colosimo. “While some operators will prefer the buckle-less model for its clean appearance, many others will see the benefits of the buckle model.”
Colosimo said customers should not be put off by the buckles and that in fact, they would rarely need to be handled at all. “The buckles are there for tensioning adjustment only,” he stated. “Once the curtains have been tensioned initially, drivers will only need to use the buckles on the rare occasion the LoadHold curtains need to be re-tensioned. By installing buckles, we can make this a quick and easy process for users to ensure the LoadHold curtains retain their load restraint compliance without the need for tools or mechanics.”
“By contrast, trailers without buckles need to be taken into a workshop from time to time for simple adjustment to check and retain load restraint compliance. It’s a small difference but one which potential purchasers should be aware of.”
“The buckle-less model also has the advantage of being better for curtain graphics.”
For the safety conscious
Freighter says the AutoHold has been developed as a result of customer feedback, with driver safety becoming more and more of a focus for transport operators. “As half of the name suggests, the AutoHold curtains are fitted with Freighter’s proven LoadHold load restraint curtains, which eliminates the need for conventional gates with many load types because the load restraint system is built into the curtains,” claimed Colosimo. “By not having to manually handle gates, drivers significantly reduce their Work Health and Safety risk.” Freighter’s AutoHold has been certified to meet the NTC Load Restraint Guidelines for a unitised load of at least 1,250kg per pallet space. Higher restraint levels can be specified when ordering.
Another benefit is the removal of the need for the driver to enter the forklift exclusion zone to release the curtains. “As a result of one-touch unfastening, drivers can be clear of the curtains when they are released, removing the chance of loads which have shifted during travel falling on them,” said Colosimo. “The removal of the need to manually fasten and unfasten buckles when loading and unloading also greatly reduces the chance of repetitive strain injury.”
Both AutoHold models are available now through Freighter’s Australian dealer network.