Carlow-based Broughan Engineering Ltd has launched a new dual-purpose, hydraulically operated back door for its range of tipper trailers.
Traditionally, trailer manufacturers have used two different types of rear doors (tailboard) for grain and silage applications on the same trailer. Silage rims are usually much higher than grain ones and a much higher door is used to match the height of the rims. Reverting back to grain means changing for a solid door the height of the grain rims.
The Broughan-designed solid back door -- or tailboard, as Paul Broughan calls it -- has been developed for silage and grain applications.
"For 2012, we have developed a hydraulic trailer tailboard that customers don't have to change when they are moving between silage and grain crops," said Paul. "This was especially a problem for contractors that were involved in silage and grain harvesting and might have to change several times during the year."
The new tailboard simplifies dual-purpose trailer use through clever design of the tailboard hinges and locking mechanism. A slotted bracket on the tailboard hinge allows double-acting hydraulic rams to lift the tailboard out of its four rear-locking points, before opening out to its fullest point.
On closing, the hydraulic rams close the backdoor flush with the rear frame of the trailer and then pull it down again into the rear-locking points. For silage applications, a simple tailboard extension is added.
Trailer sizes are on the increase, according to Mr Broughan, who says that in the past the standard trailer size was 18x8ft. However, in recent years, Broughan has been building 20ft trailers as standard, with some customers ordering 22ft and 24ft trailers.
Fuel price is the main driver behind this upward trend in trailer sizes.
"I think customers are requesting bigger trailers to try and cut fuel costs with fewer loads," he said. "Fuel price is a big thing now because it is so expensive and farmers/contractors will try everything they can to save on fuel bills."
Surprisingly, 95pc of Broughan-built trailers are equipped with air-braking systems on commercial (truck) axles.
"A lot of lads are buying them this way to be ready for trailer legislation that's coming down the road," he said.
LED (light emitting diode) lights are now the norm because, with no bulbs or bulb holders to corrode, they are far more reliable and safer. Similarly, low ground pressure tyres are becoming the norm as well.
"A few years ago it was all super-singles but now contractors will tell you that farmers are requesting they have low ground pressure tyres for drawing silage or corn across the land," said Mr Broughan. He added this can be a problem for the firm.
"They are much dearer than super singles at about €200, versus floatation tyres at around €700. But our biggest problem is not the price but the availability of floatation tyres."
Broughan Engineering's trailer retail prices are €10,000-€40,000, with the hydraulic tailgate option adding around €1,200 to the price. Other options include air brakes, air suspension, roll-over cover, flashing beacon and hydraulic suspension on latest models.
For more information, visit www.broughanengineeringltd. com or call 059 9163697.