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The Drake Group are HVIA Awards 2021 Finalists

The Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia just announced their list of finalists for the 2021 HVIA Awards. We’re stoked to share that the The Drake Group are finalists across three categories:

  1. The Product Innovation Award – sponsored by NTI and Truck Assist, this award acknowledges HVIA Members who have designed and utilised new technology, or developed an innovative product to address the increasingly important road freight task.
  2. The Safety Innovation Award – celebrating a safety product, safety feature or safety system that has been brought to market or implemented to make product(s) and/or workplaces safer.
  3. The Apprentice of the Year Award – presented to an individual who is undertaking an apprenticeship in Australia and has been outstanding in all aspects of their training.

Freo's Ophee Trailer Crane Counterweight SKEL onsite showing the lift innovations

One Innovative Trailer – O’Phee’s Crane Counterweight SKEL Trailer

Both Innovation categories that The Drake Group feature as finalists in celebrate one trailer design: The O’Phee Crane and Counterweight SKEL B Double trailer combination. You might have seen us showcase this showstopper at the Brisbane Truck Show 2021 earlier this year. It was also featured in Crane and Lifting’s latest issue.

Designed in close collaboration with the Freo Group and WGC Cranes – the O’Phee Crane and Counterweight SKEL trailer was created as one single, multi-functional trailer solution to support a range of brands and sizes of crane. The trailer enhances the return on investment, useability, and safety. It is a complete lightweight trailer solution.

Trailer Features

The trailer’s innovative design mostly comes down to the trailer’s unique multi-cradle system. It can be configured as a single trailer, B-double or road train. The trailer’s unique adjustable multi position cradle system has the ability to swap and change any accessory to fit any position whilst maximising axle group loadings.

We thought we’d push the trailer design innovation a step further and made the cradle system entirely removeable. This provides additional flexibility for the crane business and the trailer can return to depot and redeployed supporting another crane rather than remaining on site for the duration of the lift program

Key Benefits of the Crane Counterweight SKEL

The crane sector is evolving with much larger capacity cranes coming onto the market. Our O’Phee Trailers division has provided crane operators with a flexible multi purpose solution that offers significantly higher utilisation than previous trailers.

The trailer saves time, money and is more efficient. It eliminates the need for companies to keep all different set of trailers for each crane type – often sitting idle in storage, waiting for their specific job to shine. As a consequence, this reduces the number of trailers needing to be built, and minimises required yard space.

As a smart, multi-functional, lightweight hi tensile trailer – it can legally carry a greater load than alternative designs and gets maximum payload.

Trailer Safety+

The trailer also boasts massive safety benefits. In part, this is due to the ground operated Load Restraint System.

Typically, the sheave hook blocks have been transported vertically, because they are easier to lower in. But by transporting them this way, you have a higher centre of gravity, and the load must still be restrained.

We addressed this with a pivoting cradle so as you lower the hook sheave block it is in a vertical position, but when it reaches the trailer, it hinges and lays horizontally. This does two things: It lowers the centre of gravity for transporting and it allows you to hook up and unhook from the ground

Slots in the flanges on both sides are provided to attach cradles and hold counterweight, hook sheaves, outrigger pads, rigging boxes and other equipment. The inbuilt restraint hooks removes the need for chaining and dogging loads. This eliminates any safety risks associated with incorrect load restraint, chaining and dogging, and working at heights.

Want to See What This Trailer’s Made of?

Let Mick O’Phee show you the ropes:

Apprentice of the Year Award Finalist

You may have heard the news that Wayne “Wayno” Taradel, one of our recent apprentice graduates, was nominated for the Apprentice of the Year Award by Apprenticeships Queensland. We’re delighted to say he’s now made the list of finalists!

From a kid dreaming of engineering-type work in high school, to a fully fledged Drake Boilermaker and national award finalist – not doing too badly there, Wayno! The team’s so proud to have you on board!

Check out Wayno’s recent interview with Drake’s Byron Foss:

About the HVIA Awards

HVIA’s National Awards acknowledge and celebrate the Australian heavy vehicle industry’s ability to lead the way in creating innovative, future-focused solutions.

It’s no secret that freight transport plays a significant role in supporting the Australian economy. This fact has been highlighted by recent challenges presented by COVID. As those in the road transport industry invent new and better ways of operating, the positive impact is felt across all Australian industries.

The HVIA Innovation Awards are judged on:

  • Originality
  • Impact on the business
  • Consultation and Engagement
  • How transferrable they are
  • Effectiveness

All award winners will be announced at the HVIA Gala Awards event in Brisbane on Friday 19th November 2021.

Get the full list of nominees on HVIA’s website. or grab tickets to the Gala Event here.

Wish us luck!

Ongoing innovation, quality Australian materials, cutting-edge engineering and outstanding build quality are the foundations of The Drake Group. Find out more about our commitment to trailer quality and innovation

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