Embracing sustainability through repurposed milk tanker with new HIAB

16 November 2021

Andrew Dodunski, Fonterra’s Regional on Farm Asset Specialist in Taranaki, and his colleagues visited TRT’s Head Office in Hamilton in September to collect their second purpose-built HIAB Crane Truck solution, from Tidd Ross Todd Limited (TRT).

Their farm asset team is responsible for coordinating the installation, removal, and organising repairs and maintenance of milk vats on dairy farms across New Zealand, alongside assisting farmers with any grading and compliance queries.

TRT designed the end-to-end solution, being a purpose-built deck to be fitted onto Fonterra’s repurposed milk tanker, mounted with a HIAB X-HiPro 232-E 6 Crane.

Their team is operating seven Loader Cranes across the country. This is their second new HIAB build from TRT in the last 18 months, with plans to build their third for next year’s season already underway.

Sustainability has been front of mind for Fonterra, as they continuously work towards delivering sustainable business practices, leveraging their unique strengths and innovation to create sustainable conventions. This includes considering what happens to a milk tanker truck at the end of its primary function.

Dodunski says, “we do fewer kilometres (km) than a milk tanker, so we get given a second-hand one. Normally they have done over a million km by the time we get them. It’s not necessary to have a new truck under our HIAB’s, and we are committed to being sustainable in everything we do, from farm to consumer, including repurposing milk tankers. In 10-15 years or whenever necessary we can transfer the crane and deck TRT fabricated onto another late model truck.”

Dodunski talks about the training associated in this custom build “Our team drove up to Waitoathe designer and TRT’s HIAB manager, for what turned out to be a valuable training day. We demonstrated lifting our milk vats, so TRT got to understand the challenges we faced so their team could recommend the best possible solution.”

Looking to ensure Fonterra could maximise their investment, TRT recommended going with a moderately larger HIAB truck loader crane to optimise their operations and increase operator safety. Bigger lifting capabilities means they could reliably lift heavier milk vats without over burdening the crane at certain reach and lift capacities.

The crane features HIAB HiPro, state-of-the-art remote-control system. This benefits operations with improved precision, performance, and advanced safety, all essential for complex lifting.

The solution was designed and completed in-house at TRT’s manufacturing facility in Hamilton. The deck featured a purpose-built load restraint configuration for carrying the specialised tanks, custom storage boxes, safety-yellow contact points, along with two-pack electrostatic paint on the deck and frame for enhanced durability to ensure it seamlessly fits back into the Fonterra fleet.

Dodunski continues “What we really valued in the process of build number two was our collaboration with TRT. TRT prioritised understanding the needs of our operations right down to the finer details.”

“That’s where the value of the training day resurfaced. TRT made sure we were satisfied with the specifications and if there were modifications that could improve our operations, they demonstrated how those changes could be made possible.”

“TRT’s willingness and enthusiasm towards solving problems and moving forward with innovations was impressive.”

“TRT would communicate updates to our team instantaneously. From when the crane arrived in the country, to progress photos and fabrication updates.”

“Thanks to the service and experience with TRT, we are excited for build three to hit the road for next year’s season.”

For more information on Fonterra’s sustainable practices visit their website here. 

Read more about HIAB Cranes from TRT or get in touch with the team today.

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(Pictured from left to right – Business Unit Manager, Andrew Dodunski, Fonterra Regional On Farm Asset Specialist Taranaki & Project Manager for build two, Nicki Harrison, Fonterra Business Operations Support Hamilton, John Welsh, Fonterra Regional On Farm Asset Specialist Clandeboye, Jonathan Hughes, TRT’s Design Draughtsman, and Bruce Carden, TRT Company Director.)