‘Demount’ chassis with many bodies: Is this practical for Irish contractors?
Hi-Spec Engineering, based in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, is a well-known innovator in the farm machinery space. Its ejector-type (push-off) Kompactor trailer has attracted plenty of attention from contractors up and down the country.
With the prospect of mounting regulations governing the use of tractors, and possibly trailed machines, the company recently developed a high-specification ‘demount‘ chassis system – whereby one chassis unit can serve a number of different uses.
Of course, the concept of a multi-purpose demount chassis is not new or unique. In some European countries, such systems are reasonably popular. Some employ hook-lift ‘cranes’ to enable bodies to be interchanged; others use ‘stands’, whereby the body is propped up and the chassis unit driven in or out from underneath.
The benefit of a demount chassis is that one multi-purpose unit can be swapped between bodies – a tanker and a trailer, for example. In theory, this should lead to savings. For example, the same set of wheels, brakes and suspension components can be used on any number of different trailer and tanker bodies – provided they are not all needed simultaneously.
Choice of trailer or tanker bodies
Hi-Spec’s Kompactor trailer is available as an interchangeable body, which can be mounted on the firm’s demount chassis.
The other body option, that is available right now, is a vacuum tanker. The tanker is available in 2500, 3200, 3500 and 4000-gallon sizes. Standard fittings include a 11,000L/min hydraulic-drive vacuum pump with hydraulic changeover, a 6in fill point with a galvanised quick-attach hose fitting, three 6in blanked-off side-fill points, a 6in x 15ft suction hose and multiple 3in sight glasses. Others fitments include a ‘strobe’ flashing beacon and a galvanised rear-access door.
Mounting or demounting is quick and simple, says the company, using the hydraulic drawbar and twist locks to secure the body.
The chassis unit – because it can be shared between bodies and, hence, used for a bigger portion of the year – comes with a relatively high level of standard equipment. For example, it has a swivel hitch, a sprung (hydraulic) drawbar, a parking brake, commercial axles and air-over-hydraulic brakes.
It is also equipped with mudguards, LED road-lights, reversing lights and a flashing beacon.
A chassis unit and a compatible Kompactor trailer body, combined, costs about €45,000 including VAT. A tanker body, on its own, starts at about €16,000 including VAT. The chassis unit, excluding bodies, lists at about €24,000 including VAT.