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Increasing useful load and fuel economy

Increasing useful load and fuel economy

TRIEL-HT, a leading company in the agro-industrial market in Brazil and Latin America, recently utilized Strenx performance steel in a new chassis design for a three-axle tank semi-trailer. The result?  A 5 percent increase in load capacity – and significant cost savings.

TRIEL-HT Group is a family owned company from Brazil that offers advanced technological solutions for road equipment, agro-industrial logistics and special vehicles. The company’s products are regarded by many as the best in the industry and, to maintain this reputation, TRIEL-HT is always looking to offer its customers improved performance. 

Recently, TRIEL-HT spearheaded a new design to improve the load capacity of the company’s three-axel tank semi-trailer. Strenx performance steel, from SSAB, played a major role in the development project and helped to generate impressive gains.

In search of a better solution
According to Elton Arenhart, the Group’s Highway Tanks Engineering Development Manager, the search for the new solution was triggered by the market’s competitiveness as well as the goal of excellence in the transportation of liquid cargos. 

“Previously, there was no concern about the weight of vehicles, because the costs of inputs were lower. Over the years, prices have risen more than expected and we have looked for products to improve our equipment. In view of this, we started to look towards increasing load capacity, while making chassis lighter.”

Higher payloads and lower costs
Conventionally, three-axle, tank semi-trailer chassis are capable of transporting loads of up to 35 tons.  However, after the development of a new chassis made with Strenx performance steel as well as a new aluminum alloy tank, TRIEL-HT was able to achieve an entire two-ton reduction in the tare weight. In other words, a vehicle using the new tank trailer can now operate with a 37-ton net load capacity. 

This is a very significant gain, according to Arenhart.

“This net load gain has enabled a five percent increase in revenue with the same axle configuration for the equipment and TCGW. The five percent increase in load capacity helps offset input costs, such as diesel, tires and maintenance. For example, if the trailer makes four trips each month, we have achieved revenue of more than 795€.”

The route is also a factor that must be taken into consideration, since the tank semi-trailer operates empty until arriving to the location where it is loaded. 

“Fuel is definitely being saved by having two tons less weight,” explains Arenhart.  “The advantage is more evident when the fleet is bigger. With 18 units having 37 tons of capacity, we can save 14.090€ per month, in addition to the increase in revenue.

This means that the return on investment for using TRIEL-HT’s tank semi-trailer made with Strenx and aluminum alloy, in comparison with those built using stainless steel and conventional alloys, is only ten months. 

My Inner Strenx approved
Consequently, the TRIEL-HT Group has become a member of My Inner Strenx, a quality assurance program for companies that design and manufacture advanced steel structures and wish to benefit from Strenx performance steel. 

“We will have an advantage with the seal in terms of prices and material quality, as well as being a traced product,” says Arenhart. “The combination of the properties of Strenx steel and quality requirements of My Inner Strenx results in safer products with increased performance.”

Innovation in focus
Product development of the new chassis design was a quick process with no difficulties or obstacles. The project also shows the quality of the raw material, as TRIEL-HT, Director Eng. Marciano Dalla explains.

“It is possible to develop innovative products using SSAB high strength steels. "We understand the advantages of Strenx and use steel to produce stronger and lighter products. With this, we benefit from weight reduction, with better performance and longer equipment life. In addition, we have the SSAB Technical Support, which shares services, knowledge, resources and practices for the projects. 

"The work done with the semi-trailer is a demonstration that we are on the right track and making our customers happy, because we deliver products that will perform their function regardless of the situation."