The Perfect Haul

It takes the right equipment to get the job done. But when the “right” equipment is 80,000 lbs. or heavier, the first challenge is finding a trailer capable of hauling it to the job. With a Roadtec Shuttle Buggy at hand and an interstate to pave, Lane Construction, Stafford, VA, needed a trailer that would efficiently get the equipment to the jobsite without hassle while meeting road regulations.

The Shuttle Buggy brings efficiency to Lane’s paving operation. It is designed to quickly and efficiently carry asphalt between the hot mix asphalt haul truck and the paver during road construction. However, while the machine enhances productivity by eliminating any delays in paving on the jobsite, it also poses some logistical challenges. It is simply a large load to carry.

“The Shuttle Buggy is 12 ft. tall, and we didn’t have a trailer that could easily haul it,” says Tim Payne, Lane shop foreman. Because of the logistical challenges, he says, Lane found it easier to use another, less efficient method to complete the work. They “made do” with the equipment they had on site.

While the company wasn’t necessarily losing jobs without the Shuttle Buggy in use, Payne knew leaving the $500,000 piece of equipment parked in the yard to collect dust just didn’t make sense. With the potential to improve efficiency and productivity in sight, Payne set out in search of a trailer that would meet Lane Construction’s need not only for hauling this machine, but also for flexibility to handle other equipment and loads.

Search and Find

Payne’s search culminated at the World of Asphalt trade show in Charlotte, NC, in 2012. It was there that the Lane team spotted the Talbert 50CC-PS, a trailer design influenced by its dealer, Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel.

“The trailer is designed specifically for the paving market. We were highlighting it at the show because it was the ideal market segment,” says Chris Hill, general manager for Hale. “We had the model on display, and after reviewing the specifications with Lane Construction, we found it was the perfect fit for their needs.”

The 26-ft. deck on the 50CC-PS offers space for full construction fleet loads and features a specially designed ramp to allow easy loading and unloading of common paving equipment such as rollers. The design of the ramp and trailer slopes from the bottom up to create a more moderate incline over a greater distance, approximately a third of the deck length. This feature is ideal for equipment with very low ground clearance and a long body length.

“This trailer was specifically designed for pieces of equipment that are low to the ground,” says Russ Losh, Northeast area sales manager for Talbert. “The shallow loading height allows equipment to be rolled onto the trailer without scraping the bottom of the equipment on the trailer. This eliminates the need to lay planks out behind the trailer when loading and unloading, which saves up to 30 minutes.”

In the case of Lane Construction, which needed to load and unload the Shuttle Buggy daily, the time savings was a huge advantage.

“We wanted to use the Shuttle Buggy on project work we were completing on a portion of Interstate 95 outside of Stafford,” Payne says. “However, due to road restrictions on I-95, equipment couldn’t be left on the highway overnight. We needed a trailer that could easily haul the Shuttle Buggy to and from the jobsite every morning and every night.”

Complicating the challenge even more was the fact that Lane Construction faced specific height restrictions. “To legally transport the Shuttle Buggy, we needed a trailer that could haul it without exceeding the 13 1/2-ft.-height road restriction,” says Payne. “When you’re working with a 12-ft.-high piece of machinery, that’s not an easy requirement to meet.”

The 50CC-PS met all these specifications. The trailer’s finish height at the front of the main beams is 8 3/4 in., ensuring that when the Shuttle Buggy was loaded it wouldn’t exceed the 13 1/2 ft. In addition, the trailer features a bolt-on ramp to provide a more gradual load angle at the rear — 15° rather than the standard 35° angle. The 50-ton-capacity 50CC-PS offers a deck width of 8 ft. 6 in. and a low deck height of 20 in. The specifications worked so perfectly for Lane that the company purchased the exact model that was displayed at the show.

For Lane, it was those distinct specifications that really stood out. In addition to the time savings when loading the equipment, each axle accommodates up to 25,000 lbs., making it easy to carry the 80,000-lb. Shuttle Buggy.

“We got the paperwork rolling right away after World of Asphalt,” says Hill. “Lane Construction was equipped with the trailer in just about a month’s time.”

While originally purchased to haul the Shuttle Buggy, when that equipment isn’t needed on the job, the team uses the trailer to haul pavers, excavators and other large equipment to jobsites throughout the area. “The 50CC-PS is so unique because of the low load height. It makes it efficient to load and unload, and we rarely have to worry about exceeding any height restrictions,” Payne says. “We use it all the time. Every day, in fact.”