Rocky Lamattina & Sons unveils new Stag B-triple

A first-time collaboration between Rocky Lamattina & Sons and Bairnsdale-based Kennedy Trailers has delivered a new Stag B-triple.

Pulled by a new Kenworth T909, the PBS approved combination is operating across regional northern Victoria and southern New South Wales and is earmarked for destinations also in Queensland.

Fast building a reputation for innovative high productivity vehicles, Rocky Lamattina & Sons, headed up by Director Angelo Lamattina, unveiled in late 2022 the first of its 30-pallet twin steer 18.2-metre fridge van split quads.

These attracted great international interest.

The latest combination is the first Stag B-triple commissioned by the business.

A stag being a short last trailer in a B-double combination that connects to a fifth wheel on the towing trailer, it is commonly situated under the towing trailer’s load carrying area.

With an aluminium roll back lead B-double set already in the fleet, Lamattina told Prime Mover that to reduce repairs and additional welding it was decided the new B-triple would have to be manufactured from steel.

The intimidating brief initially proved too hard a job for a few trailer builders before Kennedy Trailers, a regional Victorian independent, welcomed the challenge.

Despite it being the first project worked on by the two businesses, Lamattina said he was mightily impressed by the execution of the workmanship delivered by Kennedy’s.

“After we spoke and had preliminary discussions, they just made it happen,” he said.

“They’re beautifully built trailers. The amount of steel in there is unbelievable. I know one thing, it won’t break — that’s for sure.”

Rhys Robinson, Kennedy Trailers National Sales & Design Engineer, who oversaw the project, said there were several determining factors that had to be incorporated into the design not in the least the fact that the trailer builder had not previously manufactured a Stag tipper setup.

“To build a triple was quite confronting in itself,” he told Prime Mover.

“Inclusive of the general manufacturing process and overall operational use there was weight distribution and tare weight considerations and trackability swept path analysis as well as PBS approval.”

Given the mode of operation is, in large part, short distance work by Australian standards, Lamattina decided against going with an A-double, a decision he arrived at after some serious consideration.

The limitations of disconnecting the A-double trailers, should they get stuck in one of these remote locations, replete with the task of backing it in, pointed to more inconveniences than efficiencies he said.

“With this unit we can revert back to a B-double stag set by removing the middle trailer from the triple combination,” Lamattina explained.

Unfortunately, with B-double rollbacks, operators customarily are required to disconnect and tip off and then hook it up again explained Lamattina.

“Whereas here you don’t have to worry about disconnecting,” he said.

The other main advantage according to Lamattina is the length of the three bodies.

“Instead of two bigger trailers, it gives us stability and a better tipping angle,” he said.

The front tipper trailer is 10.3 metres long while the two back trailers are each 7.6 metres.

In B-double configuration Rocky Lamattina & Sons will be carrying the same amount of weight as it does on the other B-double in the fleet.

The triple combination yields a 62-tonne payload, with a GVM of 95.5 tonnes.

Talks first began in late 2021 between Lamattina and Robinson. These included early design concepts as different layouts and ideas were proposed.

“The build required a lot of back and forth between the fabricators and designer’s client with the intended goal of bringing something new to the market with a client that showed a lot of faith in a trailer builder that had never built one before,” said Robinson.

“It was very impressive.”

Much of 2022 was spent time checking the swept paths and PBS approvals along the way, always being mindful, according to Robinson, of the tare weights.

By the end of 2022 pricing and specification had been finalised and a build slot was allocated.

Production would start in August 2023.

“The early months of 2023 were used to bring together a working 3D model of the B triple stag combination,” recalled Robinson.

From August 2022 to February 2024 the three trailers were fabricated and assembled at Kennedy Trailers in Bairnsdale to bring the triple combination to completion before it was handed over to Lamattina.

“I like the manoeuvrability and trackability of the combination with the small bodies reducing the likelihood of tipping over and the flexibility of the combination to be able to break it down to a B-double that can also run at HML under 26-metres,” said Robinson.

“Kennedy’s worked side-by-side with the Lamattina throughout the whole process and the final design was a combination of both businesses working collaboratively to create something new and innovative.”

The purpose of this stag B-triple is to load cow manure and gypsum from feedlots scattered mainly across north central Victoria and NSW and deliver grain to Lamattina’s customers

It involves a 420-kilometre round trip between Kaniva and Charlton and trips from Charlton to Wemen, a township 110 kilometres from Mildura, and can travel as far north as St George in Queensland 200kms northwest of Goondiwindi.

“In that sense it runs a bit of everywhere for us,” added Lamattina.

“Ultimately it came down to the same considerations I’m usually looking for improvement in — weight distribution and flexibility,” he said.

“That’s what this unit gives us and they’re a little bit more stable because of the short bodies.”

Oftentimes the delivery point for the fleet will involve a permit.

That informed Lamattina’s decision to make the middle trailer in the combination a quad axle.

“I thought that if I’ve got to go through the pain of getting a permit I might as well carry another three- or four-tonnes extra so that’s why the middle trailer has got a quad on it for that reason,” he said.

“Some areas do not require PBS but unfortunately where we need to run, you do need to have PBS.

“That was why that decision was made.”

The new Kenworth T909 6×4, powered by a 600hp Euro 5 Cummins X15, was purchased specifically to pull the combination.

The signwriting was again handled by Bendigo business YBIFX who painted all the silver and red lines and added the scroll work and the logos on the trailers.

“They did a terrific job,” said Lamattina.

“We ended up installing the Razor rollover tarps on the bins and they are working really well for us, the driver doesn’t have to worry about winding the tarp over manually.”

Lamattina described the Razor equipment as a creature comfort for the drivers.

“We just try and make life easier for our team and carry more for less cost,” said Lamattina.

“I suppose when all is said and done that’s what our objective is.

“With this particular combination the beauty about it is that it’s stable, we can unload without disconnecting it has good weight distribution and it is flexible in its combinations

“That’s what I like about the function of it.”

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