After fifteen years of loyal service, the very first Freighter Drop Deck EziLiner has been refurbished by MaxiTRANS and returned to service with the Tasmanian freight company who originally put it to work.
In use with Highland Haulage Pty Ltd, a carrier operating out of Deloraine in the Apple Isle’s central highlands, the restored Drop Deck EziLiner #1 made its debut at ‘A Day out for Don’, a charity car show in Campbell Town (midway between Launceston and Hobart), wearing curtains paying tribute to Peter Brock.
Highland Haulage was founded by husband-and-wife pair, Mick and Chris Linger, more than two decades ago. What started as a sole trader, single truck operation has grown to become one of the predominant transport businesses in the state. Today, Highland Haulage’s fleet of Kenworth and Western Star prime movers and Freighter trailers provide general freight and specialised refrigeration services from Tasmania across Bass Straight to all mainland centres.
As well as taking on all manner of freight jobs, Mick also takes pride in his business’s equipment. Everything in the fleet is impeccably presented and impressively maintained. Mick is adamant that all his gear be kept in showroom condition, regardless of age. His meticulous approach to cleanliness and presentation for the fleet extends to the company’s warehouses, workshops and offices, too.
Early in the company’s history, Mick was conscious about ensuring his fleet would continually provide efficiency as well as maximum cubic capacity. As a result, he was particularly interested in the Freighter Drop Deck design as it optimised deck lengths to suit standard pallet sizes and maximise load volume. At the same time, he was equally impressed with the EziLiner trailer’s design that replaces multiple buckles and straps with a single high tensile synthetic cable running through a series of arcs along both decks of the trailer. This system generates the vertical tension on the trailer curtains, providing significant efficiency gains in terms of time saved per load/unload cycle.
Introduced in 2008, the EziLiner has received positive feedback from owners and drivers who say that the simple use of a lever to tighten and loosen the curtain has made it easier to operate than closing multiple buckles and straps.
Before a Drop Deck version of the EziLiner had been introduced, Mick contacted his local Freighter dealer, MaxiTRANS, requesting a drop deck with EziLiner technology built in.
Unbeknownst to Mick, Freighter engineers were in the final stages of developing a drop deck version. The design incorporated two cable guide rollers at the drop point of the trailer that simultaneously ensures the continuity of the cable from the top to the lower deck whilst maintaining the required tension levels.
After 15 years’ loyal service with Highland Haulage, running to all points of mainland Australia, the first Drop Deck EziLiner built by Freighter had started showing signs of wear and tear, but Mick said the trailer was too good to get rid of.
“Around the time I was thinking about refurbishing the trailer, a close friend of mine, Steve Donovan, told me about a car show he was organising to raise awareness for mental health,” Mick explained. “Sadly, Steve’s son took his own life, and the car show ‘A Day out for Don’ was created, named in his honour.
“Steve is a massive Holden and Peter Brock fan, so an idea evolved that I refurbish my old Drop Deck EziLiner as a memento to Steve’s efforts in raising awareness of mental health.”
Mick was adamant that the refurbishment be carried out by a reputable workshop, so asked MaxiTRANS, the manufacturer of Freighter trailers, who they might suggest for the rebuild, unaware they offered an in-house refurbishment service.
“The team at MaxiTRANS in Victoria were terrific,” Mick recalled. “I explained that I intended to use the trailer as a display piece with the Peter Brock mural on the curtains and the deadline for its first public showing at the car show. I added that I also wanted a few extra touches, such as polished rear door handles.”
Giving the trailer a new lease on life, MaxiTRANS stripped the Drop Deck EziLiner back to bare metal, then repainted it, adding airbrush detailing. New curtains and new LED lights were fitted, too.
“Mick was fantastic and easy to deal with. He knew exactly what he wanted to achieve,” said Jason Keddie, MaxiTRANS General Manager Victoria. “He was involved throughout the whole process and got to know our team quite well.”
Along with full refurbishment jobs like Mick’s, MaxiTRANS Service Centres can replace walls, rear frames and floors damaged in the likes of a rollover or burn out. They also offer all kinds of general trailer servicing.
“Customers are amazed that, with what may seem like a write-off, we have the capability to bring it back to life,” Jason added. “Our direct links to manufacturing makes the process much more seamless for our customers.”
MaxiTRANS Service Centres’ repair and restoration work is all part of an ongoing commitment to servicing the needs of customers, from the time a new trailer is ordered, through to providing support for the life of the product, right across Australia.
“It was great working with Mick on refurbishing his Freighter trailer in time for the Day out for Don show, seeing how happy he is with the end result is what it’s all about,” Jason concluded.