Fonterra tanker driver Bill Groves is up against two transport engineering firms in a bid to build the best trailer design.
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The three designs are being trialled on the roads this season and Groves is going head-to-head with trailers built by Domett and Longveld to see which one performs best.

Groves is a Reporoa-based driver and has been dreaming up his trailer for the past seven years and is proud to see it finally on the road, he says.

Fonterra has supported him all the way throughout the design and build phase.

He says “it has been a really cool journey to be a part of and just being able to be here right now is awesome”.

“Fonterra has treated me like family and I am so proud to be a part of this team,” Groves says.

The aim of all three new designs is to get better maneuverability, higher milk collection capacity and improved economy and efficiency from the tanker fleet.

It’s hoped the new designs will increase milk collection productivity by 8-10%, resulting in reduced kilometres, less fuel and fewer tankers on the road – which all helps to improve Fonterra’s impact on the environment.

Originally, the classic tanker could hold up to 15,000 litres of milk, whereas the three new designs are two metres longer and can hold up to 21,000 litres.

Over the next 12 months the three trailers will undergo testing. Data gained will help make an informed decision on which of the trailers has performed the best and will be the safest for operators and the communities.

Groves trailer

-Features a double axle to give it improved maneuverability and safety when entering and exiting a corner
-It’s the first of its design – patent pending
-The design also draws on Groves’ previous experience driving a logging truck

Domett’s Gen 4 trailer

-Back two wheels steer with the front of the vehicle, making it more maneuverable
-The tank is more oval in shape, meaning it can be lower to the ground – making it more stable
-Has three baffles (strengthening beams) landed widthway in the back to protect the milk and the vehicle from flipping

Longveld trailer

-Elliptical in shape, making it look more space-age than the original
-Strong shape and design to make it safer and more stable on the roads
-Its shape also makes it easier to clean the inside of the tanks

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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