Northern MHE demonstration generates high interest

There are the Oscar’s, the Brit Awards, and the Grammy’s, but the recent demonstration of the Multidrive horizontal ejector system (MHE) kit may have put all of these in the shade!  Since the last demonstration held in Somerset in October 2019 word had spread around the construction cognescenti that the Multidrive MHE kit ticks all the boxes, so attendees at the Northern demonstration at a Hanson site near Wigan were eager to see for themselves just how the MHE is different from alternative systems available.  This was a practical demonstration at a working site, using a working vehicle fitted with the Multidrive MHE kit.

The event welcomed a total of 22 people representing a wide range of companies including some of the major players in the construction industry, owner operators, and body builders.  Among the attendees were several Health & Safety specialists keen to learn more about the benefits of the MHE.  Serious debate among many of the larger construction companies at the event was about the adoption of non-tipping trailers (NTT), and how this would impact on not only future projects but the reboot of major infrastructure projects such as HS2.

To set the scene, the demonstration featured the MHE kit fitted to a Freuhauf semi-trailer, driven and operated by Mr Martin Walker, a Hanson franchisee of many years experience in the discharge of aggregate and asphalt, and with knowledge of operating a wide range of different discharge technologies including vertical tippers, and walking floor based systems.  The aim of the demonstration was to show a range of aggregate being discharged, and to show the many benefits of the MHE kit.

Technology can change perspectives and working practices fast, and whilst few people would dispute the proven safety record of the Multidrive MHE, the demonstration was an opportunity for stakeholders to scrutinise other important aspects, including economy, environmental impact, and performance.

At the top of many people’s list was the subject of the difference in cost between a tipper, the MHE, and alternative horizontal discharge systems.  It was interesting to note the same comment from several individuals saying that although initial purchase cost was traditionally one of the two main criteria (load carrying capacity being the other), it is important to take into account the lifetime cost of ownership and resale values.  Returning to Martin’s extensive experience, he explained to the audience that replacing plates and bearings on a walking floor can be expensive and time consuming, requiring specialist equipment and service.  Furthermore, he mentioned that frequent replacement of parts should be expected with metal based walking floor type systems, depending on the type of aggregate discharged.  Martin also added ‘specifying a dual asphalt and aggregate belt on the Multidrive MHE can be an economic and time saving investment as the MHE belt can easily last 5 years or more, and provides greater flexibility to discharge a wider range of materials’.

Another major consideration when considering the discharge of material is the environment.  Attendees at the demonstration witnessed the rapid discharge of different types of aggregate, each  in under a minute, and at idling speed of the engine.  This was an important feature to the Fleet Managers present who said that pressure from environmental groups to reduce pollution levels associated with slow discharge would be a key consideration when deciding on what type of discharge system to use.  On a similar note, the quietness of the MHE was also applauded, again minimising the impact of noise levels to wildlife and local communities.

There was a clear appreciation of the performance of the MHE in terms of the time taken to discharge loads quickly and safely, allowing a faster throughput of vehicles on a construction site, using less fuel as a result of the rapid discharge time.  There was also appreciation for how the MHE kit can be incorporated into a new build of trailer, semi-trailer, or rigid body, as Multidrive make the kit available to any body builder.

As we get set to enter the month of March the annual Tip-ex show at Harrogate looms ever closer, and body builders are already gearing up for the big event.  At this years’ show there will be 2 Multidrive MHE kits to see, one fitted to a body built by Martrans, a premier partner of Multidrive.  The shows runs from May 28th through May 30th.

Tip-ex and Tank-ex 20 are the only UK events dedicated to the tipping, bulk haulage, tanker and bulk liquid transport industries. With over 100 leading manufacturers and suppliers on show, many of whom only exhibit at Tip-ex.  As well as the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest trends in materials discharge, the opportunity to network at many of the social events each evening are a growing feature of the show.  Harrogate is centrally located with a good network of motorways and airports nearby.