Based in Melbourne, IXOM is a trusted industry leader in water treatment and chemical sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, storage, and use.
IXOM manufactures liquid chlorine which it then supplies to customers with its fleet of bulk tankers. These units load out of IXOM’s Melbourne site and then travel to different destinations, typically on the east coast throughout Melbourne and Sydney.
The bulk tankers are a pressure vessel specific for chlorine, which, according to Liquip NSW, make up the only chlorine fleet in Australia. While the tankers have served IXOM well since being built in the 1960s, the fleet is aging and due for renewal. This is where Liquip NSW comes in.
Liquip NSW was named as the successful candidate for the project after IXOM initially reached out as a tender many years ago. Now, as IXOM’s new tanker provider, it will be responsible for modernising the fleet over the next few years.
“The original vessels were built in the 1960s, so they were a few years old and the details around the original designs were not complete,” says Liquip NSW Operations Manager, Steve Hudson. “So, we interrogated the old drawings, engineered a new design and looked at what improvements we could make to ensure that the new fleet could provide service for the next 50 years.”
The plan is to fit the new trailers with BPW Transpec’s tandem AL2 suspension and 10-stud 285PCD drum brake axles. Ahead of the setup, IXOM Project Manager, Daniel Marsic, says IXOM engaged Liquip NSW to choose the right running gear for the tankers. And, because of its expertise in the field, IXOM was confident in Liquip NSW’s capabilities.
“Liquip NSW specified the type and model for the BPW Transpec components,” he says. “The old leaf spring tankers have had various upgrades over the years but they’re old technology now. So, we engaged Liquip NSW to help us specify and install the BPW systems.”
From Liquip NSW’s point of view, the BPW Transpec gear was very easy to implement in the first two units.
“We worked with the customer originally on what sort of system they wanted to operate,” Steve says. “We just told BPW Transpec the application and what the units were up against, and then they made recommendations.”
IXOM has just received the first two units, which were recently driven from Liquip NSW’s workshop in Sydney to IXOM’s operation in Melbourne. The new chlorine tankers, Steve says, have already made an impression– mainly due to the AL2 suspension fitted.
“The airbag suspension has reduced the impact through the pressure vessel from the road, so it’s a softer ride,” he says. “While the units are not yet into chlorine service, the initial feedback we’ve got from the drivers is that they’re tracking nicely on the roads and are a really smooth trailer to pull. That’s what we’re hearing.”Image: IXOM.
In dealing with BPW Transpec for these first two builds, Steve says the collaboration and service from the OEM was flawless.
“BPW Transpec’s aftersales service has been immaculate,” he says. “The same goes for their communication throughout the process, even with the delays and difficulty sourcing parts through Covid. They’ve kept us up to date with everything that has been going on proactively, and they have delivered on their promises.”
BPW Transpec visited Steve at Liquip NSW itself prior to the launch of the tankers to explain the way the AL2 suspension and drum brake axles were designed and installed on the trailer. From there, it supplied Liquip NSW with a complete kit with all of the technical information to ensure both companies would be across the new builds – and those to follow.
“Even when we had technical questions on the best way to fit them to make sure the customer was completely satisfied, they would come out and speak to us and make sure we were doing everything right,” Steve says. “They had the best solution for the customer.”
Daniel is confident that Liquip NSW and BPW Transpec will deliver in the long-term for the project.
“All the signs are positive from what I can see and from the feedback I’ve received so far,” he says. “We’re expecting them to be great and we hope to see that in the coming months.”