This combination perfectly represents the current generation of raw milk haulers in my country; a 4×2 tractor with a heavy-duty front axle (resulting in a higher axle load and thus a higher GVM), towing a tridem axle semi-trailer.
Such rigs collect milk at the dairy farms, which means twisting and turning on backroads and farm yards all day long. For that reason, two of the three semi-trailer axles are always steering axles.
Furthermore, all modern tanker semi-trailers have super single tires. Dual wheels have gone (rolled?) the way of the dodo in this line of business, regardless of what’s in the tank.
Our generic term for a milk hauler is Rijdende Melk Ontvangst, or simply RMO. Translated, a Driving Milk Reception.
The Renault tractor is powered by a Volvo-based 10.8 liter inline-six, 345 kW/469 DIN-hp. Renault Trucks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volvo Trucks.
Magyar from France built the semi-trailer. The company is a specialist in manufacturing all types of tank haulers.
The semi-trailer’s first and third axle are steering axles, while the first axle is also liftable. The legal maximum GVM of the whole combination is 50,000 kg, equal to the national weight limit for big rigs.
The registered total curb weight is 17,342 kg; 7,352 kg for the tractor and 9,990 kg for the semi-trailer.
When the axle spacing is more than 180 cm (71”), which is the case here, the maximum axle load is 10,000 kg per axle. With a standard semi-trailer tridem (130 to 180 cm axle spacing) that would be 9,000 kg per axle.
The hauling company -collecting both cow and goat milk- put a big banner on the left side of the tank, they are looking for drivers. Too bad for them that our experienced milkman Bryce lives on the other side of the planet.
It’s quite common that an RMO runs 200,000 to 225,000 km a year, working at least 20 hours a day. That’s not only driving, but also loading and unloading. Not with one and the same driver, as you will understand.
This short video shows the job of an RMO driver in a nutshell. Say cheese!