WesTrac partnered with McDowall Affleck to design a series of transport frames for safely transporting spare parts between their parts exchange facility in Perth and various sites around Australia. The frames were designed to be transported by truck, lifted by forklift, and stored outdoors where they would be subjected to wind loads. Over 400 different frames were designed for parts including engines, radiators, wheel groups, hydraulic cylinders, differentials, and more. Weights for the parts ranged up to 15 tonnes.
They were designed and drafted in accordance with AS3990, AS4991, the National Transport Commission Load Restraint Guide and client specifications.
We needed to design the frames for maximum robustness while minimising the cost of fabrication, which proved tricky as most parts were unique and required different design considerations.
We managed to use conservative design loads and safety factors and relied on our practical knowledge and working with the client to achieve an efficient design. With extensive use of computer aided design (SolidWorks) to model the parts and frames, and finite element analysis to study the stresses and deflections.
Some of the frames have been in service for five years and have shown high levels of reliability. Cost of repairs and replacement of frames is significantly lower than before and the ease of use of the frames allows minimal handling times for exchanging parts.