Driveline Conversion – Forestry

Designed to drive and steer the trailer tandem of an articulated vehicle, the Multidrive Drive-Line Technology when used to convert a standard highway truck immensely improves its off road capability without inhibiting on road performance.

This system is ideal for timber haulage vehicles, giving all the traction and manoeuvrability necessary to gain access to the felling areas deep within the forest.

Drive to the rear trailer tandem bogie is taken from a ‘through-drive’ axle on the rear of the tractor unit, by a drive shaft system, providing permanent all-wheel drive to the semi-trailer, at constant velocity and at all speeds. The steering action of the tractor unit is transmitted to the trailer bogie through the drive shaft support system, pivoting the bogie on its turntable mounting this action maintains the constant velocity drive-line and enables the trailer to track closely with the tractor.

Multidrive conversion to Mercedes Axor 3335 loading timber in the mountainous region of Mpumalanga

Multidrive conversion to Mercedes Axor 3335 loading timber in the mountainous region of Mpumalanga

This system can be adapted to suit a wide range of vehicles.

The system maximises:

  • Manoeuvrability
  • Payload
  • Traction

Technical Overview:

  • The rear chassis unit pushes the tractor for optimum traction
  • The rear chassis has minimal cut in to reduce space needed on haul road corners
  • Drive-line operates with constant velocity to eliminate vibrations and extend product life
  • The tractor stresses are reduced by the distribution of tractive forces into the rear chassis
  • The load length can be increased over rigid vehicles
  • A tug trailer can be added with minimal cut in positively towed by the trailer drive axles
  • Retarder brakes operate on trailer as well as tractor through the drive-line

Multidrive 8X6

Advantages:

Reduced haul road costs and maintenance due to:

  • No corner cut in
  • Steeper grades possible
  • Reduced road slip on grades

Higher output due to:

  • Favourable grade speeds
  • All wheel retarder higher favourable grade speeds due to all wheel drive
  • Ability to operate in more adverse weather

Lower Vehicle operating costs due to:

  • Reduced stress on tractor axles
  • Reduced stress on chassis
  • Longer tyre life with less wheel slip

The system has seen extensive use in the forest areas of Southern Africa, were it has enabled the elimination of short haul operations and kept the flow of timber to the mills when the weather conditions have been too severe for conventional vehicles.