Joskin Trans-KTP 15/45
This month Jaiden Drought got to test drive the mammoth Joskin Trans-KTP 15/45 trailer and, for once, was hard-pressed to find anything wrong with it — except perhaps convincing his wife he needs one.
Many of you who attended Fieldays would have noticed this big yellow beast on the Farm Chief stand and you probably had the same thought as I did — she's big, really big. For those who didn't see it, let me put it this way — it's an industrial trailer, probably a bit big for general farm work but it suits its new job, going toe to toe with Moxy dumpers on the new Hamilton ring road construction site. Luckily, when I tested the machine I didn't have to go on site as all visitors require a one-and-a-half-day induction safety course. Ray Copland (Joskin sales manager) thought I may lose the will to live during the induction so we tested it during one of its few days off site. Now that's what I call taking a hit for the team, Copeland, and from a Scotsman, too.
Now, onto the trailer. Like all Joskin gear, it's very well built and there's no stone left unturned when it comes to strength, which is always obvious in the final product. As to the price, let me insert one of my favourite quotes: 'quality remains long after price is forgotten'. That would be the best way to sum up this trailer. It is actually well priced when you compare apples with apples, because some of the imported trailers starting to pop up around the country are very cheap, but the old saying — 'you get what you pay for' — will more than likely show through in most cases.
Size and capacity
Now this particular trailer is the Trans-KTP 15/45, meaning it has a payload of 15 tonnes. However, with this particular machine, the arc welder had come out and added 10m x 2m to the bin, giving an extra two to three cubic metres to the machines capacity. Ah, I love how Kiwis have an unrelenting will to break stuff. It's so refreshing.
The KTP 15 is the third largest in Joskin's six trailer 'construction' family, with nine tonnes being the smallest and 27 tonnes the largest. Now the differentiating point on the construction line is the Hardox 450 steel construction of the tapered monocoque body. Hardox is six times stronger than traditional steel, allowing the body to take the punishment when loading rocks with a digger or loader. The Hardox steel will actually flex to take the shock of the impact, and then return to its initial shape without deformation. The other big advantage of Hardox construction is it keeps the overall weight of the trailer down. Often with trailers of this size, tare weight is an issue due to the need to be able to carry such large loads and handle the often relentless speed and tipping cycles these machines are subjected to. The whole body is based on two steel sheets, without any linking cross-welds and as a result, lateral reinforcing posts and the cross pieces under the body are not necessary, both making it stronger and reducing the tare weight significantly.
The door is also made of Hardox steel so it will take the punishment of rocks smashing into it all day but over time it will wear. Along the side of the trailer you may notice some semi-circle scuff marks from nylon bushes fitted to the tail door, which can be adjusted to keep the door free of any sideways slop as the number of loads dumped increases. The beauty of this kitset-like design is although moving parts will wear, they are cheap to replace and comparatively much cheaper than replacing the whole thing.
Tipping and stability
The body has a tapered design (front width: 2.18m, rear width: 2.26m) so the material ends up in a nice tidy heap and due to the folded sheet construction, there are no grooves for material to get stuck on. The five-stage ram requires 27 litres to lift to the full 70-degree tipping angle, which is bloody impressive actually — it looks almost vertical. The ram is fitted with an anti-drop safety valve, so if a pipe bursts and you are under the machine, it will drop very slowly to give you plenty of time to get out. A safety brace is also fitted as standard and allows the trailer to be raised for greasing without the risk of it dropping on you. This can also be used if the trailer is sitting for long periods to allow rain water to drain, reducing damage to the deck. The ram swivels in four directions, allowing the body to flex if it is placed under sideways strain (hopefully not too far on its side). If you are worried it may end up on its side, the rear axle may be fitted with a tipping stabiliser. This has two cylinders mounted on a parallelogram which push down on the axle and make this perfectly aligned. As you can imagine, this makes the whole thing much more stable.
The tail door lifts very high, right out of the way, which is ideal for those loads that are a little unorthodox. This high lift, along with the steep tipping angle, allows the trailer to dump nice tight piles very close to each other without the need to move forward, which incidentally is when most rollovers occur as the centre of gravity is so high.
Circular door latches actually pull the door closer to the trailer as it closes fully and this, along with the rubber seal on the rear of the trailer, gets you to as close to being water tight as you are going to get — handy for those messy slurry jobs that everyone loves being a part of…or not.
Suspension and axles
Often trailers this big are used for construction and haulage jobs, so suspension is a key feature for most operators. The drawbar and axles are both mounted on leaf springs which definitely take the shock out on the road. You can get hydraulic suspension on the machine, as well as steering axle and ball and spoon hitching options, and as is so often the case with companies like Joskin, it has just about every option you can think of. An option which you may be curious about is a drive axle. This is a 2x2 gearbox with a clutch fitted with cogs that are directly comparable with the ratios in the tractor gearboxes (can be also adapted to vario). This essentially means the axles of the trailer are driven from the tractors PTO and this significantly reduces the drag on the tractor. In some situations it can be a massive advantage in terms of access.
The KTP is mounted on a rollover bogie axle, the best compromise between ground clearance and traction. The spring leaf design allows the axle to move over uneven terrain while keeping all four wheels constantly on the ground. The axle can be set in a variety of positions via the bolted section of the chassis, allowing you to achieve the correct setup for your tractor to get the right weight/traction balance.
A variety of tyre options are available but the test machine was fitted with 560/60 R22.5 tyres, which work very well at keeping it afloat and the large side-wall aids in smoothing out the bumps for the driver.
It's hard to find anything wrong with the trailer. It is well built, with a low tare weight compared to capacity, a competitive price and is made from material six times stronger than steel. Best of all, because it comes in a container you could pretend it is a present to your wife for the forgotten birthday, anniversary or any other indiscretion you may have found yourself in the dog box for — there literally is no downside.
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