Specialized container transporter, Niek Dijkstra Transport from Heerenveen, deploys two Broshuis 2CONnect container chassis. Regular driver Patrick van Dijk enjoys working with these connectable chassis.
The 2CONnect container chassis is ideal for transporting two 20FT containers because the chassis can be divided into two parts. With this, two containers can be loaded or unloaded at the dock simultaneously. Also, 40 or even 45FT containers can be transported on this chassis. This makes the Broshuis 2CONnect chassis very flexible in its use, something that fits perfectly with the work of Niek Dijkstra from Heerenveen.
Today we are on the road with driver Patrick, who has a 2CONnect chassis as a regular trailer behind his DAF. He enters the premises without a load. Today there is another great job on the schedule! Two containers must be loaded at Bakker Transport & Warehousing for export overseas. At their own terminal Niek Dijkstra in Heerenveen, the two empty 20FT containers are loaded, after which Patrick drives to the nearby warehouse.
“Both containers need to be loaded, and this can be done very efficiently with this connectable chassis. In the past, on a normal chassis, the first 20FT container used to have its doors to the front side. At the loading docks we visited, it was awfully difficult to load or unload. With the 2CONnect this has become a lot easier” explains Patrick. Meanwhile, he drives to the nearby warehouse where he docks the trailer. He unscrews the support legs of the rear section and then disconnects the hoses and pipes. Then the kingpin is released halfway up the trailer so that the first part of the semi-trailer can be removed. Patrick drives off with that first part in order to dock and load that part as well.
The two parts of the 2CONnect chassis are normally connected by a fifth wheel. The rear trailer slides into the front chassis, in which the trailer plate is mounted on a sliding frame. Patrick will explain the secret of this later. The great advantage of the coupling is that both parts of the chassis can also function independently as a trailer, complete with rear lights and bumper.
Half an hour later both containers have been loaded, and the trailers are reconnected into one chassis. After closing the doors, the front two-axle section can be reunited with the rear three-axle section. Patrick skilfully steers the two-axle section towards the three-axle section, after which both chassis are slid together. The fifth wheel locks and after checking Patrick turns the support legs back in. Then the hoses and pipes are reconnected so that both parts form one unit again. After closing the doors of the rear container, the combination is ready for transport.
Because the containers are exported, customs has to inspect them. However, the front doors are not accessible for inspection. "This is where the sliding fifth wheel comes in handy! With it, I can make room to open the doors without disconnecting both parts from each other," says Patrick. He demonstrates how this works, and it turns out to be very simple. By releasing the fifth wheel lock and putting the rear half on the brakes, both parts slide apart about one metre. This allows the customs officer to have a look at the contents of the front container.
After both halves of the 2CONnect have been pushed together again, Patrick can set off in the direction of Rotterdam. There, he hands in the two 20FT containers, in order to set up a heavy 40FT container. This demonstrates the flexible use of the Broshuis 2CONnect chassis like no other.