By Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation, Mark Piper




Fonterra has three new tanker trailer designs on the road as part of a trial to find a more sustainable, efficient option for our nationwide milk pick-ups.

While two of the trailers were designed and built by transport engineering companies, the third was designed by one of the co-operative’s own tanker operators, Bill Groves. The Reporoa-based driver has been dreaming up his trailer for the past seven years and he and Fonterra’s transport team are proud to see it finally on the road.

Bill drew from his experience as a logging truck driver as well as his time with Fonterra to build a trailer that would be more efficient and manoeuvrable under heavier loads. The other two trailers were designed by outside companies that specialise in trucks and trailers – Longveld/TRT and Domett.

The aim of all three new designs is to get better on-farm manoeuvrability, higher milk collection capacity, economy and efficiency for our tanker fleet. It’s hoped they’ll increase milk collection productivity by 8-10%, resulting in reduced kilometres, less fuel and fewer tankers on the road – which all helps to improve our sustainability.

The classic tanker trailer holds up to 15,000 litres of milk, whereas the three new designs are two metres longer and can hold up to 21,000 litres.

By co-operating with industry specialists as well as our own tanker operators, Fonterra has drawn from a wide range of experience to step into the next generation of sustainable milk pickups and deliveries. Over the next 12 months, the three new trailers will undergo testing to see which one performs the most efficiently and which will be the safest on the roads for our operators and communities.


Groves Trailer

  • Features a linked double bogie to give it improved manoeuvrability and safety when entering and exiting a corner.
  • It’s the first of its design – patent pending!

Domett’s Gen 4 trailer

  • Back two wheels steer with the front of the vehicle, making it more manoeuvrable.
  • The tank is more oval in shape, meaning it is lower to the ground making it more stable.

Longveld/TRT trailer

  • A joint venture design between Longvelt and TRT
  • Elliptical in shape making it strong and more stable on the roads and also easier to clean inside the tanks.
  • Five axle design with rear steer for better manoeuvrability.

Mark Piper is Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation and has been with the Co-operative for more than 20 years in different parts of the business. He leads Fonterra’s Palmerston North-based Research and Development Centre (FRDC) – home to more than 350 researchers, engineers, nutritionists and scientists from 46 different countries, with more 4,500 years of combined dairy experience.

The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Hot Source, NZ Food Technology or the parent company, Hayley Media.