"WE introduced our stainless steel cattle trailers last year,” Byrne Trailers national sales manager Jonathon Byrne said.
"And we introduced our 4x2 stainless steel stock trailers around mid-year this year. They have been working well and have been well received.
"We actually started using stainless steel in sheet form in some of our trailers, particularly in those working in some of the country's harshest areas, back in the mid-1990s.
"I've seen them for myself and with a clean-down they look like they were installed just yesterday. They are as good as new.
"The stainless we are using is structural stainless steel and is manufactured overseas.
"Of each consignment we purchase, we ship some to Europe where it is converted into tube and angle and all sorts of other structural shapes before it is landed back here.
"We've had our sceptics, I guess. Traditionally it's not the sort of thing you'd expect in a stock trailer, but this material we are using is used in the mining industry and it's being used in Europe to build buses.
"We've found they are slightly lighter and we've found there is a cost saving for a livestock carrier through his traditionally being faced with the prospect of having to replace the steel floor and some other structural steel elements around the eight or so years of his trailer's age.
"The pricing of a stainless steel trailer makes them cheaper upfront as such work is not required.
"With increased regulations through the impact of the NHVR and the continual variation in operating permits and weight limits for various trailer combinations across nearly every state, it's an important consideration.
"Pretty much everything above the chassis, except the wood panels and some powder-coated aluminium gates and some beams, is stainless steel.”
Big Rigs took a quick look at a 12.5m 4x2 trailer as it stood in the Byrne Trailers yard awaiting delivery.
"It runs on BPW airbag suspension and axles and aluminium rims and has a fixed pen arrangement,” Jonathon said.
"It is initially configured for four decks of sheep but the 4x2 description comes from the ability of the trailer to be converted into a two-deck cattle crate or it can be used as a three-deck unit.
"So it can be used for carting pigs, the upper floor level being able to be folded down to protect the pigs from sunburn, unless a roll-over tarp has been fitted at the top.
"The fixed pen dividers allow each deck to be configured with two 20-foot bays or with four 10-foot bays, so the 4x2 concept provides an incredibly versatile livestock trailer.
"This particular trailer has through loading at the front, so it is aimed at B-double or B-triple combinations, as well as working as a single trailer.
"They have been proving popular. The only state we haven't sold one into as yet is Tasmania.”