Chieftain awarded SANDF contract for innovative hooklift trailer


Trailer specialist Chieftain Africa has been awarded a multi-million rand contract by Armscor to supply a world first fully integrated hooklift trailer to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for use in the Project Teamster field kitchen capability.

Chieftain said that Project Teamster is an SANDF initiative to upgrade field kitchen and ancillary facilities, replacing existing capabilities with more modern diesel-fired technology. The focus of the Project was to enable the deployment of equipment in 6 metre/20 foot converted shipping container modules. The Chieftain Hooklift Trailer (CHT) will be the fundamental logistical solution to transporting and mobilizing the 6 metre containers.

The CHT evolved from a proven commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) trailer to a purpose built, fully developed military-off-the-shelf (MOTS) container handler that can load or offload a 6 metre container within three minutes.

Chieftain CEO Nicholas Ryan said that four years of intensive research and development and testing resulted in a product that caters to the worldwide trend of using 6 metre ISO containers for defence applications.

On the Chieftain Hooklift Trailer, a hydraulically operated arm lifts up the front of the container, pushing the rear of the container off the trailer until the rear bottom is touching the ground. The trailer is then driven forward and the hydraulic hook extends rearwards, placing the container fully on the ground. The hydraulic arm is then unhooked from the container so the trailer can be driven away.

To load up the container again, the truck and trailer arrive and hook up the container to the boom arm. The front of the container is lifted up and the trailer is reversed underneath. The container is then pulled forward and onto the trailer and secured in place.

The trailer is completely self-sufficient as it uses a built-in two-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine to power the hydraulic loading mechanism, thus alleviating the need for hydraulics on the towing vehicle. The diesel engine is neatly stowed and protected against stones and vandalism.

The trailer is designed for rough terrain, with exposed areas fitted with undercarriage protection. The two high-speed axles have full ABS capabilities. The trailer achieves a ground clearance of 300 mm/12 inches on 385/65 x 22.5 tyres.

The optimal towing vehicle would be a 6×4 or 6×6 cargo truck but as the trailer is self-sufficient, many different towing vehicles can be used.

In addition to the world first Chieftain Hooklift Trailer, Chieftain Africa offers a wide range of trailers for mining, construction, agriculture and military use. These include tractor drawn, commercial truck drawn and rail trailers. Military products include three axle drawbar and three axle lowbed trailers.