Tremcar, Piper team on technology-enabled milk tanker

Oct. 1, 2020
New trailer adapted for installation of Piper Systems’ automated milk collection device, which validates quality at the farm

TREMCAR recently revealed a farm pickup tanker adapted for the installation of Piper Systems’ automated metering and sampling device, which is designed to validate milk quality and calculate milk weights at each farm. This innovative, real-time technology solution for bulk milk transfers can save drivers “hours per day,” the companies said, as well as help improve milk quality and traceability.

To accommodate the technology, and “future proof” its farm pickup tanker, Tremcar redesigned the trailer to include cabinets that enable the installation of the Piper system and its components. Building bigger cabinets meant redistributing weight and making sure the cabinets were ergonomic, ensuring drivers could easily interact with the system. The milk tankers also were structurally reinforced to add strength, and weight distribution was optimized to incorporate the Piper system and maximize milk loads.

The Piper-capable cabinets give haulers who don’t install the system now the option of accessing the new technology at any point in the trailer’s lifetime, especially as the US market moves toward efficiency, automation and electronic data, Tremcar said. It allows customers this choice for a “small additional cost” on the purchase of the trailer, and without the need for heavy retrofit costs in the future.

“A milk pickup trailer is an investment that we expect to deliver value over a lifetime, and with the high build quality associated with Tremcar, we often see trailers lasting for generations,” said Daniel Tremblay, president of the Canadian tank trailer manufacturer. “Because of this fact, it makes sense to offer customers the option of buying trailers built to customer’s specs, and we have done so since 1962.”

Piper was approved to use its automated system in 2019. Automated milk collection is a well-established practice in other parts of the world, like Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America, where most trailers feature metering and sampling equipment as standard, Tremcar said, and Piper spent years developing and adapting the technology for use by drivers in the US, meeting new environmental and regulatory challenges.

Working with Agri-Mark and Dairy Farmers of America, Piper conducted studies to secure US approval for the metering and sampling technologies by demonstrating its performance across a range of tests. Originally, the Piper system was built onto a reconstructed 1998 Tremcar trailer for testing purposes. “The results are conclusive,” the companies said. “All parties believe this technology will transform the work of milk pickup drivers across the USA. Approval for this technology in the US represents a pivotal moment in milk pickup technology.”

Added Agri-Mark’s Scott Werme: “This technology is coming to the US, and it will be transformative.”

US Dairy companies are embracing this technology as a way of increasing efficiency, Tremcar said. “They now benefit from real-time accurate data. We have observed great benefits for haulers, dairy cooperatives and processors. Haulers work in safer conditions, save approximately two hours daily, have a representative sample for each milk load, fewer human errors, and higher quality of life.”

Cooperatives benefit from more effective haulage, electronic information providing traceability from farm to plant, accurate temperatures and weights, and high-quality data. As for processors, they also benefit from the improvement on traceability that is in line with ROW, better scheduling potential, electronic manifests, checks and balances (weights and samples) and customer confidence.

“We decided to work with Tremcar because of their culture of innovation and openness to new design ideas,” said Leigh Hamilton, CEO at Piper.

Much like Tremcar, Piper is a family corporation that invests in innovation, and works hard to test and promote products, and they insist milk haulers across the country can save time and money through their collaboration.

“With time, we have developed a field of expertise in custom-made products,” Tremblay said. “We build a lot of special units that need reengineering and new tank designs specifically for products like chocolate or new tank configurations, for instance, the side manhole tank. Our business model is based on innovation. Our plants are adaptable, and we have the infrastructure to build customized products at a decent cost.”

Piper also developed a center for excellence for its US customers that is based in Amsterdam NY.

“We quickly realized that, in order to ensure our US customers had consistent and excellent service, we would need to develop local partners, allowing us to make sure the installs happened quickly and expertly, and that parts and advice were available locally and rapidly,” Hamilton concluded. “Working with people that pick up multiple milk loads on a daily basis helps us continuously improve our systems for every user on the supply chain, from producers, to drivers, to milk receivers and dairy plants.”

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