The following article originally appeared in Trailer Magazine
Drawing on more than 60 years of industry experience, German tanker equipment specialist Alfons Haar continues to deliver significant productivity gains by releasing innovative tools to keep commercial road transport operators humming along. the ‘pto-fit’ bulk fuel delivery pump is now turning heads in Australia.
It’s funny how some inconspicuous devices can make such as difference, particularly when it comes to a road tanker’s functionality. Described as the “only pump of its kind in the world”, Alfons Haar’s innovative PTO-FIT fuel pump is barely noticeable once it’s mounted directly to the power take off (PTO) gearbox, yet it has the capacity to churn out up to 600 litres per minute (LPM).
“It’s one of the most unique and innovative pumps on the market in that it is fitted directly onto the PTO and operates without the use of a prop shaft and without an additional hydraulic system,” says Ivan Lawrie, Director of Haar Australia.
The PTO-FIT fuel pump is constructed of a special grade of cast iron, allowing for a low overall weight of 19kg, which is a key area Alfons Haar focuses on. “Most transport operators understand that weight reduction can reduce operational costs, and we have addressed this in the PTO-FIT by stripping the unit down and redesigning a much lighter and physically small pump, but with the ability to discharge at a substantial flow rate,”
Ivan notes. “Not only is the pump itself light, but removing hydraulics from the vehicles takes weight loss to a whole new level.” Released into the Australian market this year, the PTO-FIT direct-mounted bulk fuel pump is the culmination of decades of experience in engineering a pump range to be smaller, quieter and more efficient for a mobile pumping application, and is specially designed for mobile transfer applications. With a slim profile and air controlled bypass valves, its 139mm width allows it to be fitted sitting at the rear of a truck’s gearbox beside a tail shaft.
“Alfons Haar made the PTO-FIT extremely robust and compact, with the dimensions similar to those of a hydraulic pump,” Ivan explains. “It needs no mounting brackets for placing it onto the chassis and fits on an industry standard DIN ISO 14 PTO mount.” As an additional feature, operators can also specify if they want the PTO-FIT to have an integrated pneumatic or mechanical by-pass valve. “With the pneumatic bypass valve we offer a hand control lever that we can install on the unit so the operator can control the flow rate,” Ivan says. “The bypass valve design also means we can easily change the pump flow direction to suit left or right hand PTOs. It’s an interesting option for our clients to think about.”
According to Ivan, by good design and emphasising the right amount of material in the right areas, the result is a very strong design that is extremely lightweight – and the PTO-FIT is a prime example of smart fuel innovation. “Its ironic, but using a heavier and stronger material allows us to remove excess material from the design, therefore making it a lightweight component,” he says. “When you start factoring in the weight saved from no prop shaft, less mounting brackets and pipes, as well as less pump weight; an operator can arguably save 30 to 40 kilograms per vehicle. Compare that to a hydraulically powered pump system, and the savings are well into the hundreds of kilograms.”
“For fuel delivery businesses or companies fuelling their own large fleets such as construction companies, there really isn’t a simpler high flow pumping system available. A PTO-FIT fuel pump, a meter, and an air rewind hosereel and some hoses and they are in business.” Ivan adds, “It goes without saying that reliability in the equipment you purchase is what matters to fleet operators at the end of the day. However, the two areas that we find are becoming vastly critical these days are ‘weight’ and ‘speed’, which means those transport businesses can increase their payload per run. The PTO-FIT is designed to deliver substantial flow rates, while eliminating unnecessary components around it. In addition, the pump is noticeably quieter than other systems on the market.”
But, building and delivering a “unique pump” is only the start for Alfons Haar. “We want our clients getting the best value for money. So, if your investment decision is based on `lowest life time cost’ combined with maximum payload and reducing weight, then it is equipment such as the PTO-FIT that will tick all those boxes,” Ivan concludes. “It’s the simplest pump on the market, and needs no drive shaft or hydraulics to make it work.”