General Cargo on Ro-Ro
To maximise the profitability of PCTCs and Ro-Ro vessels, they also carry general, heavy and break bulk cargoes. This is by means of special trailers that are towed onto the car decks. Towage is by means of a tow or ro-ro tractor, often referred to as the brand name of Tugmaster.
Bolsters or flatbeds are well suited to ensure damage free handling of heavy bulky cargoes. Cargo on bolsters are always stored below deck, and may be stacked depending on the type of cargo. To secure the cargo, wen lashings or chains are are threaded through the lashing eyes on the sides of the bolster. To save time, bolsters can be preloaded at the factory before being transported to the docks.
Roll Trailers, which are also known as Mafi Trailers are used for the transport of large heavy units, but can also be used for most types of general cargo and containers. Roll trailers are frequently used for transporting cargo into or and out of the lower decks of a vessel, where the cargo is taken off trailer and stowed loose and secured.
Fitted with rails on top, the Air Shuttle has a pneumatic system that can lower the trailer bed to ground level. This enables the transfer of rail cars from rail tracks to the air shuttle via ramps. Rail cars can also be lifted onto the trailer. Horizontal transfer to and from another trailer is also possible. The distance between the frames on which the wheel bogies rest can be adjusted. The Air Shuttle lifts the railcar and frames off the frame supports and transports the railcar to a stowage position on board. There the trailer is lowered so that the frames again rest on the stanchions. The Air Shuttle is now free to load the next railcar. At the destination port, the procedures are reversed.
Jack up or Cometto Trailers are built to carry exceptionally heavy cargo weighing several hundred tons. A jack-up trailer consists of four-axle sections that can be configured to carry cargo of almost any size and weight. Before transfer onto the jack-up trailer, the cargo is paced on beams and support blocks in the terminal. The trailer is carefully placed in position underneath the cargo and elevated, carrying the full weight of the cargo on the steel beams.The support blocks are then removed and the trailer is towed on board by tow tractors.