If you're out at Fonterra's huge milk products factory in Edendale, keep an eye out for the bright yellow urethane pads in the truck bay. Apart from being a colourful addition to an industrial area, these pads serve a practical purpose.
Big truck and trailer tankers unload their milk in this bay. The hose couplings frequently get scraped and dented when they contact the concrete road surface. Such damage is unfortunate and expensive.
For several months each winter, Fi Innovations has a team out at Edendale doing maintenance for Fonterra. While we normally work on their hygenic flooring, pipes and storage tanks, we also heard about this issue in their truck bay. Our team thought that we could be able to help, so Fi Innovations offered to come up with a solution.
We cast urethane pads with a checker-plate pattern in the top surface. The pads are glued into the concrete roadway underneath the inlet pipes. If a coupling is dropped, it should land on the shock-absorbent urethane.
So far, the urethane pads have proven successful at minimising damage. Another bonus is that they are easily cleaned.