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Different Types of Prime Movers Available in Australia

When you need to transport bulky goods over long distances, a prime mover is the right vehicle for your business. Along with the capacity to carrying a large number of products, prime movers are a cost-effective freight option.

In this article, we discuss different types of prime movers so you’ll be able to choose the right type for you.

What is Prime Mover?

When we say ‘Prime mover’ we’re generally referring to a robust engine that has excellent motive power to haul bulky towed or trailered loads. Prime Movers are also commonly known as “puller vehicles” (e.g. heavy-duty trucks). Prime Movers are capable of carrying a heavy cargo load and delivering them to different locations.

What are the uses of Prime Movers?

The primary use of prime movers is to transport large quantities of goods to different places using their robust pulling power. With these heavy-duty vehicles, you can easily carry a large amount of the following:

  • Livestock
  • Dry and refrigerated goods
  • Vehicles
  • Multi-loaded container
  • Over-height invisible loads

Types of Prime Movers

There are different types of prime movers, varying in size, power and configuration. Based on trailer towing combinations, prime movers can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Prime mover towing a semi-trailer
  2. This type of prime movers consists of a twin steer axle group and tandem axle drive group, hauled with a semi-trailer with 2 or 3 axles. The length should be 19m and height between 4.3m to 4.6m with a maximum capacity of 47.5 tonnes.

  3. Prime mover with semi-trailer towing a pig trailer
  4. These types of prime movers have a single steer or twin steer axle group and semi-trailer towing a pig trailer.

    A pig trailer has only one axle. This trailer has two wheels holding the weight of the load and connects to a tow vehicle with its drawbar.
    The height of a pig trailer should not be more than 3.5m, and a pig trailer usually does not carry much load. The total length of a prime mover should be 27.5 m with a capacity of 65.5 tonnes.

  5. Prime mover with semi-trailer towing with a dog trailer
  6. These types of prime movers consist of a single steer, or twin steer and a semi-trailer towing with a dog trailer

    A dog trailer consists of two axles, one at the front and another at the rear. The front axle is attached with a drawbar from which the vehicle tows the trailer and makes the dog trailer steers.

    These types of vehicles have a total of five axle groups. The length of these prime movers should not exceed 27.5 m, and the capacity is 84 tonnes.

    They can also be attached with a converter dolly, a smart trailer that can be connected with a semi-trailer to tow another load; by doing so the length will be extended to 53.5m and adding another axle makes a total of 6 axle groups.

  7. Prime mover with semi-trailer towing a dog trailer and a pig trailer
  8. Consists of a single steer or twin steer and a semi-trailer, towing with a dog trailer and a pig trailer. The length of this prime mover is 27.5m and the capacity is 84 tonnes. It has a total of six axle groups.

  9. B-Double
  10. This prime mover consists of a total of 6 axel groups. This mover is coupled with two semi-trailers and linked together by the fifth wheel. The maximum length of this mover is 45m, and the capacity is 107.5 tons. They carry more freight compared to other vehicle combinations.

    There are also B-doubles towing one or two dog trailers with maximum length 53.5m, consisting of 8 axles and with the capacity of 147.5 tonnes. This is one of the largest prime mover available nowadays.

    B-Doubles are popular in Australia for their heavy haulage trailer combinations. It is estimated that more than 10,000 B-doubles are on the road daily in Australia.

  11. B-Triples
  12. This type of prime mover has a total of seven axle groups, including three semi-trailers connected with B coupling. The maximum length of this vehicle is 53.5m, and the capacity is 127.5. This is another great prime mover you can hire for the shipping of your products.


Prime movers are convenient vehicles to carry your bulky goods from one place to another. These days many transport companies are offering prime mover services at an affordable price. If you are looking for a reliable transport company to meet your prime mover service needs, contact OFE Refrigerated Transport. We are fully equipped with a modern fleet along with GPS tracking technology to make your goods shipment delivery fast and safe.

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