Wincanton has developed a concept design for a semi-trailer which will have space for an additional four pallets per load.
The design features a single remote steerable axle which increases load length by 14 per cent while still conforming to the government’s 44-tonne weight limit.
Wincanton estimates a ten per cent reduction in road miles can be achieved when the truck is adopted, which in turn will lead to fewer truck journeys and a reduction in carbon emissions.
The company has been working with consultants at the Department for Transport on the feasibility of introducing longer trailers onto Britain’s roads.
From surveys with Wincanton’s vehicle-orientated contracts, some 63 per cent suggested they could utilise a longer road platform without exceeding the 44-tonne GVW limit.
Wincanton is also working on intermodal options for road/rail containers with a nominal length of 15.5 metres, designed to interface with railcars widely used by rail freight companies. This could then interface with Wincanton’s container business, using a multi-use skeletal long trailer, built to be compatible with current sea containers.
Wincanton’s managing director, Gordon Scott, said: “As part of this DfT process we also supplied detailed case studies of eight of our major contracts to emphasise the opportunities for productivity and environmental savings.
The customers spanned industries including healthcare, retail, construction, consumer goods and electronics. From just these eight customers we estimate that over 48,000 journeys could potentially benefit from the use of Wincanton’s longer trailers, enabling a reduction of over 2.1 million miles and 1.1 million litres of fuel. This equates to an annual saving of 2.9 million kilogrammes of carbon dioxide.”