Transdek wants changes to the standard configuration of loading bays to accommodate double deck trailers.
Most conventional loading bays are constructed with a raised floor height of 1,200mm to enable a straight run through of loads onto single deck trailers, with minor height adjustments made using dock levellers.
With the increased use of double deck trailers, which typically feature 900mm and 2.9m decks, lifts are essential to fill both levels, which results in double handling of product onto the lift and then into the trailer.
Transdek wants a new system with a gradual gradient in double deck bays to allow operatives a direct run on and off the lower vehicle deck.
By installing wheel ramps in the loading bay, trucks reverse as normal and the lower vehicle floor rises to integrate seamlessly with the dock. These ramps are tailor made to marry the vehicle to the specific dock height.
“We believe new distribution centres should be built with dedicated double deck loading bays with a descending gradient to around 900mm. This way vehicle fill time can be significantly reduced, which drives down costs, speeds up turnaround and with less handling, improves safety,” said Leon Butler, operations director at Transdek.
The firm reckons that this approach has cut turnaround times on typical fixed double deck vehicles to as little as 50-minutes in trials.
* In the mean time the European Commission has proposed limits the height of UK trailers which would put double decks off the road. BBC Dragon Hilary Devey is championing FTA’s campaign to keep UK trailer heights at 4.95m.