Wincanton has been working with Don-Bur to design and manufacture its first 15.65m long teardrop pillarless tri-axle trailer in readiness for the trial of high volume trailers announced by the government earlier this week.
The 2.05m longer trailer offers an average 15 per cent additional load capacity, or four extra pallets.
The Department for Transport reckons that the trailers could cut lorry miles by up to 180 million a year.
The Don-Bur trailer has a similar effective wheelbase to a standard 13.7m trailer, but to cater for the extended load distribution the axles have been configured with a greater spread.
It has a rear steer self-tracking axle to minimise wheel scrub. In addition, the introduction of Knorr-Bremse’s “iCorner” system lifts the front axle at lower speeds which reduces the effective wheelbase and enables tighter cornering.
The overall weight of the tractor and trailer will still be 44 tonnes. So it was important that there was a minimal weight increase for the bigger trailer. Don-Bur has addressed this by using stronger yield steel and lightweight components.
Dave Rowlands, technical director at Wincanton, said: “Longer semi-trailers will be integrated into Wincanton’s fleet almost immediately as a key element of our sustainable transport strategy and our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment.
And Don-Bur chief David Burton said: “We were always keen to be at the forefront when the trials were announced and our partnership with Wincanton offered us an excellent opportunity to showcase our abilities.”