Tesco gets first delivery with longer trailer

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Eddie Stobart has made the first-ever UK delivery using its new high-volume trailer operating under the Department for Transport’s ten year trial. The trailer carried 54 retail cages full of groceries for Tesco –a 20 per cent increase in payload.

It used a 15.65 metre trailer with two steering rear axles to aid manoeuvrability and reduce wear and tear to the UK road network.

The trailer is being operated under a Vehicle Special Order which allows it to exceed the current maximum length of 13.6 metres.

The extended trailers allow operators to carry higher volumes of goods but still meet the current regulations with regard to maximum permitted weights and turning circles.

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William Stobart, Stobart Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have worked in partnership with the DfT to help introduce these new trailers and the industry as a whole is set to benefit from the opportunities and environmental advantages they bring.”

SDC, which built the trailer, has become the first UK trailer manufacturer to be granted approval for its longer semi-trailers under the DfT’s ten year trial.

Approval followed two days of testing to ensure that trailers met the requirements of the physical turning circle provision.

It has received approval for five trailers:
* 14.65m self-steer rated for 44 tonnes
* 15.65m self-steer rated for 44 tonnes
* 15.65m single Tri Dec command steer rated for 44 tonnes
* 15.65m single Muldoon command steer rated for 44 tonnes
* 15.65m twin Tri Dec command steer rated for 44 tonnes

SDC managing director Mark Cuskeran said: “SDC has been working on this project for over three years and we have been testing prototypes for 18 months. Our development team have been working tirelessly to keep us ahead of the game and help hauliers realise the environmental and business benefits that the trailers will bring.”

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