First Don-Bur high volume trailer on the road with Wincanton 07 November 2011

Following the DfT's (Department for Transport) high volume trailer (HVT) trials announcement, Wincanton and Don-Bur have revealed that a 15.65m-long teardrop pillarless tri-axle is in readiness for VSO (vehicle special orders).

The new trailer, which is 2.05m longer that the normal legal limit, allows an average 15% additional load, meaning four extra pallets of capacity.

Dave Rowlands, technical director at Wincanton, says this feature will significantly increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as a result of fewer deliveries.

The DfT's research suggests that by 2015, the trial of HVT will "reduce lorry miles by 100 to 180 million a year", meaning reduced congestion, reduced air pollution and reduced carbon emissions (by around 100,000 tonnes per year).

Don-Bur's aerodynamically designed HVT benefits from a similar effective wheelbase to that of a standard 13.7m-long trailer, offering drivers a familiar sense of manoeuvrability.

To cater for the extended load distribution, however, the axles have been configured with a greater spread, while the rear steer 'self-tracking' axle is claimed to all but eliminate wheel scrub.

In addition, the introduction of Knorr-Bremse's iCorner system lifts the front axle at lower speeds, which in turn reduces the effective wheelbase and enables tighter cornering.

David Burton, managing director of Don-Bur, says that a key part of the bespoke design was to limit the increase in unladen trailer weight, as the current maximum 44 tonne gvw is not being increased and payload must not be compromised.

In fact, the weight increase caused by an extension in length and the addition of a steer axle has been heavily offset by using stronger yield steel and lightweight components, he explains.

"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," comments Wincanton's Rowlands.

"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," states Burton.

Brian Tinham

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Related Companies
Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd
Wincanton plc

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