New player10 August 2021

Don-Bur has entered the lifting-deck refrigerated semi-trailer market for the first time with a 44-pallet 13.6m tri-axle promoted under the Polar-Bur banner, reports Steve Banner

It can carry 18 pallets on the upper deck, 18 on the lower deck, and eight over the swan neck,” says group marketing manager, Richard Owens. “We’re using the single-ram-and-pulley approach to elevating the deck,” he adds. “It’s tried and tested and has served us well for over a quarter of a century in the ambient sector.”

Overall trailer height is 4.915m and a Thermo King Advancer A500 diesel refrigeration system has been installed. Launched last year, it can deliver a fully-variable airflow that can be regulated for each journey and cargo independently of the unit’s engine speed.

Supplied through Marshall Fleet Solutions, it is said to offer up to 40% quicker temperature pull-down and 30% better fuel efficiency than most fridge units currently in service. Emission levels are 50% lower than the maximum allowed by the latest Stage V standard, Thermo King states. Power-agnostic, Advancer could be driven by a trailer-axle-powered generator.

Polar-Bur’s 2.43m-wide 10-tonne-capacity lifting deck has not been extended above the swan neck, says Owens. Doing so could compromise internal air circulation, and bring it into conflict with the sloping aerodynamic EcoStream roof profile at the front of the trailer. EcoStream is said to be capable of cutting fuel consumption by from 10% to 16%, depending on operating conditions.

The Stoke-on-Trent-based trailer builder has made ambient lifting-deck trailers for many years. The temperature-controlled arena is less-familiar ground, but Don-Bur has decided to stake a claim because it spies a gap in the market. The collapse of Cartwright Group means that the only other mainstream producer of double-deck fridge trailers still standing is Gray & Adams.

Don-Bur is quoting a competitive unladen weight of 13.7 tonnes for its new offering.

Bonded construction is used throughout, with five-element expanded polystyrene panels employed to construct the body’s sides, doors, bulkhead and floor.

Thicknesses range from 48mm to 107mm, with thermal conductivity K-values ranging from 0.53 to 0.71. The five-element roof is made from 80mm-thick high-density polyurethane foam with a K-value of 0.36.

BPW axles with drum brakes have been fitted and the new trailer sits on 17.5-in wheels shod with Continental 215/75 R17.5 tyres.

A LowGlide coupling has been provided to allow the driver to couple up the trailer and tractor unit without having to scramble up on to the catwalk and risk a fall.

The launch comes at a time when trailer delivery times are lengthening thanks to the level of demand and a shortage of components – including semi-conductors – and skilled labour. “We’ve never been in a situation where we’ve faced lead times in excess of 12 months,” Owens muses. Anybody who orders a Polar-Bur today will have to wait until sometime in 2022 before it arrives. Maintaining prices at current levels is likely to be a challenge, given rising raw material costs and the possible impact of inflation between now and the start of next year.


Don-Bur’s new baby made its debut at an event organised by trailer rental giant TIP at Stoke City’s football stadium. Several other combinations were present, including a skeletal link combination from Dennison designed for operation at an overall length of 25.25m. The front trailer is a sliding bogie skeletal which can carry a 20ft container. Its rear stable-mate is a gooseneck skeletal which can carry a 40ft, a 45ft or two 20ft containers. The concept combination could also be produced in dry freight box van or refrigerated guise, says Dennison, should this ever become a reality on UK motorways (see also

Steve Banner

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239485/Semi trailer New player.pdf

Related Companies
Dennison Trailers Ltd
Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd

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