Haulier in command with trailer steering for DfT trial17 October 2013

Gloucestershire-based Downton Haulage is participating in the Department for Transport (DfT) trial of longer articulated trailers with a 28-strong fleet featuring a command steering system from Tridec.

Richard Catley, Downton's group fleet engineer, comments: "We were keen to be involved in the trial as the extra volume of the trailers provides us with a fantastic opportunity to increase capacity when carrying lighter goods... We asked Cartwright to build the trailer and Jost to supply the [Tridec] axle steering system."

Downton has worked with Jost in the past so, Catley adds, when he discovered Tridec was fitted to 65% of commissioned longer trailers, he had no hesitation in choosing Tridec.

"All the specially trained drivers who are operating them have commented on the manoeuvrability of the steering. Servicing is relatively simple: all that's required above the standard visual checks is intermittent lubrication.

Trial rules call for the trailer to turn within two concentric circles, the inner radius no more than 5.3m and the outer no more than 12.5m. Steering axles are needed to achieve this with good axle weight distribution, and the Tridec TR-steering system does the job, without impacting normal driving operation.

Tridec is a command steer system, which is linked directly to the fifth wheel via a mechanical rod. Steering movements are transferred directly, providing good control, both when driving forwards and reversing.

The DfT trial involves 900 trailers of 14.6m in length and 900 of 15.65m. While they must meet the UK's existing domestic weight limit, the trailers can carry up to eight additional pallets compared to standard trailers.

Laura Cork

Related Companies
Jost GB UK Ltd
Tridec BV

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