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Fowler Welch to Trial UK-First 15.65m SDC Trailer

March 05, 2012 at 11:03

Ambient, chilled and FMCG supply-chain specialist, Fowler Welch, is to trial a new extended length, high-volume, 15.65m trailer in a Government-backed bid to bring greater efficiencies to the Logistics industry. The tri-axle, rear-steer, curtain-side trailer, the first of its kind in the UK to receive full EN12642XL approval, is designed and manufactured by UK trailer builder, SDC.

The new trailers will mean an additional four pallets per load which, for Fowler Welch’s high-volume customers, will offer significant operational and environmental benefits.

The first trailer is on its way to Fowler Welch’s flagship Heywood distribution centre, for an initial period of ‘rear-steer’ training. Two further trailers are in build with SDC and will also embark on road trials out of Heywood.

Special legislation for the new 15.65m trailer length comes from the Department for Transport which is granting 900 licenses to UK operators in order to complete a feasibility study into ‘whether the introduction of longer semitrailers would deliver overall economic, environmental and societal benefits or disbenefits’; the results of which may lead to the permanent implementation of legislation for longer trailer lengths for high volume operators.

The 15.65m trailer length is an increase of 2.05m from the existing 13.60m, and increases further the overall tractor and trailer length to 18.55m for a three-axle tractor and trailer combination. The maximum GCW of 44 tonnes remains in place.

“An extra four pallets per load has obvious operational advantages,” said Paul Allera, Fowler Welch National Fleet Manager, “but, trials are necessary in order to study the real-world effect on fuel economy and rear-steer manoeuvrability. We are certainly excited at the prospect.”

“Again,” he said, “SDC has shown it is right at the forefront of trailer design.

SDC remains as our number one trailer supplier, providing us a real one-stop-shop service. A full trailer refurbishment service is also provided, alongside a national parts supply that fits in conveniently with our own network of sites”.