A new fleet of 11 bespoke-built forklift trailers are being put into operation by Barloworld Handling and its logistics provider Canute Haulage.
Each trailer is designed to offer the most flexible materials handling equipment delivery service for customers nationwide.
Operating with new Scania 6x2 mid-steer tractor units, the tri-axle step frame trailers feature curtainside bodywork with sliding roofs and have been built by Hampshire-based Andover Trailers. The order includes nine 13.6m trailers and two 10.9m trailers, with the shorter units designed specifically for making deliveries within London and the south east.
The new fleet represents investment of more than £1.2 million by Canute Haulage, with each trailer featuring a striking Barloworld Handling livery. It also marks a notable piece of repeat business for Andover; when the company was established in 1985, the first trailer it built was a forklift carrier for Barlow Handling.
Michael French, group fleet engineer at Canute Group, said: "Every feature we've incorporated into these trailers has been selected to combine efficient deliveries for Barloworld with a swift and professional service to its customers.
"The full height and full width power-toe ramps ensure a shallow loading angle, meaning we can accommodate even the lowest ground clearance warehouse equipment, whilst the sliding roof enables us to transport high-mast machines."
The TSE sliding roof is an all-steel system which was specifically chosen by Andover Trailers for its sheer strength and durability, which allows it to withstand buffeting when travelling with the roof open.
The roof has four locking positions giving Canute maximum flexibility for loading high-mast trucks, whilst keeping as much of the trailer dry for other machines. The trailers also feature swing-out rear pillars to ensure Canute's drivers aren't restricted by the width of the door frame when loading larger machines.
For maximum safety, a reversing camera is linked to an in-cab monitor to aid manoeuvring, whilst the ramps can be operated via remote-control, allowing the driver to observe every stage of the lowering process.
The trailers are built with a low profile neck with ramps enabling forklifts to be loaded onto the upper deck. Closed steel crossmembers in the frame help to provide additional strength for concentrated loads, with machines secured via 14 pairs of lashing points. An electric winch is built-into the bulkhead to aid with the loading and unloading process, whilst four storage compartments have been added for the safe carriage of gas bottles - ideal when delivering fleets of gas-powered forklifts.
The trailers feature BPW axles and air-suspension, with 360mm brakes and 19.5" tyres for greater durability. Haldex brake gear was chosen to make the trailers compatible with other assets in the Canute fleet.
The new articulated vehicles replace a mixed fleet of tractors, trailers and rigids, giving Canute maximum flexibility in the event a tractor suffers unexpected downtime.
Michael explained: "With an articulated fleet, if a tractor unit suffers a failure we can quickly despatch another truck to pick-up the trailer and continue deliveries. The trailers also enable us to maximise the number of machines we can carry at a time, which reduces vehicle movements and is better for the environment."
The fleet is expected to cover more than 80,000 km a year operating from Barloworld Handling's 17 regional support centres throughout the UK. Each trailer will be used for delivering and collecting contract machines, as well as supporting Barloworld's short-term hire fleet; one of the largest in the UK, and which has benefitted from £6 million in new assets within the last 12 months.