North West haulier Earl Transport of Accrington has for the first time specified the type of landing gear to be fitted to its new trailers. The units chosen were JOST Modul B Series.
Established in 1978 and running a fleet of over 30 vehicles, Earl Transport has just taken delivery of 10 new curtain trailers, built by Tiger Trailers. Based on an ‘over floor’ chassis design and finished in the livery of one of the company’s major customers, they will be delivering pet food around Britain for 10 years or more, probably covering around 700,000km (500,000 miles) in that time.
Peter Hughes, Managing Director of Earl Transport, has long admired JOST landing gear, and a visit to the company’s production plant in Germany convinced him that he should ensure they were fitted the next time he ordered new trailers. “I was very impressed with the helpful attitude of all the people at JOST and the technical discussions we had during my visit, and subsequently via telephone, assured me of the quality of the landing gear,” he says.
Landing gear, also called a support leg, is an extendable and retractable undercarriage located towards the front on the underside of a trailer. They are retracted whilst the trailer is being transported, and are lowered to support the trailer after having been uncoupled from the tractor unit.
Landing gear has to be designed to meet its intended application, with consideration given to maximum load, height and details such as what sort of feet would be best considering the likely surfaces they will be used upon. JOST can make bespoke landing gear for particular applications but has also developed a modular system, called Modul, which allows the optimum design to be assembled from standard components, and this was the route chosen by Earl Transport.
With Modul B Series, the designers select the mounting method, operating height, crank handle design, connection shaft length and the foot type. High performance powder coatings are used to protect the outer surfaces for the landing gear from dirt, moisture, stone clips and debris.
Significantly the patented drive mechanism for raising/lowering the legs is integral to the main body of the unit for maximum protection from the harsh environmental conditions found under lorries. When deploying the landing gear one person is moving a load of many tonnes, so JOST’s designers have ensured that the drive is easy to use. It has a smooth, efficient action, selectable high and low gear options and a safety mechanism that prevents run-down.
Overall the landing gear is extremely sturdy and complies with all relevant standards for Europe and further afield. It is simple and compact yet robust and reliable, requiring little or no maintenance through a long working life. Notably the drive is designed to be maintenance free for the first three years.
The Modul B offers great flexibility of installation thanks to a range of back plates. Fitting the feet, which can be compensating, rocking, shallow or deep sand shoe, is simple and allows them to be replaced easily should the need arise. Finally, JOST has ensured that there is a worldwide service network for its equipment.
Peter Hughes, Managing Director of Earl Transport says: “We are very pleased with the trailers. Tiger has worked closely with us, JOST and also our customer, to achieve a first class job, and we are looking forward to many years of reliable operation.”