APC Overnight, the UK’s largest next day delivery network, has worked in partnership with body and trailer manufacturer Cartwright to build a double deck trailer with the objective of increasing load capacity and, as a direct result, reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
The task was to produce a 15.65m version of their current 13.7m double deck trailer. The end result of Cartwright manufacturing a 15.65m long double deck trailer was an additional eight cages over the previously supplied double deck trailer, resulting in an 18 per cent increase in capacity. With a reputation for innovative solutions Cartwright had to overcome the design restrictions of a double deck semi-trailer, working within the overall height limitations of 4.9m for trunking operations.
In order for a trailer to be 2.05 metres longer than before, a rear steering axle (turntable) had to be used, allowing the trailer to conform to the UK turning circle legislation, increasing the chassis ride height from 870mm to 1110mm – a 240mm increase. To allow for side loading / unloading and an efficient cage loading configuration, the trailer second deck lifting platform had to be 10.8m long and only supported at each end, it also had to be relatively slim (45mm) to allow spaces for cages. A special feature of this trailer for APC Overnight is its lifting roof, which enables the loaded second deck to be raised higher to gain side access to the lower deck for loading and unloading. The lifting roof operation is integral to the lifting deck operation, but only activates when necessary depending upon the position of the moving deck. This unique feature means that the lifting roof operation is simple and does not require its own power source as in other designs. This simplicity leads to lower cost and maintenance and enhanced reliability, which are Cartwright targets when designing sophisticated double deck trailers like the APC design.
Darren Holland, Group Sales Director of Cartwright, commented: “Working closely with the APC Overnight team we have engineered a solution to drive significant improvements for them through Cartwright’s innovative solutions, allowing APC Overnight to deliver more parcels and reduce their carbon footprint as a result of moving more parcels over a reduced number of miles.”