Finnish trailer manufacturer Ekeri demonstrated its ongoing innovative approach and versatility in July when UK fresh produce wholesaler Wellocks introduced a new temperature-controlled Ekeri trailer into its fleet – the first Ekeri trailer of this type to go into operation in the UK.
The side-opening design makes for much easier access and loading. saving at least 30 minutes on each daily run. The 14-foot high class ‘A’ (FNA standard) is carrying ambient and chilled products, down to 0 degrees.
The flexible Wellocks trailer is just one of a huge range of vehicles manufactured in Ekeri’s factory in Kolppi, north of Helsinki, in Finland. Family-owned Ekeri has been building trailers for over 70 years, expanding from its Finnish base, selling into Scandinavia, the Baltic states, the Netherlands, UK and Germany.
In 2016 Ekeri’s products range from truck bodies with side doors to drawbar and centre-axle trailers, along with semi-trailers, city trailers and step-frame trailers. Over time Ekeri has evolved its designs to meet the requirements of individual customers and different countries with varying legislation, climates and logistics practice.
Ekeri’s manufacturing is organised in several production stages, from welding and component-mounting, to the anti-corrosion and paint chambers through to final assembly. The latest technology is employed, including 3D modelling during the design and test phase.
High quality combined with technical excellence lead to trailers with longevity and high prices in the second-hand market. Product durability is paramount, with extensive use of high-quality aluminium for floors and other key components. Likewise, the door mechanism, sliding racks, rails, hinges and locks all use the highest-quality materials to provide many years of trouble-free operation. Reinforced rubber seals are easy to install and replace.
Ekeri is known, above all, for its flexible side-door opening system: a simple and highly functional design that is the result of substantial investment in design and product development.
The side door design makes the trailer easy to load and unload, thus reducing empty running. The doors can be opened and closed far more quickly than a comparable curtain-sided trailer and the design suits dry freight as well as refrigerated trailers.
Ekeri CEO Mikael Eklund says that flexible, side-opening trailers enable companies to get good return loads.
“You can unload from the side – this is a major benefit in Scandinavia and of course, an advantage which is now available in the UK,” he says. This means that Scandinavian companies can carry extra-long products such as saw timber and steel by using the side-opening doors.
“The system is suitable for most types of cargo and our customers report significant time saving from being able to load and unload items without needing to enter through the back doors.”
Also, Ekeri’s load restraint system enables customers to place the securing straps wherever they want, and as many as they want – this is especially important when loading from the side. Side-opening doors also allow companies to carry out multiple drops and pick-ups.
Ekeri has been making these side-opening trailers since the 1970’s says Eklund.
“Although it’s nothing new for the Scandinavian market, it is relatively new and catching on fast in other parts of Europe. We only produce side-opening trailers – nothing else!”
Ekeri continues to keep pace with trends, including social media developments. Since 2012 it has had around 4,000 likes and shares, as operators throughout Europe respond to the benefits of Ekeri’s trailer systems. It represents a celebration of the company’s 70-year history, that sees Ekeri with sales in 2015 of over 54 million Euros.