Increased productivity, linked to a reduced environmental impact, have been critical factors behind Aggregate Industries UK Ltd switching to non-tipping, walking floor trailers over the past 18 months. In their latest order, the company’s Construction Division has ordered a total of 11 new walking floor trailers for its fleet from leading manufacturer Paneltex Martrans.
By the end of this month, all 11 of the new Paneltex Martrans’ trailers will have now gone into service for Aggregate Industries franchisees.
The success of the walking floor, non-tipping trailers in its fleet was recognised recently when Aggregate Industries non-tipping trailer was awarded the ‘Highways Industry Product of the Year’ by the awards committee at the prestigious Highways Magazine ‘Excellence’ Awards ceremony and gala dinner held in London earlier this month.
The switch to Paneltex Martrans for these non-tipping trailers came as a result of using a demonstrator trailer from the Gainsborough manufacturer in July last year. During operational trials within the Sheffield area, Aggregate Industries found that the payload from the Paneltex Martrans’ walking floor trailer showed a considerable improvement against the comparable trailers in its fleet.
As Jeff Stobbart, National Logistics Manager at Aggregate Industries explains, “During the demonstration program, Paneltex Martrans showed great enthusiasm to work closely with us on this project, doing all the legwork necessary to reduce the overall weight of the trailers. This potential increase in the payload of our non-tipping trailers was a significant boost for our franchisees, so we decided to commit to Paneltex Martrans for 11 new trailers this year.”
“Since their introduction into the fleet, the Paneltex Martrans’ walking floor trailers have all been performing really well and it’s refreshing to see that the Company is always looking at ways of developing and improving the product and is by no means complacent. The massive 28tonne payload from these trailers enables us to carry at least 35 to 40% more product than we would get by using a typical eight wheel rigid,” added Jeff Stobbart.
Aggregate Industries is now committed to increasing its fleet of non-tipping trailers as the company believes that these walking floor trailers will enable its franchisees to become far more efficient, in terms of carrying much greater payload, whilst at the same time also improving its carbon footprint by using fewer vehicle loads. The company also appreciates the essential health and safety benefits that these trailers provide on-site, as they are ideal for areas where traditional tipping methods pose a safety or operational concern.
Already, these Paneltex Martrans’ non-tipping trailers have proved their worth as was demonstrated in a recent resurfacing project in the Mersey Tunnel. It was far more economical and practical to lay asphalt within the confines of the tunnel lanes by using a walking floor trailer, enabling the work to be completed far more efficiently and quickly than by using traditional rigid tippers.
As an added bonus for its franchisees, Aggregate Industries also recognises the versatility of these trailers for back haul loads, as they can easily handle all the products currently carried by the company’s existing rigid and artic tipper fleet, such as asphalt and fine aggregates.
Through its Construction Division, Aggregate Industries currently work with over 300 franchisees that are running in excess of 700 insulated tipper vehicles. With the new Paneltex Martrans’ walking floor trailers, the company anticipates a minimum 10 year working life, in comparison with the average five-year life of a 26tonne rigid tipper, with each trailer covering approximately 90,000 km per annum on average.
As part of the introduction of the non-tipping trailer concept into the Aggregate Industries fleet, Paneltex Martrans has worked closely with the company with a planned programme of activity, including the commissioning of a dedicated video about the benefits of the trailers, as well as attending numerous customer days to encourage franchisees to adopt this change of approach to aggregate discharging.
As Jeff Stobbart says, “Not only are we convinced about the proven environmental and operational benefits of these trailers, but also that the financial appeal of the non-tipping trailers represents a very attractive argument for this capital investment, making it a far better long-term business plan for our franchisees.”