TÜV Nord, a European approved testing facility, has certified 75 new specialist Don-Bur curtainsiders, ordered by Bibby Distribution, to comply with the demanding load restraint EN12642-XL accreditation. The contract-specific 13.7m tri-axle trailers will transport homewares to blue chip retail stores throughout the UK.
The EN12642 ratings (L & XL) will become an important part of Don-Burs’ compliance to Whole Vehicle Type Approval, due to come into force in October 2012; however, in order to demonstrate Bibby’s commitment to their client’s high expectations for best practice and health and safety, they stipulated that the new trailers be compliant well ahead of mandatory legislation.
The testing applied to the curtains, strap assemblies and bodywork as a whole is rigorous. To achieve the highly acclaimed "XL" rating for a 29T payload, a strain of 11.6 tons was applied to the sides, 14.5 tons to the front bulkhead and 8.7 tons to the rear closure. Under test, any temporary curtain or bodywork deformation must fit within strict guidelines.
Bibby insisted that the 12642-XL rating should be achieved on the 4.5m high trailers without any caveats for additional load-restraint straps and after some minor design modifications, TÜV Nord certified the trailers as compliant.
John Finn, Fleet & Procurement Director for Bibby said "We understood that achieving the 12642-XL rating was challenging and approached Don-Bur to engineer a forward thinking solution that would meet all our requirements."
Cargo control has long been a contentious issue for many operators. Prior to the EN 12640, 12641 and 12642 (L & XL) ratings, the accepted HSE/DfT recommendation to restrain loads correctly was to clamp the load to the deck using rave to rave straps. This practice maintains friction between the load and the deck, thus minimising the risk of side-shift. Load restraint using curtains and vertical load straps alone was not considered acceptable; however, many operators are not in a position to "throw" a restraint strap over the load as this presents health & safety risks. The new legislation is designed to ensure that the bodywork and curtains meet adequate load containment standards.
Any EN12642-XL rated vehicle must display an authentic compliance decal and be supplied with a valid certificate.