BTI has supplied a third 15 metre diameter HGV access turntable to Waitrose, creating an efficient loading and unloading operation at the company's new store in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. The contract follows the success of units BTI has previously installed in the underground loading area at the Surbiton store in Surrey and the overground service yard at Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
Installation of the turntable has allowed the service yard to occupy as little land as possible, leaving more space for the store's sales area; additionally, vehicles can drive straight into and out of the service area, a safer procedure for the village, whose roads are very narrow and busy.
Use of the turntable also minimises the impact on neighbouring houses both in terms of noise and exhaust emissions as trucks do not have to undergo complex manoeuvring procedures to present goods in the right orientation for the loading bay. On entering the yard from the main road, the truck simply drives straight onto the turntable, which then rotates the vehicle approximately 90 degrees to line it up with the unloading dock; after unloading the truck can be rotated back 90 degrees to allow it to drive straight out again.
The turntable is capable of carrying a 44 tonnes capacity articulated truck up to 16.5m long, and when rotating the truck fills the service yard. Potential trapping points are therefore protected with safety light beams, and if a beam is broken the turntable is stopped from rotating further.
The turntable has also been designed to allow cages to be stored on an area of the turntable not required by the truck.
The Waitrose turntables have been adapted from one of BTI's standard vehicle revolve designs and are typical of many such revolves manufactured and installed by BTI for government buildings, major high street stores and other commercial establishments throughout the world.
Standard features of the HGV access revolve design include: a fixed speed rotation of 0.5rpm, which allows vehicles to be moved into the ideal position in only 60 seconds; yellow markers to make positioning of the vehicle on the turntable easier; and a vandal-proof, security key protected control box to aid the manoeuvring process.