Thursday, December 20, 2012

Trial of Longer Road Haulage Trailers Continues as Tesco Opts In

Supermarket to Use Gray and Adams Equipment for Freight Test
Shipping News Feature

UK – In October we wrote of the trial which was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) to allow the use of 900 longer trailers on British roads in an attempt to see if it would reduce road miles significantly. Many road haulage groups were keen to take part and now we hear Tesco, always keen to demonstrate its green credentials, is now running 25 new 15.65m Gray & Adams refrigerated trailers as part of the trial to decrease the company’s freight mileage.

Recent winner of the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ prize at the Green Fleet Awards, Tesco is a long-standing Gray & Adams customer and operates a substantial fleet of its temperature-controlled single- and double-deck 13.6m and short, urban trailers and the trailer manufacturer says the retailer’s decision to commission Gray & Adams to build every one of its extended-length trailers reflects faith in both its build quality and back-up. Tesco Fleet Engineering Manager Cliff Smith confirmed this saying:

“Once we’d resolved to use our permits for refrigerated trailers, Gray & Adams was the obvious supplier. It was best-placed in terms of the development work it had already done on these longer trailers, while experience has also proved that its products are well designed and ‘fit for purpose’. We run our trailers for eight years but know that Gray & Adams’ equipment is sufficiently reliable and strongly built to withstand the rigours of a demanding, round-the-clock operation.”

Britain’s biggest retailer is committed to achieving dramatic reductions in carbon emissions across its distribution operation. Its ‘F plan’ – Fuller cages, Fuller trucks, Fewer miles and Fuel economy – has seen Tesco take 111 million miles off the road over the last five years, saving 142,000 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise have been pumped into the atmosphere. Operating from regional distribution centres in Avonmouth, Livingston and Peterborough, the new acquisitions are delivering to Tesco stores and each is capable of carrying 51 cages, six more than a standard 13.6m trailer. Cliff Smith points out the potential benefits commenting:

“That represents an increase in productivity of more than 13 per cent, so the potential benefits in terms of reduced vehicle movements and lower emissions are obvious. But we’ve only just set these trailers on the road, so we still have a fair bit of work to do in terms of driver-training and risk assessment at the delivery points before we come to any firm conclusions.”

Tesco’s 15.65m trailers are equipped with powerful but quiet Carrier Transicold Vector 1850 multi-temperature refrigeration units and 1500kg capacity Dhollandia retractable tail-lifts, as well as Tridec command steer axles which allow them to meet statutory turning circle rules and give them the equipment required when delivering to different locations.