Learn about the product innovation which has made SDC Trailers the UK’s leading trailer builder


In this free downloadable CM Special we celebrate the 40th anniversary of SDC Trailers by examining the company’s history of innovation.

After an introduction from CEO Enda Cushnahan, we take a look back at the story so far. After being established 40 years ago in a small shed SDC has become the UK’s leading trailer builder, making them a great example of a UK manufacturing success. Although technology has moved on in the intervening decades, SDC has held on to their principle of designing and building exactly what the customer needs for their particular operation. “That’s one of our USPs” says Cushnahan.


“Now 40 years on we still set ourselves the challenge of trying to translate what the customer wants rather than building an off the shelf product. Each trailer on the production line is being built specifically for a customer.” Enda Cushnahan, chief executive officer, SDC Trailers


From page 8 we round off this CM Special by looking at examples of what drives SDC forward – product innovation. This includes the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) semi-trailer, launched in 2016 as a world-first. SDC’s patented KERS trailer can deliver a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 25% by capturing electrical energy during vehicle deceleration in a bank of graphene ultra-capacitors.

SDC Innovation Roll of Honour


2010: Launches 3-axle skeletal trailer than splits in two, to form a single axle trailer for transporting 2x20ft containers.
Launches ‘Aeroliner’ aerodynamic trailer with 12% fuel savings.
Introduces roll stability systems (RSS) for brake type approval two years ahead of mandatory legalisation.

2011: Manufactures and tests the UK’s first 14.6m and 15.65m longer length semi- trailers.
Develop a new lightweight walking floor trailer with an increased capacity of 90.2 cu m.

2012: Builds 3-truck transporters based on a longer length chassis - a first for the UK market.

2013: Launches ‘Autoliner’ car transporter with increased flexibility for vehicle transport operators.

2015: Named Motor Transport National Innovation Award winner with Malcolm Logistics for 15.65m extendable skeletal trailer.

2016: Launches the world’s first application for a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) on a semi-trailer.

2018: Launches hydraulic lifting deck curtainsider featuring lightweight deck design suitable for 52 pallet operation, exhibited at the CV Show and received third place in the Trailer Innovation Award body category.

  • Find out more about SDC Trailers by downloading our CM Special, which is free of charge to all registered users of Commercialmotor.com - and registration is free too. Simply click on the 'Download' button at the bottom of the page and either log in or register if prompted to do so.