Truck and Trailer Sales launches new self-widening trailers
Coventry-based Truck and Trailer Sales has started selling self-widening trailers to help operators overcome the pitfalls of owning and running STGO (special types) trailers.
The new low-loader trailers are an Australian design and imported by the company, whose owner William Simpson says is “very DVSA-friendly”.
The GT trailers are available as either 3- or 4-axle low-loaders measuring 13.6m, however, larger units can be specified with options to extend the bed by 2m to 6m. They have a self-widening body that can increase the deck width from 2.55m to 3.10m, which allows greater flexibility for load carrying.
The trailer is fitted with twist locks to enable two 20ft containers or one 40ft container to be carried. There’s also movable flip-up toe ramps to give the wider loads access to the deck.
The widening mechanism is fully hydraulic, powered by an on-board power pack, and takes just five minutes to open and close. Simpson says the benefits of the system are that there is no need to have outriggers on the trailer and no wooden planks or metal that needs to be stored away, saving time and increasing safety for the operator.
The deck is covered with a non-slip rubber floor made from recycled tyres – guaranteed for 10 years – which prevents loads from slipping, while the trailer has a twin-rear-steer system with lifting front axle.
“With a 2.75m-wide trailer on STGO you can only carry one item of plant or machinery,” Simpson says. “When you have delivered that you can only then put one item back on the trailer. With a self-widening trailer you can put multiple loads on. The 2.75m trailers are also exempt from MoTs and sometimes they fall into a bad state of repair. The self-widener has to be tested every year, so the trailer stays up to date with inspections and is safer,” adds Simpson.
The 4-axle trailer also comes with holes for side poles, which allows the operator to put bolsters down the sides. This not only improves safety, but proves useful when carrying more awkward items, like large boats or barges. The combination of side widening with poles in place enables boats to be properly secured without the risk of any tilting while in transit. The self-widening system can also be used to help tranship from one trailer to another, without having to unload the cargo via rear ramps.
Bodycams to be used at waste sites
Environment Agency enforcement teams have found inspecting waste sites so risky that some are now wearing body mounted video cameras to discourage and record abuse.
Officers in the East Midlands are now wearing cameras following a successful six-month trial in the north-east. The trial found that wearing the cameras helped reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour, assaults and threats.
Footage captured on a bodycam in the north east was recently used by the Environment Agency for the first time to convict an offender. The defendant pleaded guilty to wilfully obstructing the officers in the execution of their duty and using abusive behaviour towards two officers.
Enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency in the East Midlands Pete Haslock said: “The safety of our staff is paramount. They are well trained in dealing with hostile situations and we take any threat against them very seriously.
“Our preference is to prevent hostility in the first place and wearing the cameras can prevent threatening situations from escalating. We want to get on with our jobs without the threat of violence and the cameras will help to protect staff and bring obstructive individuals to justice.
"Officers will switch on the cameras if and when they enter a hostile situation or where hostility may be anticipated.” Studies also show that people are less likely to contest the evidence when they know their offence is captured on camera, which could help speed up justice and reduce legal costs.