Palletways dismisses maximum weight limit

The head of the UK’s largest pallet network by volume has said an arbitrary maximum weight limit for pallets is not something Palletways plans to introduce.

Speaking to CommercialMotor.com, James Wilson, chief executive of Palletways, said the jury also remained out in regards to what is a safe weight for pallets.

He was responding to Palletline and Fortec’s decisions last year to introduce a 750kg maximum weight for standard tail-lift deliveries (Palletline will deliver heavier pallets but under its Lift Assist service which attracts an additional charge).

“I think the issue is a health and safety one,” said Wilson. “We invest carefully in making sure we comply with all the H&S requirements. As far as we are concerned we load our vehicles and tail-lifts within the recommended criteria.”

Wilson said that unlike Palletline and Fortec, Palletways had not been encouraged by its membership to introduce a maximum pallet weight limit for tail-lift deliveries.

“What’s more important is that there is a bigger demand for home deliveries. So you need to invest more in training drivers and the people who arrange the collection so that the customer is clear on what to expect, and the driver is trained in how to deliver it.

“That’s rather than saying the solution [is imposing a weight limit], which is like saying motorbikes are dangerous so let’s not have any more motorbikes.”

Wilson said B2C now accounted for 18% of UK turnover (up from 10% four years ago), making it one of the network’s fastest-growing revenue sectors.

He said his haulier members had accordingly invested in small vehicles with tail-lifts and equipment to deliver to central-city private addresses to make the most of the huge opportunity.

  • See this week's Commercial Motor, out Thursday 14 January, for the full interview with Palletways chief executive James Wilson
  • This article originally appeared in the 7 January issue. Why not subscribe and get 12 issues for just £12?

Stobart 'MANs' up with new TGXs

Eddie Stobart has taken delivery of 25 new MAN TGXs. The 440hp 6x2s are understood to be the first tractor units that Stobart has taken from the manufacturer in recent years.

MAN said it looks forward “to doing more business” with Stobart in the future, and that it was touched by the haulage firm’s gesture of naming one of the new vehicles after Josie-Mae, MAN MD Simon Elliott’s eight year-old daughter (pictured).

Mark Price, MAN’s international key account manager, said: “We are delighted the TGXs have joined the Eddie Stobart fleet and are proud to see our vehicles on the road bearing that distinctive and much-admired livery. We’re confident that the trucks will prove themselves.”