Denby Eco-Link to hit the road ahead of major trial of 25.25m artics

DfT is planning a major trial of around 3,000 25m artics on Britain’s roads this year and will drum up support for the trial by giving Denby Transport permission to use its Eco-Link B-double road train as a demonstrator from next month.

Denby Transport chairman Dick Denby, who has been lobbying the government to trial the vehicle for over 20 years, told CM DfT is looking at issuing a Section 44 permit to enable the Denby Eco-Link B-double road train to take to the road from 1 March.

The move follows a recent survey of hauliers which was requested by DfT as evidence of industry appetite for the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road trains.

The survey revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback, with 80% of respondents stating their intention to adopt the vehicle.

Dick Denby told CM: “DfT wanted to know if there was sufficient interest for a trial of 3,000 trucks. The survey showed there is - and getting the Denby Eco-Link onto the road will draw even more interest.”

He added: “I am currently in discussions with DfT officials on the parameters of the Section 44 licence and hopefully we will get on the road very soon.”

HazComp MD Kevin Buck - another advocate of the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road train, who is also working with the DfT on the trial plans said: “In parallel to issuing the section 44 permit for the Denby vehicle, the DfT will be considering how a wider trial would operate, including inviting interests from other operators.”

He said the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road trains are a “win win” for operators.

“They increase productivity significantly per pallet moved, whilst reducing operating costs, as two of these vehicles can do the same work as three standard 13.6m articulated vehicles.

“Fuel consumption is much lower per pallet moved, meaning emissions are also significantly reduced, which benefits all.”

He called on operators to waste no time in applying to join the trial once it is launched. He said: ““I would encourage as many operators as possible to issue an early expression of interest with the DfT in participating in such trials of the 60-tonne road train within the UK.”

Sponsored: Retreading – saving costs and reducing impact

Conti services solutions


Tyre dealers are used to the customer demand for products which are as efficient as possible, to maximise value and improve bottom line margins. Retreads are one of the most effective ways to drive down such costs, while also lessening environmental impact.

For Continental Tyres, retreads are an important part of its commercial vehicle offering, via both its ContiRe and Bandvulc branded product line up.

Benefits of retreads

As well as being a more environmentally sound option, a correctly used retread is more cost-effective in the long term – answering both customer purchase drivers. For example, a retread costs around 70-75% of the price of a brand-new tyre, offering excellent value for money and significantly reducing running costs in a competitive market.

Low-cost, single-life tyres may offer a cheaper option at purchase, but they are not always suitable for retreading and therefore cost more to scrap and replace. Premium tyres, such as those manufactured by Continental, are designed and built with the ability to be retreaded in the future.

Tony Stapleton Head of Group Fleet Sales, at Continental Tyres notes, “Tyre dealers can assure their customers that retreaded tyres still offer outstanding performance and endurance. Bandvulc is the UK’s leading commercial retreader, with 50 years’ experience in retreading and casing management for high-quality retreads in both Continental’s ContiRe and Bandvulc brands. All ContiRe and Bandvulc tyres adhere to ECE Reg 109 – a compulsory standard for producing retreaded tyres, which ensures that they fulfil similar safety and quality control requirements for new tyres.

At the Bandvulc UK-based facility in Ivybridge, each casing is subject to up to 20 different quality assurance checks, before releasing it for road use. Special compounds created by our own rubber mixing facility, Bandvulc Mixing, offer benefits for longer life, low rolling resistance and damage reduction. For these reasons, the claim ratio for our retreaded tyres is as low as it is for our new tyres.”


Head Office

Sustainable tyres born from sustainable manufacturing

A retreaded tyre saves 80% of the materials required to manufacture a new tyre, therefore significantly reducing the impact on the environment. This means we are able to save 30kg of rubber compound, up to 20kg of steel and 60kg of CO2 on every retread tyre we produce compared to a new tyre.

In addition, retreading tyres reduces scrapping, exportation and incineration of worn-out tyres which, over the course of a year, can release over 160,000 tonnes of CO2 into the air.

The advanced energy monitoring system we have at our Ivybridge manufacturing facility, keeps close track of the energy levels and output of every piece of equipment across the whole factory, ensuring environmental sustainability and efficiency at every stage of the process. The factory has also introduced a zero-to-landfill policy, which ensures that no production waste goes to landfill and, as a result, 100% of the factory’s waste is recycled. Even rubber dust, buffed off during the preparation process, is recycled back into new tyres.

retread visual

Get on the case

If fleets wish to truly reap the benefits that retreading can bring, they should also ensure they understand how good tyre casing management can help.

Tony Stapleton says, “For best possible cost efficiency, the fleet needs to ensure that they are maximising the number of casings that are suitable for retreading. Good tyre husbandry, such as ensuring tyre pressure maintenance, regular inspections for damage etc. can also help to ensure a high level of casing acceptance, which is crucial for retreads.

A key area to ensure the casing will be accepted for processing is the condition of the belt package. It’s for this reason the correct regrooving methodology is used, for example, the blade is at the correct depth, and the tyre manufacturers recommended pattern guidelines are adhered to. It’s also important to check the general condition of the tread and monitor it for excessive stone retention, which can migrate through the groove base and compromise the integrity of the belt package.   


Casing management

After Continental collect a fleet’s tyres and returns them to its plant in Ivybridge, the casings are professionally inspected by the in-house team. They determine whether the casing can be retreaded. This process can also shed light on any application or usage concerns, which result in the tyre being removed prematurely or the casing being unsuitable for retreading.

For example, the checks can identify if the tyre has been placed on the wrong axle, if the wheel is misaligned, or the tyre has been run under- or over-inflated. In any of these scenarios, the inspection team can often determine the cause of damage from the state of the tread and can provide constructive advice back to the fleet operator / service provider to address any application or usage issues and improve fleet performance, efficiency and safety.

Tony Stapleton adds, “Some casings unfortunately will not be suitable for retreading and so have to be responsibly disposed of. We are a member of the Tyre Recovery Association and have numerous contracts with certified waste collection providers to ensure that our scrap casings are collected, reprocessed or reused in an environmentally friendly manner.  For example, many scrap tyres are used as an alternative fuel such as in cement kilns, rubber granules are re-used in recreational surfaces such as playgrounds or artificial sports pitches and steel cords are supplied to iron foundries to be re-melted and re-used.

retread visual