Tridec steering from JOST UK supports the DfT trial for longer articulated-trailers
At the beginning of 2012 the Department for Transport (DfT) began a trial of up to 1,800 longer articulated-trailers. The new trailers offered increased capacity for the operators with the expectation of greatly reduced carbon emissions while also cutting running costs – boosting the UK economy. The trial stipulated that trailers must meet strict operational requirements and operators maintain detailed records to facilitate ongoing evaluation. Tridec steering systems have contributed to the design and manufacture of trailers that meet the turning circle requirements of the legislation.
The DfT test was commissioned to trial the environmental and safety impacts of allowing longer articulated-trailers on the UK roads. Over the course of the 10 year trial up to 1,800 trailers – 900 will be 14.6m and 900 will be 15.65m – split between 130 operators. It is estimated that the trial will save 3000 tonnes of carbon emissions and a total of £33m to the operators involved.
While there are clear potential benefits to those involved in the trial there are also the usual drawbacks associated with being at the forefront of innovation. Firstly, there is no guarantee that the trailers will be permitted on the road beyond the end of the trial period. Secondly, the trailers must operate within certain requirements – meaning that the operators must work with body builders to find solutions which make the trailers comply with legislation without negatively affecting the overall driving experience.
JOST UK, a manufacturer and supplier of components for commercial vehicles, believes that trials such as these are important for the haulage industry in the UK. If the trial is successful it will benefit a great number of UK operators who handle lighter good and don’t always reach the maximum weight allowance with their standard trailers. This could be a real boost to an industry where margins are being squeezed by ever increasing operating costs.
JOST UK is working with many of the operators and body builders involved in the trial to deliver steering systems which able trailers to meet the legislative requirements and still ensure a good driving experience.
To meet the requirements the trailer must turn within two concentric circles, the inner radius of which is 5.3m and the outer no more than 12.5m. To achieve this and maintain good axle weight distribution, steering systems such as the Tridec TD system have been effectively introduced on a large number of longer trailers.
The Tridec solution is a command (or positive) steer system which is linked directly to the fifth-wheel via a mechanical rod. Thanks to the solid linkage, the steering movements are transferred directly without any play and tram lines and other roughness in the road has no negative influence on the driving behaviour of the vehicle. Command steer provides greater control when on the road and increased control during reversing as, unlike self-steer systems, which are locked when in reverse, command steers remain active.
JOST World founded in 1952 has achieved a leading position worldwide in the manufacturing of components for commercial vehicles . Under the umbrella brand of JOST the comprehensive product range is broken down into four brands: JOST, ROCKINGER, TRIDEC and EDBRO. The company is located on all continents, with distribution, production and development. JOST World is the global choice for the commercial vehicle industry, with over 2,000 staff worldwide.
JOST: The JOST brand includes fifth wheel couplings, telescopic landing legs, ball bearing turntables, king pins, container locks and components for Intermodal systems.
TRIDEC: The TRIDEC brand is well known around the world for its Mechanical and Hydraulic steering systems and Pneumatic and Hydraulic suspension. Providing increased efficiency to the transport industry.
EDBRO: The EDBRO brand has been the leading manufacturer of lightweight, reliable tipping gear for over 90 years. It’s products offer improved payloads and faster tipping speeds while a range of accessories are available to improve industry safety.