Sittingbourne-based Alan Firmin Ltd has invested in three new longer-length trailers as part of a Government 10-year trial into the feasibility of operating such trailers in the UK.
The three trailers measure 15.65m, which is two-metres longer than standard, and will be used on the company's overnight Palletforce service. Firmin's current fleet consists of 70 tractor units and over 150 trailers.
The company was established in 1937 by Alan Firmin to transport livestock to and from market for local farmers, and has gradually grown to one of the region's major privately-owned haulage firms, becoming a shareholder-member of Palletforce - the UK and Europe's largest palletised network - in 2006.
"Our new investment in longer-length trailers means we can increase the capacity of our loads and save on fuel in the long run. Fewer loads on the roads means reduced congestion on our motorways and we're delighted to be part of the Government's study into the effects of these lorries on the road," said Paul Denyer, Director of Alan Firmin Ltd.
"We purchased the three trailers from Lawrence David and use them on our overnight Palletforce trunks. The trailers have three different designs; one is in Palletforce colours, one in traditional Firmin branding and the third has a bespoke, eye-catching rainforest design to reflect the environmental benefits."
The UK Government signalled its intention to assess the long-term effects of using longer commercial vehicles on traffic congestion, fuel consumption and the environment in 2011. A total of 900 trucks will be monitored in the trial, and a decision will be made on their future once the results have been reviewed.
Michael Conroy, Chief Executive of Palletforce, said "Alan Firmin is one of our long-standing members and it's wonderful to see them being at the forefront of our industry's most-innovative developments.
"Their continual investment in promoting the Palletforce brand further strengthens our presence in the South East."