Jack Richards, a Fakenham-based logistics firm, has added five 15.65m trailers to its fleet after been awarded one of just 10,000 licenses allowing them to take part in the Department for Transport's (DfT) Trial of Longer Semi-trailers.
The DfT's research project has been designed to evaluate and understand the use of these vehicles on Britain's roads. The DfT initially launched the ten-year trial, open to any haulage operator or road transport operator in 2012, and operators were recently invited to bid for a remaining share of the allocation.
Following its successful application, Jack Richards, part of Palletways, Europe's largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network, has invested close-on a quarter of a million pounds to expand its fleet. The company initially purchased three 15.65m double-deck trailers and this year added a further two. The longer trailers offer more loading space compared to the standard 13.1m models frequently seen on roads today.
Dominic Purslow, depot principal at Jack Richards, said: "We had to meet a stringent set of credentials and criteria to get accepted onto the trial which aims to discover the feasibility and impact of using 15.65m trailers on the roads full time.
"This has been a massive investment for us but the return is huge, as we now have the ability to carry more pallets on fewer journeys. To put the savings into context, the extra capacity in every three 15.65m trailers we run means we can remove one equivalent trailer off Britain's roads, which is a significant saving. We're delighted with the results of the trial which could potentially be game-changing for hauliers and the wider logistics industry."
In agreeing to take part in the research project, Jack Richards' usage and performance of its new longer Semi-trailers is monitored and evaluated by DfT's contractors on a monthly basis.
Jack Richards & Sons, which was founded more than 50 years ago, is one of 100 plus member companies in the Palletways UK pallet network. Road Transport is at the core of the Jack Richards business. The company provides full load haulage services across the UK utilising a fleet of over 200 units and 350 curtainside trailers, the majority of which are plated to 44 tonnes giving a payload of 28.7 tonnes.