As part of its stated aim to develop its share of the UK and Irish curtainsider trailer market, Schmitz Cargobull has launched a new fixed roof trailer.
The new model, which will be built at Schmitz Cargobull’s UK factory at Harelaw, County Durham has been designed to be more robust, lighter and easier to use than existing fixed roof vehicles.
“As with any new development we listened to the needs of the industry and are coming to the market with a trailer that brings benefits not only to the transport manager, but also the driver and the repair and maintenance team,” says David Pressley, Schmitz Cargobull’s Product Manager (UK).
The roof itself is produced using galvanized steel cassettes that interlock to form their own cross member support structure. The cassettes combine to make one strong roof unit. Using multiple sheets of steel in this way has a number of advantages over traditional fixed roof production methods, as David Pressley explains:
“Until now roofs have been made from a single sheet of aluminum. But, aluminum is a commodity that can be expensive and sometimes difficult to acquire. It’s supplied as coil, which, from a production point of view, is not straightforward to work with and is not easy to store.
“As well as being stronger and lighter than aluminum, the new steel cassette sections can be simply removed if damaged and replaced with a new section by a user’s in-house maintenance team. This removes the need for patching.”
David Pressley adds: “Furthermore, with aluminum costs rising, the switch to steel will also enable us to continue to build our fixed roof trailer at a competitive price – which, in the current climate, is high on our customers’ list of requirements.”
“In addition, because the steel roof is lighter, the overall weight of the trailer is reduced - which improves fuel efficiency.”
The new fixed roof product features fully retractable support posts for safe and fast loading and unloading. The sliding side posts – a minimum of two each side of the trailer is recommended – provide strength and rigidity, yet retract along the full length of the trailer to give completely unobstructed side access when loading and unloading
The structural integrity of the roof is further enhanced by new front and rear frame designs. The new front bulkhead features galvanized steel corner posts and a new integral kick strip from the chassis front member. The new bulkhead not only adds strength to the overall design but also improves attachment to the chassis. Meanwhile, a reinforced rear end offers greater impact protection when the trailer is backed into docking bays.
The top of the front bulk head has also been reconfigured to allow more space for the curtain pole to be stored. The clearance at the top of the curtain pole has been maximized at the pelmet and self-locating pole guides top and bottom are mounted on a new ratchet assembly. This ensures that the curtain is extremely user friendly and simple for the driver to work with. Integral pole guides keep the pole in true alignment – thereby avoiding curtain wrinkles and creases.
Operator friendliness has been further enhanced by the use of buckles that are quick and simple to fasten and release, as well as straightforward controls that are easy to follow and arranged in an ergonomically comfortable position.
Schmitz Cargobull’s UK Regional Sales Director, Nigel Somers, commented: “Sales of fixed roof curtainsiders represents in the region of two-thirds of the UK curtainsider market. Schmitz Cargobull’s current share of the market is around 17 per cent and we believe that with our new fixed roof model and the launch earlier this year of our new Freepost design, we will be able to achieve a market share of in the region of 40 per cent within the next three years.”