ForFarmers develops innovative multifunctional trailer to deliver animal feed more sustainably

26 October 2015
Afbeelding: Innovatieve duurzame oplegger

ForFarmers, in collaboration with Dutch logistics company H.W. van der Peet & Sons and AB Texel in Peterborough, has developed an ultralight, manoeuvrable and multifunctional trailer which can either deposit animal feeds loosely or blow them into a silo without the need for tipping.

This has given ForFarmers the opportunity to supply both raw materials as well as compound feeds to a farm or factory location with just one vehicle. ForFarmers will soon be making 15 of these innovative trailers operational across the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

Frank van Kerkhof, Logistics Director, ForFarmers, said: “Working in collaboration with body shop Van der Peet and transport company AB Texel, we have managed to take a big step towards more sustainable transport. The unique aspect of this trailer is that it’s suitable for a variety of different functions which will allow us to reach and serve all the farmer’s needs.”

Special features of the new trailer:

  • The trailer is two tons lighter than a conventional tipper truck and can therefore transport more finished product. This allows ForFarmers to reduce the CO2 emissions per ton of transported feed by 8%.
  • The trailer combines the advantages of a tank and a tipper truck and is therefore suitable for several different purposes. Its unloading system at the bottom of the trailer allows for animal feeds and raw materials to be loosely deposited without the need for tipping. It’s also equipped with a chute for blowing the compound feeds and raw materials directly into feed silos.
  • The trailer is equipped with a VSE steering system; a hydraulic system which can control the trailer’s wheels without physically turning the truck. This simplifies the unloading at locations with limited space and significantly improves access to farms.
  • The trailer’s multifunctional character means it is easier to arrange a return load. This will mean a reduction in the number of empty miles the lorries travel, which meets one of the objectives of ForFarmers’ sustainability policy.

Sustainable and safe solution
The development and purchase of these innovative trailers demonstrates ForFarmers’ commitment to sustainability and finding sustainable solutions to practical problems in the industry.

The tipper truck is the most important means of transporting animal feeds in the UK. However, there are significantly more safety issues when working with a tipper truck compared to a bulk truck. Tipper truck drivers need to take more safety factors into consideration when unloading, for example, tipper trucks are only able to tip on a flat surface and tipping cannot be done close to any power lines  - a particular challenge for many agricultural units in the UK. Additionally, many buildings are too low for the tipper truck to be able to unload inside.

Frank van Kerkhof continued: “I often wondered whether we would be able to find a solution to these problems. This new development means we have now found a sustainable solution to the practical limitations on farm. The prototype has now been in use for nine months and we have since purchased fifteen trailers, together with our partner AB Texel. Six of these new trucks will be operational in the UK.”