Truck drivers calling into Lymm Services in Cheshire have given a firm thumbs-up to Schmitz Cargobull’s latest ‘Speed Curtain’ trailer after being invited to attempt opening and closing the curtain in just 60 seconds.

Many drivers rose to the challenge – as you can see online at * – and it’s safe to say that no-one walked away disappointed. The event at Lymm marked the first UK demonstration of the Speed Curtain trailer -which was unveiled as a prototype at the 2010 IAA show in Hannover – and which is now entering full production at Schmitz Cargobull’s manufacturing plant in Altenberge, Germany. The demonstrator spent a full day at the truckstop in Cheshire to show how new innovations can make loading and unloading trailers quicker, easier and safer for drivers – and more cost-effective for fleets.

“It was great to see how quickly drivers got to grips with the trailer,” said Derek Skinner, Technical Director for Schmitz Cargobull. “Despite having never seen this style of trailer before, most of them managed to open and close the curtain in under a minute. And that’s the point; it’s all about increasing efficiency, maximising productivity and doing this in a safe and simple way for the driver.”

The Speed Curtain tackles many challenges typically associated with traditional curtainsiders, such as the hazards posed by adverse weather conditions, load security in transit and, above all, the length of time taken to make deliveries or pick-ups to tight delivery schedules. The company says it is suited to multi-drop operations, particularly in the beverage and automotive industries, where there is a high throughput of goods and frequent deliveries.

Importantly, the trailer complies with European Standard EN 12642 (XL), meaning the strength of the trailer’s body structure, and unique curtain system, has been tested and approved to allow it to act as an extra load restraint for cargo. The curtain itself – unlike conventional models -contains integrated micro-stanchions which are guided above and below by roller slides on the body; this keeps the curtain under constant vertical tension.

Additionally, the new design removes the need for multiple tarpaulin fasteners, central stanchions and loose parts such as rigging boards.

Schmitz Cargobull has a permanent demonstrator available for fleets in the UK to trial on request.

* A six minute video taken at Lymm Services (M6, Cheshire).

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