UK company Gist takes part in longer semi-trailer trial

One of the UK’s largest refrigerated transport businesses, Gist, has added five longer semi-trailers (LSTs) to its fleet, each specified with a Carrier Transicold's Vector 1950 MT unit.

The five new Gray & Adams trailers measure more than 15 metres in length and allow Gist to carry higher volumes of temperature-sensitive goods whilst still meeting the current regulations regarding maximum permitted weights and turning circles.

“The LSTs are great new assets to our fleet. They allow us to deliver more products in fewer journeys, helping us to increase the efficiency of our operation,” said Sam de Beaux, Engineering Director for Gist. “The longer trailers fill the gap between standard semi-trailers and our double-deck trailers.”

The new trailers are operating in conjunction with DAF trucks with drivers specifically chosen for the LSTs project. The drivers have each completed a comprehensive two-day training course to meet the requirements for operating these longer articulated vehicles.

According to Mr de Beaux, as the LSTs have a larger area to fill, they naturally have a larger area to cool. “As such, we needed to make sure the refrigeration technology we chose would be powerful enough to maintain the integrity of our loads,” he says – pointing out the decision to specify Carrier equipment was a logical choice.

“We’ve run Carrier Transicold units in most of our fleet, [so] we know the equipment is technically sound and our drivers are comfortable using it.”

The Vector units are equipped with Carrier Transicold’s patented E-Drive electric technology, which removes the mechanical transmissions found in conventional belt-driven refrigeration systems and transforms engine power into electricity through a generator.

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) launched its trial of LSTs in January 2012, with a total allocation available of 1,800 LSTs in the UK. The trial hopes to provide significant economic and environmental benefits, as it is expected to save more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the course of the trial and allow fleets to transport more in fewer trips.

Gist fulfils the transportation needs of more than 3,000 customers and operates from more than 40 sites in the UK and continental Europe. The logistics expert has an annual turnover of €600m and is owned by the Linde Group.

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