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The Malcolm Group is looking at applying for both types of LST, the 1m and 2.05m longer combinations, but is only looking for a number “in the tens” because of the nature of its customer base. Despite seeking a smaller allocation than some of its rival operators, running the trailers in the Malcolm fleet will still be an operational challenge that will require driver training, evaluation of customer delivery sites and testing of part loads on axle weights.
Malcolm Group fleet engineer Steve Sugden says: “We have registered an expression of interest on a small number of both lines. We are probably going to be in the tens rather than the big numbers Wincanton is talking about. Most of the work we do reaches maximum weight on the trailers, but some of our work would benefit. We would be looking to have built both trailers, but it would be more of the 1m than the 2.05m type. They would offer more use to us, especially as curtainsiders.” One option Malcolm Group is looking at is a moving-floor trailer up to 1m longer, which would be utilised on some of its bulk materials contracts. “SDC is looking into the feasibility of moving floors,” he says, adding that Malcolm would evaluate all types of options for such a specific trailer. “We are also looking at what effect part loads have on axle loading. If you have 2.05m of extra length we need to understand what the effects of weights are on the axles.” Another concern is loading bays. “With the rear overhang, you have to be careful in the loading dock. We will need to evaluate where we are going to send them. Our own depots are spacious, but some customer sites will need evaluation. With the extra length backing into the loading bay you will have to fit additional safety features [such as ultra sonic reversing sensors].” Malcolm will also train drivers to use the LSTs in its fleet. Sugden says the operator will keep this number small to have a dedicated workforce. Finally, he says the expression of interest process with the DfT has been smooth, but Malcolm will be working closely with SDC to provide technical details as part of its application.