Close coupling trial
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• Close-coupled rigid and drawbar boxvans being used by London Carriers for an experimental change in distribution include a novel "zerocouple" arrangement which permits through-access for pallet loading.
Saxon UK of Bedford built the bodies on two MercedesBenz 1625 rigids with drawbar trailers fitted with SAF axles and AR413 air suspension. They have Abel demountable equipment.
Lodge Trailers of Liverpool supplied the trailers which were fitted with Contar closecouple equipment and Wabco anti-lock braking.
On docking, the driver releases the VGB tow jaw connection and activates an air cylinder mounted in series with the A-frame's counterbalance spring.
When the vehicle is moved forward slightly to clear the jaw, the cylinder expands lowering the A-frame to the ground.
The Prime-mover can then be reversed on to rubber locating buffers fitted at the front of the trailer body.
With the shutters on the trailer and vehicle raised and an aluminium bridge plate over the small gap, fork lifts can run the full length of the combination.