We think we have problems with some trailers, but if we think we have issues, ask this YouTube trucking expert, Stavros, who uses this video to run through some of the problems with European curtainsiders. He also highlights some smart ideas, which might be useful on our curtainsiders here in Australia.
One of the first impressions any Australian trucking person would get is just how flimsy these trailers are. The curtains are hardly any form of load restraint and gates are unheard of in Europe. The driver who wants to be responsible and avoid those dreaded bulging curtains needs to make sure the load is secure without the curtains, before closing them.
Fortunately, many palletised loads are strongly shrink-wrapped or use self-supporting palletised systems and need little load restraint. However, if extra security is needed, different strap systems are often fitted in trucks, as is in evidence in one of the trailers examined in this video. Strapping systems are most effective when the strap is connected to the middle of the trailer roof and when tightened will put inwards pressure on the load.
As is the case in Australia, there are a large number of different post designs. Some are better than others and are suited to different shapes and sizes of loads. We see a few examples here.
The wooden floors and their bad condition would be a bit of a shock to many in Australia. There would be many a fork lift driver who would refuse to enter the rear of some of these trailers. The various patches and repairs would ring alarm bells at many loading facilities.
The use of plastic buckles would also ring alarm bells. It does not take much time for them to become worn and liable to undo themselves at 100 km/h. Europe also has myriad different buckle designs used on different trailers and drivers have to learn the different characteristics and problems with each of them.
The concept of the post-less curtainsider is a very attractive one, but Stavros outlines the problems comprehensively in this video. Yes they are easy to load, but once you know what to look for you can spot them out on the highway. They don’t have to be very old before they start to sag in the middle as the curtains pull the roof down.
As to the rest of the video, involving smashing eggs etc, Stavros seeks to entertain while getting though with some information.
Looking at the problems with European curtainsiders, should make Australians a little less likely to complain about shifting gates and trying to keep within the complex load restraint rules.