Westfalia Loading Systems showed a double deck refrigerated trailer a year ago at the IAA in Hanover (see Trailer/Body Builders March 2003, page 73). At the RAI in Amsterdam in October, Westfalia showed its SpeedLoader, a concept that drastically reduces the number of truck trailers required in shuttling loads between plants.
Loading is automatic with the SpeedLoader. The driver doesn't get out of the truck. He presses a button in the cab and an air cylinder raises the overhead door. He presses another button and the belt conveyor in the floor of the trailer pushes the entire load out in 2½ minutes. The palletized load rolls onto a roller conveyor inside the receiving plant. Turnaround time is less than five minutes.
Loading is similar at the shipping plant. The pallets are staged on a roller bed, belt conveyor, or chain conveyor. When the truck arrives, there is no waiting for a forklift. The staged load is pushed onto the belt conveyor in the trailer.
To make docking easy and accurate, raised curbs guide the trailer wheels into precise alignment. Rollers on the rear of the trailer ride up on ramps at the dock to bring the trailer floor up to the warehouse floor level.
Three refrigerated trailers identical to the one exhibited are in constant motion shuttling potato products from the processing plant to a refrigerated warehouse using this system of automatic loading and unloading. Westfalia Logistics Solutions Holland BV, Laan 1954 nr 49, NL-3454 CP de Meern, the Netherlands.