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Bolk Transport

"It steers sharply and precisely.."

Bolk purchased the SL-AIR semi-trailers as they offer a low load bed and high axle loads, whilst they are relatively simple semi-trailers that manoeuvre like a semi-trailer with hydraulic steering.

The Client

Bolk Transport, in Almelo, now has 7 SL-AIR semi-trailers in its fleet. The semi-trailers are deployed non-stop for the transport of a variety of heavy loads. Bolk Transport, with more than 175 tractor units and 400 trailers, is a renowned name in the special transport sector.
Bolk purchased the SL-AIR semi-trailers as they offer a low load bed and high axle loads, whilst they are relatively simple semi-trailers that manoeuvre like a semi-trailer with hydraulic steering.


The Challenge

Today's challenge is a 45 tonne shredder with dimensions of 10,200 mm x 3,000 mm x 3,200 mm. This offers a great opportunity to really test the SL-AIR. On arrival in Gent, the driver begins by attaching the aluminium ramps to the rear of the semi-trailer, so that the shredder can be driven onto the semi-trailer. The driver uses the remote control to drive the shredder onto the semi-trailer. “Pity about the paint,” is the first thing I hear. “However, now you can see that the semi-trailer is spray galvanized,” the driver says with a laugh.

The Solution

The driver secures the load and then leaves with the SL-AIR carrying the shredder en route to his first destination. Before we leave, I ask the driver whether he shouldn't check the height before we drive onto the roads. “I've adjusted the height of the semi-trailer to 82 cm, so the total height of the transport is 4,020 mm. I will be able to go under every viaduct on our route. Moreover, if I need more clearance I can lower the semi-trailer further to just 790 mm.” The second major benefit of the SL-AIR becomes apparent as soon as the tractor unit and semi-trailer turn out of the yard. The driver does not need to swing out to clear the corner. “It took a little getting used to on the way here … you begin by thinking that you are driving a self-tracking axle semi-trailer, but it steers like a hydraulically steered semi-trailer. It steers sharply and precisely, so you can go into a corner without needing to turn wide.”

The Benefits

During our trip, I see that the driver is sitting very comfortably behind the wheel. The tractor unit and semi-trailer take roundabouts and sharp corners with ease. When we arrive at our destination the new owner is waiting to greet us. The owner looks a bit startled, and when we get out of the cabin we find out why. The owner thinks that the machine is smaller than the machine he had ordered, as the earlier shredder was delivered on a 6-axle semi-low loader. After we explain, the owner laughs and realizes he has received the machine he ordered. Once the shredder has been unloaded we set off straight away for the next address. This semi-trailer offers another major benefit – you never need to go home empty! It's always possible to find a return consignment.