Heavy lifting in tight spaces
12 March 2019
Briggs Equipment has provided the Bradshaw PT2000 articulated trailer mover to create efficiencies at parcel specialist Hermes.
The PT2000 articulated trailer mover is a fully electric pedestrian controlled vehicle, specifically designed for moving articulated lorry trailers up to 20 tonnes in both manufacturing and distribution applications. The PT2000 has exceptional manoeuvrability, making it easy to operate and move trailers in and out of tight spaces.
The PT2000 provides a number of benefits to logistical operations. The key financial benefits include removing the cost of tractor units as well removing the increasing cost of labour with three drivers to cover a 24 hour shift. The estimated cost saving on using the PT2000 over traditional methods is up to 85%.
Working together to find a solution
As well as offering a vast range of equipment for materials handling, Briggs Equipment can also work in conjunction with manufacturers and the customer to develop a product that perfectly fits the customer’s needs.
Since trialling one of the PT2000 machines at their site in Peterborough, Hermes have ordered an additional 14 machines from supplier Briggs Equipment. The machine has been developed in conjunction with Bradshaws and Hermes in response to Hermes requirements for a solution that did not rely on a driver being available to move the trailers. As Hermes are a 24 hour operation with 26 sites, the associated costs with ensuring a driver was always readily available meant hiring three drivers to cover each shift in a 24 hour period.
The impact of not having the ability to move trailers around the yard meant additional pressure on the nightshift to get customer’s parcels out in a timely manner which is particularly important as part of the service offered by Hermes is offering customers timed deliveries.
Terry Dunne, Fleet Maintenance and Compliance Manager (North), had a vision for finding a solution to this problem. He says, “I first had the idea when I saw the trailer manufacturer using them, given the challenges that we have within our depots it seemed like an ideal solution however there was clearly some work to be done to get that trailer mover up to specification for it to be suitable for our operation.”
The machine was trialled at the site in Peterborough, and adaptations were made during that period to ensure optimised suitability for the operation. During the trial an extra capacity lift was incorporated, an air compressor for the brakes, the magnetic camera attachments, spotlights to aid the operator when connecting towards the pinion of the trailer, and beacon and hazard lights for increased visibility.
The machine also withstood extreme weather conditions and enabled continuity of operation. Terry explained, “The machine in Peterborough was working perfectly, I had my concerns when the ‘Beast from the East’ came in February, however I was in contact with the site daily and it never slipped, it never slid, it never failed. Everything about it carried on as normal. No problem with the electrics, no problem with braking or traction it just absolutely dealt with the ground conditions and the cold and we had no problem at all.”
A full service solution
Briggs Equipment purchased the machines from Bradshaws, and Hermes lease the machines on a long term hire basis. As well as providing flexible leasing and financing, Briggs 600 strong team of engineers are able to service and maintain the machines. Terry described the ease of the relationship with Briggs, “It makes perfect sense for us to have that one point of contact, because our depots run 24/7 and we have different supervisors rotating across each shift, having that one number to call for support on any piece of equipment we have on site is the ideal solution for us rather than having to flick through manuals to find numerous different suppliers. Briggs will also be topping up the batteries on the machines which takes a lot of work out of the depots and removes any health and safety risk, so that is another big win for us.”
Improved service for Hermes’ customers
“The trailer mover gives us a better opportunity to meet the targets for customer deliveries and it helps to take the pressure off the depots further down the chain. Hermes customers are getting a better service as we are able to move the parcels efficiently and on time every time,” explained Terry.
- Trailer coupling is a quick and simple process and enables control of all trailer electrics and air brakes.
- Magnetic twin cameras can be mounted on the trailer to aid manoeuvrability and the HD image is shown through the colour monitor.
- When in motion, the trailer can be controlled very easily without strain to the operator. The tiller head features an ergonomic grip complete with additional safety features such as hazard light controls, a sounding horn and air brake.
- The trailer mover features a built in air compressor system to operate trailer brakes. Located on the tiller head is an emergency dump switch which stops the trailer immediately if any risk presents itself.
- The trailer mover connects with the trailers electrical system to enable synergy between the units for brake and hazard lighting.
- Reversal into a loading bay is accurate utilising the magnetic cameras and display on the tiller head. The operation can now continue to be productive.
- Silent operation enables moves to be carried out during the night in locations where it otherwise would not previously been possible, for example, residential areas.