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Don-Bur Manufacture 3,000th Teardrop For Debenhams


Debenhams have acquired 37 Teardrop trailers, which could reduce their fuel consumption by up to 7%, giving them payback on their investment in under two years.  CO2 emissions are calculated to drop by approximately 10%.

The new 13.6m long aerodynamic trailers have an overall height of just 4.2m (13’9” ½) but still retain a similar internal cubic capacity to that of their standard, flat-roofed counterparts.  Mike Hyde, Logistics General Manager for Debenhams presented a demanding specification. “Although we were keen to improve our aerodynamic efficiency, it was critical that we didn’t have to re-route our operation to cater for high trailers or sacrifice internal capacity.”

Rear aperture height was also a challenge.  Richard Owens, Marketing Manager for Don-Bur comments “The Teardrop ideal has a low roof height at the back.  Limiting overall height to 4.2m would normally have reduced the rear aperture, but by tapering the chassis, we’ve managed to create a 2.2m high opening.”

The streamlined tandem axle box van trailers are plated at 36T GVW and will operate from DC-to-DC and DC-to-store carrying high quality department goods.  To unload at store, they have been specified with a 1500kgs tuckaway tail-lift which incorporates side safety gates.

“The new vehicles have bedded in very quickly and all the new trailers are in place and operational,” says Hyde. “We measure fuel consumption weekly and review quarterly. It’s very early days but the figures do suggest an initial improvement in fuel economy and I expect the Teardrop design to feature in future trailer replacement programmes. ”

Number 31 of the batch of 37 was the 3,000th Teardrop designed and manufactured by Don-Bur since the iconic shape was launched in 2007.  It is calculated that, for the 158 companies that now operate Teardrops, they cumulatively account for over half a billion miles travelled.  At an average fuel saving of 11.3%, this equates to a combined diesel saving of £28.5 million and a CO2 reduction of 68,000 tonnes of CO2†.

- Ends –


 † Figures based on 80,000 miles per annum.  One billion defined as one thousand million.


















11.3% fuel saving quoted as an average of all independent operational fuel trials for box van Teardrop trailers in comparison to similarly specified trailers without a Teardrop roof design (see link to case studies below).


Calculation based on standard trailers running at 10mpg and equally specified Teardrop trailers travelling at 11.13mpg.  Total litreage saved over cumulative mileage total is 25,920,811 ltrs.  Costs based on average bulk diesel cost of 110 pence per litre.  CO2 conversion based on 2.63kgs produced per litre.  Actual cost saving is £28,512,892.21.  Actual CO2 reduction is 68,171 tonnes.


Notes to Editors

Media Contacts:

Don-Bur | Richard Owens | +44(0)7539 062 695 |

Debenhams | Mike Hyde |


Debenhams Logistics

Debenhams’ UK and Ireland logistics fleet is operated by DHL. Working together, they aim to drive down emissions and improve our economic and eco-efficiency.

An important element of Debenhams’ transport strategy is to reduce mileage. They are achieving this through better planning and improvements to their fleet. For instance, they have purchased double deck and super cube trailers that enable them to carry more stock,which in turn reduces the number of deliveries and miles.

Published: Wed 01 May 2013

Updated: Thu 11 Apr 2024

Author: Richard Owens

Published by: Don-Bur

Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd

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