In another world first, Don-Bur has developed a 4m high Teardrop™ trailer to suit UK and European bridge regulations without compromising on load space. The distinctive shape tri-axle box van trailer was launched in Southampton for a DHL contract running between the Netherlands and Germany and is set to save a minimum of 10% in fuel and CO2 emissions.
Previous Teardrop™ incarnations varied between 4.2m and 4.6m in overall height at the top of the Teardrop™ curve which increased load space by 10%; however, the additional height in comparison to a UK standard of 4.2m could be restrictive to some UK operators and is unsuited to a European operation where a 4m overall height is a legal requirement.
The challenge for Don-Bur was to keep the overall height critically below 4m and provide a generous rear aperture, without encroaching into load space and without flattening the roof. The Teardrop™ "Euro" does just that.
By using 215/75 R17.5 twin tyres, the rear deck height is reduced to 790mm, providing ample opportunity to create a 2.240m high rear shutter aperture and maintain an aerodynamically efficient low overall height at the rear. One may be forgiven for thinking that a 790mm rear floor height could be problematic; however, "Super" high lift suspension has been fitted which gives 245mm extra height: suitable for existing dock heights.
In addition, Don-Bur has fitted a pneumatically operated shutter. When raised, standard spring-driven shutters tend to have a small amount of the bottom lath showing beneath the top rear header; however, the Teardrop™ "Euro" shutter retracts completely into the roof space, offering unhindered access.
The increase in floor angle is minimal, with a variance from 0.25° for a standard trailer to 2° on the Teardrop™ "Euro"; certainly not enough to provide any issues with load restraint.
The resultant internal capacity of the Teardrop™ "Euro" is virtually identical to a standard European specified trailer at just over 96 cubic metres.
A standard 4.5m high Teardrop™ trailer has a significant reduction in CD value (Coefficient of Drag); however, this has historically been offset slightly by the increase in height (in comparison to a 4.2m high trailer) of circa 300mm. Although the resultant fuel saving is now accepted to be 10% on average even with a height increase, the new Teardrop™ "Euro" doesn't have the same height problems which means that the aerodynamic efficiency achieved will translate directly to fuel saving and it is likely to save in excess of 10% in fuel.
Paul Eden-Smith, Senior VP Consumer, Retail & Fashion Sector, EMEA, DHL Supply Chain, comments: “As businesses come under increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions new innovation is key to driving positive environmental change. This is the first trailer of its kind in mainland Europe, which we expect will provide a 10% reduction in fuel usage and save up to 25 tonnes of CO2 during the first year of operation.
“Our latest collaboration with DON-BUR is an important step forward and will help to ensure further innovation in aerodynamic truck design remains high on the European supply chain agenda.”
Trials will continue to determine its true potential.
- 76mm "Mega" Neck
- Engineered for European fifth wheel height of 1150mm
- New lightweight 7.5mm thick “Blade” Panels (giving 2484mm internal width between panels)
- Side skirts designed for wedge chassis
- Minimum internal height of 2279mm (under shutter)
- Maximum internal height of 2883mm (top centre)
- Large radius corner cappings
- Trademark Teardrop™ forward-swept front bulkhead
- “Invisofix” panel fixings
Published: Thu 14 Jan 2010
Updated: Tue 09 Jan 2024
Author: Richard Owens
Published by: Don-Bur