May 30 - Having worked with trailer manufacturer Goldhofer to develop a new range of widening trailers that can be mechanically widened from their basic 3 m width, ALE has now introduced the units into the UK.

ALE originally launched widening trailers in Australia in 2014 and then added similar units to the company's fleet in South Africa.

The specialist transport engineering company has now bought 50 axle lines of these trailers, which will be utilised for road transportation projects across the UK.

The company explained that one of the main features of the widening trailers is the lower imposed ground pressure achieved with an axle beam that is 30 percent longer and an axle spacing that is 10 percent greater than the industry standard.

The trailers introduced in the UK can be widened to 4.3 m, enabling the weight to be more widely spread and the load to be distributed more effectively.

ALE's global managing director, Mark Harries explained that a lack of investment in the UK's road transport infrastructure over recent years has reduced the number of permissible routes that an abnormal load can take.

He suggests that with an overall lower imposed ground pressure, these trailers are more inclined to achieve route clearance from the relevant authorities in comparison to other trailers, which could reopen routes that have been off the cards of late.

This would mean that shorter, more direct routes could be taken and more route options would be available for the new widening trailers, resulting in less time being spent on public roads, reducing congestion and disruption. 

The trailers are expected to be recognised as a more favourable solution for bridge owners and local authorities as the wider distribution of axle weight and gross load over the structure will result in less stress on the bridge and bearings.

By mitigating these issues, the widening trailers help to reduce wear and tear and should result in lower maintenance costs for bridge owners and local authorities.

As they can be widened whilst loaded they will also reduce the need to remove street furniture, said ALE.

"We wanted to update our existing fleet of trailers in the UK and took the opportunity to capture additional benefits. There was nothing on the market; we approached Goldhofer with a technical solution for a trailer that could be widened whilst loaded and they created an innovative solution that matched our requirements," said Darren Adams, director - UK.

"These new trailers can deliver on routes that others simply cannot, with increased efficiency and speed to get to site. These will prove a favourable alternative not only for the authorities with reduced maintenance costs and congestion on public roads, but for the clients as well, as less time is spent on finding alternative routes, meaning reduced engineering costs and less time spent on structural assessments.

"These trailers improve our routing database and offer a more time and cost effective solution overall for everyone involved in road transportation."