Internationally operating feed company De Heus recently purchased a trailer with a VSE steering system. This enables them to reach companies that were previously inaccessible with regular trailers.
De Heus not only want to carry as much feed as possible in one trip, they also want to provide the driver with a tractor-trailer combination that can access hard-to-reach silos so they can be properly replenished. This often involves tight turns around farmyard outbuildings. Frans van de Stroet, transport manager at De Heus, was looking for a well-built trailer that was large yet also lightweight. “We decided the best choice was Belgian trailer builder Lambrecht – no small name in this segment.” Lambrecht has been building trailers with VSE steering for the Belgian and French markets for some time now.
Hard-to-reach silos now also accessible
After an intensive test period in which important issues such as handling characteristics, ease of operation and unloading speed were tested, De Heus soon discovered that the VSE-equipped trailer enabled them to go places they had been unable to reach with smaller bulk trailers. “We made test runs to practically all the tricky delivery addresses, and each time we found we were able to easily reach even the most challenging tight spots with this new trailer,” says Van de Stroet.
Ease of operation
One of the reasons for the success is that the steering system on De Heus’s Lambrecht trailer is equipped with a manual remote control. This allows the driver to manually change the steering angles of the trailer’s two rear axles. “The intuitive way the remote control works makes operation a piece of cake,” says Van de Stroet.
The new trailer is used for the cattle sector, where drivers regularly visit three to five addresses per trip. “Looking at our customers in this sector you see that many are still traditional, small-scale operations. These are often difficult to reach, which can really pose a challenge. We also see a trend towards improved efficiency at these companies: whereas we used to make mostly 16-tonne deliveries, we now typically deliver 32 tonnes.”
Despite the fact that De Heus take excellent care of their vehicles, according to Van de Stroet the success of the logistics operation is largely determined by the driver. “He has to have a feel for it. Drivers need to be able to judge what is and is not possible, and they have to enjoy the work. Our people see making deliveries to hard-to-access locations as a personal challenge. And that’s exactly what we look for in a driver, because then we know the job will be done right.”
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