Regulations often have an interesting effect. They trigger innovation as they prompt companies to develop new products. For instance, Lambrecht Trailers, for instance, developed a brand-new trailer for dry bulk cargo to comply with the latest legislation.
Compartmentalized bulk trucks compliant with the requirements of the international ADR regulations were not being manufactured in Belgium as yet. The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road determines how trucks should be equipped.
Collaboration between R&D and authorities
Kortemark-based Lambrecht Trailers worked closely with the regulatory authorities in order to build a trailer to the ADR standards.
“Our R&D department and the authorities met regularly to discuss matters,” says CEO of Lambrecht Trailers, Luc Lambrecht. “The first challenge was to translate the texts into a clear specification. We kept consulting each other as well while the trailer was being built. The first Belgian ADR trailer is therefore the product of an intensive collaboration between Lambrecht and the competent international authorities.”
Safer and more robust
What distinguishes ADR bulk transport from ordinary transport? These are the main differences compared with an ordinary trailer for animal feed:
- Plate thicknesses may be up to 30% greater, and the frame is a more robust structure.
- Overroll bars are fitted above the tank as added protection, ensuring that lids and accessories won’t come in contact with the environment should the trailer tip over or be involved in an accident.
- Valves or other accessories may not protrude from the vehicle’s perimeter protection.
- Stringent welding procedures are implemented during the building stage, ans various checks are imposed by external inspection bodies.
- The manhole must be at least 500 mm.
- Covers must be hermetically sealed.
- The rear bumper has to be placed further back to ensure that the tank is not impacted should a collision occur.
- Electric lines must be insulated to prevent the occurrence of sparks.
- Orange signs and hazard labels must be affixed to each compartment.
An innovative format
Francis Verhelst, technical director at Lambrecht Trailers, sees this achievement as proof that an SME is also capable of innovating when it comes to format: “We may not be the biggest, but many customers have hailed us as the most customer-focused and flexible trailer builder. We have worked on countless calculations and drawings, all of which had to be approved by an external technical service. It was a challenge.”
The first Belgian ADR trailer was built for the carrier International Thuysbaert which specialises in the transport of cattle feed grains.