Wheelbase Engineering Ltd

Tesco drawbar combinations ideally suited to ‘Metro’ and ‘Express’ little and often store deliveries.

Tesco multi task combination.
Tesco extending towing beam.
Tesco multi task combination.

Tesco distribution has taken the initiative step of introducing Wheelbase Engineering Ltd designed refrigerated drawbar combinations for deliveries to their ‘Metro’ and ‘Express’ stores.  The combinations are based around a Mercedes Antos 2540L 6x2 prime mover fitted with a Solomon Commercials Ltd body and coupled to a Wheelbase Engineering Ltd drawbar trailer fitted with a second refrigerated body.  The geometry and operating features, including the truck towing package and drawbar trailers were designed by Wheelbase Engineering Ltd to meet a very specific operating criteria requested by Tesco and required close co-operation with both Mercedes Benz UK Ltd and Solomon Commercials Ltd.

We’re all familiar with our local Tesco ‘Metro’ or ‘Express’ store, but for most how the products that we buy arrive on the shelves is of little interest, however for the distribution arm of Tesco getting the goods to store can be problematic for numerous reasons, not least being the stem mileage to these small stores and access problems at sites that are often located on busy high streets or in residential areas not ideally suited to receiving deliveries made using conventional high volume vehicles.

The beauty of the drawbar combination is that it can be broken down into smaller deliveries and is frequently easier to manoeuvre in confined spaces, yet it will provide more volume that the ever popular 13600mm semi-trailer.

In the case of the Tesco rig the bodies have been designed to carry the optimum number of roll cages, whilst maintaining overall prime mover dimensions that have proved themselves to be ideal in the past when making similar deliveries with conventional rigid vehicles.  The bonus is provided by the drawbar trailer, as previously to deliver this load would have necessitated the use of a second vehicle complete with driver and all of the associated costs.

What makes this drawbar combination different from any other?  There are many answers to this question, but put quite simply it offers the operator a level of flexibility not normally achieved.

In addition to maximising capacity and vehicle manoeuvrability, by providing a load through facility where the prime mover tail lift doubles as the bridge plate it can be loaded or unloaded as one unit, the trailer can be used for deliveries which are transhipped thought into the prime mover or for single store deliveries.  As most deliveries into residential areas are restricted at night, given the load through facility it would also be possible to utilise the drawbar rig for night time deliveries to out of town locations requiring high volumes of goods in one delivery.

To achieve the desire end result has necessitated the introduction of an extending towing frame on the trailer which allows the inter-body gap to be increased when through loading is required, as without this the truck tail lift could not be deployed to act as the bridge plate.  As you might expect the special requirements don’t stop there, but suffice to say the devil is in the detail!

8th March 2016, 11:58
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Page updated 17th Aug 2017, 08:30
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Off Lower Eccleshill Road
Tel: 01254 819399 | Fax: 01254 776920 | Email: info@wheelbase.net
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