A cost-saving solution to the problem of reliably raising and lowering the intermediate decks of double-decker freight trailers has been developed by UK-based Powervamp Ltd, a long-established specialist in automotive battery jump start packs and a world leader in aviation ground power. The company’s hand-portable Coolspool 29 utilises technology used in Powervamp’s high-performance aircraft ground power units and turbine starting equipment to operate the lifting trailer deck.
Already a leading parcels delivery company has ordered in excess of 100 Coolspool 29 units for use with its double-deck trailer fleet, and another early user is a nationwide furniture retailer, which has recently started introducing double-deck trailers to its fleet. “The Coolspool is showing great promise as a cost-saving exercise and gives us us confidence that we will always be able to raise and lower the floor when necessary,” says their fleet manager.
Double-deck trailers, often at least 15ft (4.55 metres) high, are used widely in UK transport circles, notably for carrying relatively light but bulky cargoes as economically as possible.
Many such trailers have an intermediate deck that lifts and lowers hydraulically. The deck is lowered to allow goods to be loaded from the back or sides at floor level; then raised to allow more goods to be loaded underneath.
Typically, power for the lifting-deck hydraulics is provided either by the motive vehicle, or from a slave battery on the trailer itself. However, both arrangements have led to problems for some operators.
If power is provided by the motive unit, the floor cannot be raised and lowered unless the unit is in place; yet trailers are often dropped off at loading bays and left without a motive vehicle for extended periods. Having a slave battery on the trailer itself can alleviate this problem, but sometimes such batteries are merely trickle-charged from the motive vehicle in transit, and may not have the reserves to raise and lower the floor reliably when required.
Some operators have tackled the problem by fitting mains-powered electrical transformers permanently at the loading dock, but this can be an inflexible solution. Unless a transformer is provided at every loading bay, a bay with a transformer may not always be free when a double-deck trailer arrives. Fitting a transformer at each bay can be prohibitively expensive.
Powervamp’s Coolspool 29 solves the problem. A number of these self-contained 28V DC battery packs are kept on hand at locations regularly visited by lifting-deck trailers. When the elevating floor needs to be operated, a Coolspool is simply carried to the trailer and plugged into its electrical system. Its high power (28V DC and 2,400 amps), advanced sealed battery technology ensures that it can lift even a fully-loaded upper trailer deck repeatedly on a single charge.
Because the Coolspool is only needed for relatively short periods, there is no need to have one Coolspool unit for every loading bay; cost can be saved by sharing one unit among several bays.
According to early users, the Powervamp units appeal because of their portability and compact size (13in high, 16in wide and 5in deep).
The Coolspool is simply charged from a standard 13-amp 240V AC electrical mains supply, and can never be over-charged, so in between uses it can be re-connected to the mains supply, keeping it in peak condition.
Unlike conventional lead acid batteries, the AGM, (absorbed glass matt), dry-cell batteries in the Coolspool are designed to withstand repeated discharge and re-charging without any detrimental effect on their performance, and can even be re-charged when partially discharged without any problematic “memory effect”. Once fully charged the batteries can be stored for over 12 months without being re-charged.
The Coolspool 29 is part of a wide range of Powervamp equipment that is usually supplied to airport and aircraft operators. It can run the electrics and avionics of small jet aircraft and helicopters while they are on the stand, and can also start their turbines. Its use in such a demanding high-tech environment means it has to perform reliably and repeatedly whenever called upon.
Powervamp also has a long-standing pedigree in the automotive world. It has supplied battery jump starter packs to the UK’s largest breakdown organisations, commercial truck and bus operators, as well as the emergency services and large automotive auction houses, to name but a few.
To Learn more about the Coolspool 29 power supply, or to discuss your lifting trailer deck requirements, please call 01934 643000 and speak to our sales team.