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Arla combination tanker-reefer trailer

Leeds, Yorkshire, UK; Arla Foods worked with Gray & Adams and Crossland Tankers to develop a bespoke hybrid vehicle: half milk tanker and half refrigerated container. The move, expected to help Arla’s ambitious growth plans, enables the company to collect raw milk and deliver finished products more efficiently.

Gordon Irvine, Arla’s group fleet director, says: “There were occasions when we were sending out a vehicle full of finished product then later sending out an empty milk tanker to collect milk.”

Gray & Adams and Crossland Tankers developed the half milk tanker, half refrigerated container for Arla

“They could both travel the same route, but carry a load in the opposite direction. We aren’t the only company faced with this dilemma but we are the first to deliver a solution and put one of the country’s most innovative trailers on the road.”

The exterior height of the trailer at 4.4m is similar to a standard double-deck trailer, some 30omm taller than a standard refrigerated trailer. It is 12.2m long by 2.6m wide and has low-profile running gear with a lowered step-frame section on the bottom deck to accommodate the milk tank. The trailer can accommodate 85 milk cages or 22 pallets.

The tank is built to operate at 44 tonnes and can hold approximately 19,000 litres. The combination trailer is being trialled at Arla’s transport hub in Stourton, Leeds using a new lightweight Scania tractor.

Arla intends to increase its fleet by 30 combination trailers by the end of 2013 in the UK while Arla’s Sweden and Denmark logistics businesses are also considering the possibility of incorporating combination trailers into their fleets.