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The world of walking floor trailers

Malcolm Wilde

At Gregory Group we have many different pieces of equipment that make the jobs our team carry out that little bit easier. Our walking floor trailers are a perfect example of this. The trailer does exactly what it says on the tin; the floor “walks” which means the contents of the trailer get pushed out.

Malcolm Wilde, our Director of Gregory Group Scotland, recently ventured out with one of our walking floor drivers. He tells us more about how the trailers are used and the skills of the drivers who use them.

Tell us about your day…
“The Gregory Group management board are committed to spending time at the sharp end of the business. I recently chose to spend the day with one of our walking floor drivers who supports our Renewi Waste Management contract on behalf of Cumbria Council. We transport household black bag waste after it has been through the Mechanical, Biological Treatment (MBT) plants, which separate household waste into component parts.

Walking floor trailer

I started at our Ecclefechan site where Billy Graham, the Depot Manager, provided me with all the necessary PPE and details for the day ahead. He then introduced me to Gav Marsden who had already completed his first load of the day before swinging into Ecclefechan for fuel and an additional passenger!

We set off for Hespin Wood near Carlisle. Hespin is one of the MBT plants that Renewi operate on behalf of the local authority. Our first task was to board the weighbridge to obtain the net weight of the vehicle (and its occupants). While I completed the site induction, Gav collected his trailer which was full of recycled glass and stone. After weighing out at a very healthy 43,870kg we set off for Agri-Organics in Silloth on the Cumbria coast. Agri Organics complete the recycling process by processing the products further. They might turn into recycled aggregates, go back into the manufacturing cycle, or be used to top off landfill sites.”

What impressed you most?
Walking floor trailer at work“Without question, it was the professional manner in which our team went about their business and the knowledge they have of the products they are carrying and equipment they use. For example, while there is onboard weighing equipment and fully calibrated weighbridges, it was Gav’s knowledge of how much material can be loaded without going overweight that added the greatest value. While no vehicle is permitted to leave the site if they are overloaded, it is a waste of time if they have to continually return to the loading area to take material off to bring the truck under the 44-tonne permitted gross weight. Gav took factors such as how much fuel is onboard and the different types of trailer into consideration. His expertise meant he got his calculations spot on coming in 0.3% under the maximum weight!”

As someone who has previous driven trucks, what were the notable changes since you drove?
“I still hold a Class 1 licence, but it is a long time since I drove on the road. The amount of tech in the vehicle was the biggest change. It was interesting to hear how our drivers interact with the technology, what they like and what they don’t like. On the latter, it was useful to be able to provide some insight into the decision-making process and share the wider picture. In many instances, the tech we use has to support multiple operations so it’s about finding the right balance for the entire business.”

Did you take any other useful insights back to the office with you?
“I have always been an advocate of employee forums which get members of our team together to discuss issues, concerns, and ideas. Everyone needs a voice and when many of our team are out on the road, we have to make a concerted effort to provide a comfortable environment to listen and discuss matters that affect them. The drivers I spoke to really valued these forums, so it was great to hear they are working effectively.

Overall, I found the day very refreshing. Taking a moment away from my everyday was extremely valuable and I will definitely be returning ‘back to the floor’ in the future.”

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