A-Service |
asbreuk service automatisering inbound

AUTOMATED SHUTTLE TRANSPORT FOR LORRIES | Systems on the market and how they are used

Once you have read this knowledge document, you will have gained an insight into all automated loading and unloading systems for trailers that are available on the market.

Many different systems are available on the market for automated shuttle transport. The first systems were introduced into the market some 40 years ago. Which is the most suitable system for which situation? That depends on the type of product, the desirability of making modifications to trailers, the product’s weight and the distance between the various docks. Whichever system you use for automated shuttle transport, modifications will always have to be made to the dock and usually to the lorries as well.

The existing systems are used primarily in automated shuttle transport, or in other words for transportation between fixed locations that are not all too far apart. Shuttle transport is usually done between production and storage sites.

The different systems on the market

Chain-based system

Chain-based systems are used to automatically load and unload palletised cargo. A chain-based system can be incorporated in two ways. As a cassette on top of an existing trailer floor, or integrated in the chassis. The latter gives a minimum loss of height.

In many cases, pneumatic lift functionality is installed under the chains. This is activated when loading and unloading. This function is inactive during transport, when the chain in the floor is lowered and the cargo stands stably on the floor. The drive mechanism is placed in front of the front wall of the trailer or under the chassis.

The chain-based system is by far the cheapest of all systems, if you compare the system’s capacity with the required investment.

Product carriers:  pallets
Suitable up to:  32 tons
Total loading and unloading time:  5 minutes
Advantages:  robust, little maintenance, very short unloading time, relatively cheap
Disadvantages:  demands a significant modification to the trailer
Select this solution for:  automated shuttle transport with less than 100 km between both locations

Slat-based system

The slat-based system is similar to the chain-based system, except that it has aluminium slats installed between the chains. This gives a flat loading floor offering flexibility for the cargo that is to be loaded and unloaded. A slat-based system is constructed on the existing floor and the drive mechanism is installed on the front wall of the trailer.

Product carriers:  pallets, drums, dollies, rolling pallets, bags, paper reels, tyres etc.
Suitable up to:  32 tons
Total loading and unloading time:  5 minutes
Advantages:  flexibility in transferring products, very short unloading time
Disadvantages:  compared with the chain-based system, slightly higher maintenance costs
Best solution for:  automated shuttle transport with less than 100 km between both locations

Skate system

Long extendible skates are incorporated in the dock. Cut-outs are made in the trailer’s floor, the skates push the cargo into the trailer from the dock, the skates drop into the channels and are gradually retracted and the cargo is left standing stably.

Product carriers:  primarily pallets
Suitable up to:  25 tons
Total loading and unloading time:  10 minutes
Advantages:  less modifications required to the trailer than with chain-based and slat systems: cheaper
Disadvantages:  the system on the dock is more expensive, the trailer must be positioned accurately, otherwise damage may be caused.
Best solution for:  automated shuttle transport with 100 to 300 km between both locations

Loading plate system

With this system, the equipment is also installed on the dock. The cargo is prepared on a loading plate and the plate with cargo in its entirety is positioned automatically in the trailer

The trailer is driven away with the plate, which is then pulled out again together with the load at the unloading location. The loading plate is the same size and the same width as the trailer itself.

Product carriers:  special loading plates
Suitable up to:  20 tons
Total loading and unloading time:  10 minutes
Advantages:  least modification to the trailer
Disadvantages:  always return transport for the empty plates, the trailer must be accurately positioned, otherwise damage could be caused, the most expensive system on the dock.
Best solution for:  automated shuttle transport with 100 to 600 km between both locations

Would you like advice or do you have any questions? Contact us.
We at Asbreuk Service are specialised in chain-based and slat systems for heavy duty automated short distance shuttle transport.

e-mail: maas@a-service.nl
telephone: 00 31 541-521206.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Every update in your mailbox?


>> Our website