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Transdek, the leading manufacturer of specialist loading equipment for double deck trailers, recently fitted a modular loadhouse and goods transit lobby at A.F. Blakemore’s Tipton distribution centre. The installation provides additional storage space at the site as well as increasing the speed and safety of loading A.F. Blakemore’s fleet of double deck trailers.

A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, the largest UK wholesaler to the convenience retail chain SPAR, with a turnover in excess of £1 billion, contracted Transdek to design and install a modular warehouse extension and loading pod for its 84,000 sq ft Tipton DC. The contract followed Transdek’s previous work in supplying double deck lifts to two other A.F. Blakemore distribution hubs.

The entire installation, including transit lobby, 18-cage double deck lift pod and vehicle impact barriers, was completed in four days. It provides A.F. Blakemore with the means to load and unload double deck trailers in as little as 45 minutes, as well as giving over 800 sq ft of extra storage space at the DC.

Transdek designed a bespoke V2G (vehicle-to-ground) double deck lift for the flat-floor site, with a stretched lift platform suited to carrying 18 of SPAR’s 810mm by 720mm roll cages. The lift pod was angled at 90 degrees to the transit lobby to accommodate vehicle access constraints posed by the tight yard.

Stewart Constable, General Manager at A.F. Blakemore, says, “Transdek’s loading solution has enabled us to shave around 90 minutes off the turnaround of our double deck trailers, which has boosted our site efficiency and means we can service more vehicles each day.

“Not only that, their V2G pod is fitted with a large number of safety features that give our loaders the best possible level of protection while they work.”

Based on Transdek’s award-winning modular V2G lift design, the lift was prebuilt in to a reinforced steel superstructure prior to delivery. The completed plug-and-play V2G ‘loadhouse’ was then craned into position and secured directly on to the yard slab.

The modular transit lobby, measuring 15 x 5 metres, was engineered and built at Transdek’s South Yorkshire factory, then delivered onsite in modular, bolt-together sections. The entire structure was secured to the yard in front of an existing warehouse doorway, and then dovetailed with the DC front to provide a clad, weather-proof continuum from the main building to the yard and lift.

An additional three doorways were designed in to the transit lobby, with one of these allocated for extra delivery capacity. The other two three-metre wide doorways, which are both fitted with roller shutter doors, maintain a through-flow for forklift trucks moving products and empty cages between the yard, main warehouse and battery charge area.

Adjustable legs were included in the building’s uprights to accommodate fluctuations in the yard surface, speeding up the installation process.

Stewart continues,

“Overall, we’re very happy with how Transdek managed the whole project from design through to finished onsite build. The whole operation was very professional and slick, and the finished products have exceeded our expectations.”

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