Emergency services assess U-tail possibilities
WE’RE big fans of Roadload’s U-tail here at Business Van Manager.
We first saw it at the CV Operators’ Show – see our CVO Show report – and were impressed by its versatility and functionality.
Now it’s been the turn of the National Association of Police Fleet Managers at their Peterborough show (7-8 September).
Makers Roadload says the Association was particularly interested in the vehicle’s ability to lower its payload to ground level and demount it completely from the chassis in less than a minute. It can then return to base and pick up a different unit for delivery to the same or another site. So one vehicle can multi-task, vastly increasing its efficiency of use.
Roadload says emergency services have to use different types of vehicles, including trailers, to deploy support units to crime scenes, flood, fire and other emergencies. Many of them require an Operator’s licence, tachograph and a specially trained driver, whereas the Roadload U-tail 3.5t model requires none of these, the makers say. It can be driven on an ordinary van licence thus reducing costs and removing driver restrictions.
The Roadload U-tail is built on a Peugeot Boxer 3.5t GVW front-wheel drive cab. The U-tail chassis is ‘U’ shaped with the wheels, suspension and lifting gear built into its sides, leaving a clear space between for loads to be picked up and lowered down to ground, all within the footprint of the vehicle.
Air suspension allows a smooth ride while providing firm support for cornering. For pick-up, a driver simply reverses the U-tail around a load, which can be a flatbed or a box and operates a remote control to raise or lower it.