Gist has added the first 44 pallet refrigerated double-deckers to its fleet, increasing its pallet-carrying capacity by 10%.

The 20 temperature-controlled trailers, supplied by Gist’s long-term trailer manufacturer Gray & Adams, are tailored for deliveries of chilled foods, dairy products and cut flowers to retailers across the UK and the Continent. They have been introduced to some of its high volume routes where more capacity is needed.

The operator chose the increased-capacity trailers after it scrapped its plans to build longer semi-trailers, concerned with the safety risks associated with longer vehicles. It also noted that the longer semi-trailers swung to the left more when turning right.

Commenting on the increased capacity, Gist engineering director Sam de Beaux told MT: “In theory you have less trips to make, less vehicles on the road, which is better for the environment.”

“What is key for loading double-deck trailers is safety, because it’s high. We put the heavier stuff on the bottom and lighter stuff on the top.”

The extra capacity comes as a result of slimmed-down decks inside, which gives the firm the ability to increase loads by four pallets per trailer. The order also includes some trailers fitted with retractable Dhollandia 1,500kg tail-lifts, which are able to access both the lower and upper decks.

Gist ordered the industry’s first refrigerated 40 pallet double-deck trailer from Gray & Adams in 1997, which also builds insulated bodies for the firm’s rigid trucks.

This latest order takes Gist’s total number of trailers ordered from the manufacturer this year to 30. It also ordered a number of single-temperature 8.2m and 6m insulated boxes to be fitted to its 18-tonne Daf vehicles earlier this year.

Martin Gwynn, chief executive at Gist, said: “We are always looking at innovative ways to improve productivity and minimise costs and environmental impact. The recent expansion of our UK and European network has resulted in adding these trailers to our temperature-controlled fleet.”