Wincanton is trialling four low-level access tankers that is says will improve driver safety, and boost both its environmental credentials and vehicle utilisation.

The “game changer” side manway design, which has been developed with manufacturer Feldbinder, provides side access to the silo tanker.

Wincanton said the design combines the benefits of both tipping and silo tanks by reducing the potential dangers, while also offering around a 5% payload benefit compared to tipping tanks.

Dave Rowlands, Wincanton’s technical director, said: “The height of a silo tanker is about four metres, meaning traditional access from ground level via a ladder and catwalk carries a significant risk of falling in wet, windy and icy conditions.

“This new design means an operator can enter the silo tanker via the side access point. Although this is still classed as entry into a confined space, it has significant reduced risk-potential due to it being near ground level access because it is easier for operatives to raise an alarm or call a colleague.”

Chris Kingshott, Wincanton’s MD for manufacturing, added: “As well as improving safety standards, this new design tank provides the flexibility to carry out a full cleaning regime between loads which will ultimately improve vehicle utilisation and have a substantial environmental benefit.”

The new design tankers will also allow Wincanton to use silo tankers in operations traditionally requiring tipping tankers.