Bridging gap to an eco friendly truck

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Designers behind an invention that could cut the number of lorries on the road by a quarter have teamed up with Sheffield firm Tinsley Bridge to turn their ideas into reality.

Scunthorpe-based SOMI – the initials stand for Same Outside, More Inside – has developed patented technology to carry additional loads in the space between a trailer’s front and rear wheels, which is wasted by conventional designs.

SOMI says its innovation can increase the trailers’ capacity by more than 30 per cent without changing its physical dimensions – and the lorries can use conventional loading bays.

The key to the SOMI trailer is a platform in the middle of the trailer that can be lowered into the space between the wheels, allowing more goods to be stacked on top

SOMI’s design has already won the Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Challenge and now SOMI has forged a development partnership with Tinsley Bridge. The Scunthorpe company chose Shepcote Lane-based Tinsley Bridge because of its long standing involvement in the transport industry.

Its role will be to turn SOMI’s patented designs into functioning equipment that can be installed in a skeleton trailer, develop a manufacturing route and, in the long run, start making the trailers for SOMI.

Trailers developed by Tinsley Bridge from SOMI’s designs are to be unveiled at the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution Exhibition, which will take place in Peterborough in September.

Tinsley Bridge was the first company to develop parabolic leaf springs which form part of more than 80 per cent of truck suspensions in Europe.

The firm has been at the forefront of stabiliser bar and leaf spring technology for more than 75 years.