Simple is better: growth for the box liner family at Krone
The new universal transport chassis is impressive with its triple extension for all container positions, ease of use and low weight.
ight, but robust and available in many different designs: Box Liners provide a solution to every transport need in the hectic business of container trucking. “Our trailers are used in a number of different ways in the container ports – for quick transfers and short domestic traffic, as well as for long-distance transport,” says Ulrich Josefowitsch. The Krone Product Manager has been dealing with the different requirements of his customers for many years now, and has come across a key point that affects everyone: “Particularly because of slot-based handling, the truckers have to be able to adjust to one or two 20-foot containers, a 40 or 45-foot container, or even a refrigerated container, within a very short space of time.” After all, for both flexible small businesses and large fleet operators, the situation is the same: “The time frame for processing is generally extremely tight. If the chassis isn’t perfectly matched, or, more importantly, isn’t flexible, the entire tour plan can be jeopardised.” Whilst there used to be time to change trailers between two transport jobs, today hauliers depend on rapid and uncomplicated conversion of the hitched chassis.
Ulrich Josefowitsch, an experienced qualified vehicle engineer, sees his role as being a link between customers, sales and design. As such, his goal when expanding the Box Liner range was “to develop exactly the vehicle that our buyers imagined.” With the new SDC 27 eLTU70 container chassis, which has been in series production for a few months now, Krone has managed to achieve such a new design. “In contrast to the 20-foot-only chassis, which has more or less reached the limits of its development, universal transport chassis hold a lot more potential,” explains the expert. The new Krone chassis is an advancement on the goose neck prototype first presented at IAA in 2016, and flexibly adapts to containers between 20 and 45 feet in length. “During the design phase we placed great emphasis on modular construction, as well as easy manual operation,” says Josefowitsch. “Our motto was: ‘Why complicate things when the simple way works?’”
For example, the wheel base on the new SDC 27 eLTU70 chassis can be conveniently pre-selected using a latching function. The different container positions are colour-coded and are also marked on the rear extension and optional front extension. The new front locking system makes it possible to attach containers with and without tunnels, as well as with angled or straight corners. “We also carefully thought out the folding lock,” reports Josefowitsch. When double-packing two 20-foot containers, it is swivelled up; if it is not needed, it is simply folded down into parked position. “This means that there are no loose parts, which are susceptible to getting lost,” emphasises the engineer. Krone’s developers have now integrated the tail lights into the container bar, which will prevent damage to the lighting system.
During the design phase, Krone placed great emphasis on easy manual operation.
The new chassis even stands out in extreme load conditions: if just one 20-foot container is on board and stowed flush with the rear, improved load distribution eases pressure during loading and unloading at the ramp. This is thanks to the new compact tail construction: it provides almost a tonne of additional vertical load when transporting heavy 20-foot containers. Extra-long 45- foot containers can be transported using the optional front extension without requiring a special permit. The operating system for chassis adjustment when changing from rear-flush container transport to central positions to long container sizes has also been greatly simplified. Thanks to different wheel bases and extension positions, it is also possible to adjust the load distribution on two or three-axis tractor units.
“However, the multifunctional usage options, the modular construction and the easy handling weren’t enough for us,” says Josefowitsch, thinking back to the development stage. “A low tare weight is also very important to our customers, which is why we worked particularly hard in this area. Depending on the design, and thanks to the use of high-strength steels, the payload benefit over the previous model is now as much as 500 to 900 kilos. The basic version weighs just 4.6 tonnes.” So the same applies to the weight of the new SDC 27 eLTU70: simple solutions don’t have to be bulky and complicated.