15 January 1999

TRAILER IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST METAL BOX

Over the past five years, a

Lincs trailer company has

carved itself a niche in the

bespoke manufacturing

sector of the market. Its

future plans include

breaking new ground in transport techniques.

Ian Marshall reports

MACHINERY manufacturers, understandably, tend to have an unbounded enthusiasm for their creations, if only in the pious hope such enthusiasm will rub off onto prospective customers.

And on this score, Richard Larrington, of Boston-based Richard Larrington Trailers, must have a pretty wide customer base.

"To me a trailer isnt just a rectangular metal box on a set of wheels. It is something we have conceived, designed and built to fulfil a specific purpose," he explains.

It is a level of involvement and commitment to the product which forms the cornerstone of his companys business.

In January 1994 Mr Larrington started with two men and orders for two trailers, built in a rented 4500sq ft corner of a 20,000sq ft unit at Witham Works, Boardsides, Boston.

By the end of the year turnover stood at £330,000.

Trailer team

Today a team of 12 employees fabricate, build and market 80 CAD-designed trailers a year in four ranges from eight to 17t capacity, in addition to field straw spreaders, low loaders, muck spreaders and sugar beet cleaner loaders. They also make the companys low ground pressure trailer track system which made its debut appearance at last years Smithfield Show (Mach-inery 4 Dec).

The whole of the original 2ha (5 acre) site with its two units is now owned by Mr Larrington – and turnover is now reported to be £960,000.

Growth has come from the flexibility to design and construct one-off trailers to suit customers specific needs. It is also the foundation on which Mr Larrington bases the future success of the business.

"Having our own machine shop and fabrication equipment gives us total control of engineering," he says. Virtual autonomy also gives Mr Larrington the freedom to practice his philosophy of logical engineering.

"Effectively, the common sense, simplistic attitude is the best approach," he says. "Look at the single lift ram and its position on our 17t Majestic model, for example. A tandem axle, general purpose transporter which can double as a specialist beet trailer, the ram is anchored at the strongest point on the trailer between the axles and extends vertically.

"This gives a tipping angle of 60deg to a height of 2.7m (9ft), and enables beet to be heaped in a stack, which is then levelled with the hydraulic door."

Although trailers will remain the bread and butter of the company, Mr Larrington sees its future expansion coming from the development of his low pressure track system – a bogey designed to fit onto the hubs of a tandem axle trailer and exerts five times less ground pressure than a set of 600/55 x 22.5 tyres.

Although the concept is very much in its infancy on the UK agricultural scene, Mr Larrington believes the system could offer root crop growers a useful option – particularly in wet years when ground conditions are difficult.

He also sees the versatility of the system lending itself to many applications outside farming – carrying timber and stone across difficult terrain, or working in the peat bogs of Ireland, for example.

"Its a new technique with no brick walls to confine its development – there is even the potential to build a power unit around the tracks," he maintains.

Its that old enthusiasm surfacing once more. &#42