The cost of keeping trailer mechanics up to date

The cost of keeping trailer mechanics up to date Has the growth of your business led you to consider the flexibility and other practical benefits of outsourcing trailer maintenance? Or maybe even a mix of in-house and outsourced maintenance?

Own workshop – key factors

Here are some of the factors to think about when operating your own trailer and truck maintenance workshop.


You will need a workshop with at least one repair bay including a vehicle inspection pit. Is one bay sufficient for your fleet as you expand your business? Is your yard large enough to accommodate additional bays?

Equipping the workshop with the appropriate tools and workshop machinery is a substantial investment. Among the many items that are essential to the smooth running of a workshop are hoists and lifts, diagnostic equipment, air compressors, pneumatic accessories including tyre removers, cooling system tools, power generators, and lathes.

The stock of spare parts

It is helpful to hold a stock of essential spare parts which correspond to the makes and models of the trailers in your fleet.

Workshop risks

In its leaflet’ titled “Motor Vehicle Maintenance Workshops”, insurance company Aviva mentions that every year over 2,000 accidents in workshops are reported to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive. It outlines a very long list of the risks that Aviva has identified across different aspects of workshops including servicing and mechanical repair, body repair, painting, storage, and housekeeping.

To minimise these risks, the workshop operator is obliged to follow certain health and safety regulations. In the UK, for example, this includes the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).

Skilled trailer technicians/mechanics

How much of your time and budget do you want to spend on recruiting, managing, retaining and training skilled trailer technicians or mechanics? If your maintenance requirements fluctuate with your business, do you have a flexible source of mechanics?

It is interesting to note the basic cost of employing a truck mechanic in different countries across Europe. For example, the average annual wage excluding tax, social charges and the employer’s social charges for a truck mechanic is 31,992, in the UK; €25,599 in France; €36,107 in Germany and €29,733 in Italy.

To outsource trailer maintenance or not?

The main question is: do you, as a fleet manager, want to carry the administrative and financial burden of operating your own trailer workshop(s) or would you prefer to outsource all or part of your trailer maintenance to a specialist such as TIP Trailer Services, enabling you to increase your focus on other parts of your business where you can add more value?

TIP trailer maintenance expertise

Outsourcing trailer maintenance is very much on trend. TIP Trailer Services maintains its customers’ trailers and trucks from 84 locations spread across 17 countries. It gives our customers international reach and convenience, flexibility and peace of mind as we can provide them with any trailer service that they need, wherever they are. Our customers range from multinational transport companies with large fleets to owner-drivers with one trailer.

Scalable and flexible maintenance resources

Not content with just managing our own fleet of over 70,000 trailers, we also provide maintenance and repair and other value-added services for approximately 45,000 customer-owned trailer units. (source: TIP annual report 2017). As such, we have significant scalable and flexible resources including mechanics and workshops to handle your maintenance and repair requirements on an outsourced basis.

TIP Trailer maintenance stats

We certainly have proven maintenance experience and expertise. During 2017, TIP:

  • serviced 109,000 trailers,
  • inspected more than 1,040,000 tyres,
  • handled close to 2,000,000 work orders and about 270,000 internal workshop events,
  • spent €84,400,000 on parts,
  • managed 86,000 roadside incidents.

(source: TIP annual report 2017)

Improving fleet performance and reducing operating costs

We provide a suite of services to improve our clients’ fleet performance whilst reducing their total cost of ownership as well as trailer downtime.  Using our 84 workshops and a fleet of over 160 mobile service units across Europe, we are able to offer a comprehensive repair and maintenance service, be it for a single trailer on a one-off basis or through a tailored contracted outsourced programme suitable for an entire fleet.

Third-party maintenance

When it comes to third-party maintenance and repair we offer a broad suite of services including non-contracted maintenance and repair; quality maintenance, repairs, and parts. All our services are provided at competitive prices.

Contracted trailer maintenance

We also provide a contracted maintenance and repair service for customer-owned units to give customers the certainty of fixed monthly rates, thus helping facilitate their budgeting. These modular services can also include pan-European roadside assistance if desired.

Our trailer maintenance and repair service offers:

  • Annual roadworthiness inspections
  • Periodic equipment checks and inspections for brakes, axles and general trailer body based on manufacturers recommendations and expected annual mileage
  • Fleet management
  • Tyre maintenance
  • Roadside assistance services
  • Damage repair management
  • Reefer engine servicing
  • Tail lift servicing

For more information on how you can receive industry-leading, trailer maintenance services,  please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

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Are solar powered trailers the next new thing?

Are solar powered trailers the next new thing?

Having experienced an unusually hot summer in Europe this year, it is only natural to consider how trailers might benefit from solar power. Such a consideration is timely because there have been several striking developments in the world of trailers and solar power.

Reefers and solar

Thermo King, the transport temperature control provider, recently launched an addition to its ThermoLite solar panel range. They designed this new 110w model to supply a sustainable power management solution for reefer units while cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. (source: Fleet Transport)

Even in low light, the solar panels collect energy to keep the reefer unit’s battery fully charged and take away the need to use the engine for recharging. Thermo King claims that these new panels will reduce fuel consumption by up to 23% and CO2 emissions by 560kg when compared to reefer units operating without the ThermoLite solar panels. You can also link the unit to telematics and manage the refrigeration and other functions remotely. (source: Thermo King)


Shell Lubricants and the AirFlow Truck Company have collaborated under the Starship Initiative to develop a hyper-fuel efficient US Class 8 semi-truck, Starship, which they designed to “explore the future of what’s possible in truck design, fuel economy savings and CO2 reduction”. This next-generation truck has a radical custom aerodynamic design. It features significant numbers of solar panels. There is a 5,000-watt solar array which covers the entire roof of its trailer, measuring 25 metres long by 2.6 metres wide. The solar panels charge and store power for normal electrical components. (source: Shell)

In May 2018, a laden Starship semi-truck drove 3,700 km (2,300 miles) from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida to test its energy efficiency. Shell and the AirFlow Truck Company make impressive claims, reporting that the Starship truck demonstrated a 248% improvement in freight tonne efficiency on the trip.(source: Shell)

Solar powered electric trucks?

At the futuristic end of the “trailer and solar” related spectrum is a concept discussed by Rick Mihelic of Mihelic Vehicle Consulting in Freightwaveswho advocates turning trailers into electric truck charging units. His vision is to have the roofs of large warehouses covered with solar panels. The energy they generate could then be transferred to batteries integrated into trailers sitting in the yard. This way, a truck will have an energy source when connected to a fully-charged trailer.

“If most of the energy power is [stored] in the trailer, you could talk about extending the range,” he said. “The tractor [truck] drops that trailer and picks up another trailer that is now fully-charged and goes to drop that at a regional outlet”, where it collects another fully-charged trailer and so on.

Mihelic says much innovation is still required to turn this vision into reality. Innovation needs to occur in technologies such as zero-emissions vehicles, fuel cells, batteries, regulatory changes such as weight and size limits and automatic data mining. One also needs to consider the extra costs of adding new technologies.

TIP and solar power

TIP Trailer Services celebrates its 50thanniversary this year. Our commitment to industry innovation and new technology has been a major part of our success. TIP’s Research & Development teams are researching the impacts of technologies such as solar power on trailers and look forward to delivering their benefits to our customers.

TIP reefer rental solutions and solar power

Solar power is often associated with reefers or refrigerated containers. TIP offers flexible reefer or refrigerated container rental and leasing solutions at competitive rates to support your fleet. In addition to the standard reefer which keeps the container load at a single temperature, we can provide reefers that are suited to very specific customer needs including dual compartment reefers, double stock reefers, multi-temp & double stock reefers, flower-specific reefers or reefers with meat rails.

Keeping reefers roadworthy

We can maintain and repair your reefers and refrigerated containers. We are vendor neutral but have all the expertise and specialised workshop tools, diagnostic equipment and technology to help you keep your equipment in top condition to maximise their time on the road.

Other TIP trailer rental options

In addition to reefers, we offer trailers on a rental basis in all forms including flatbeds, curtainsiders, box trailers, tankers, tipping powder, non-tipping, containers, moving/walking floor, waste and chemical to fill gaps in your fleet, as well as light commercial vehicles and trucks. This is an extremely useful option for fleet managers needing to fulfil a last-minute customer delivery request.

For fleet managers looking for a longer-term trailer solution, we can provide trailers on a lease basis.

Trust us with your trailer maintenance and repair

TIP Trailer Services includes trailer maintenance and repair management services as a part of our trailer rental contracts. Whilst your rental trailer is being serviced, we supply you with alternatives to ensure that your business continues to operate as usual. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services rental fleet, please contact us using this form.

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The “unfair advantages” of our trailer rental and leasing services

The “unfair advantages” of our trailer leasing services

It is not often that the path taken by Pamela Anderson, world-famous actress, crosses with that of TIP Trailer Services. However, two unlikely worlds collided in January 2018, when, like TIP Trailer Services, Ms. Anderson got involved in “rental and leasing” and offered “unfair advantages” to her clients.

Pamela Anderson, leading actress, renowned for her lead role in “Baywatch” and supporter of several causes including animal rights, now lives in Europe. So she decided to let out her spectacular home in Malibu, Los Angeles County, USA, a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean for a handsome $70,000 per month on a short-term rental basis over the summer. For long-term leases, the asking price went down to a more modest $40,000 per month. (source: TMZ)

What are the ”unfair” leasing and rental advantages” that Pamela Anderson and TIP offer?

A brand you can trust

Both Ms Anderson and TIP Trailer Services are established brands, enjoy good reputations and instill trust.

Ms. Anderson has had a long and successful career in entertainment and business and presents herself as a brand. People know what to expect when they see Pamela Anderson in a movie, promoting a fashion brand or being an activist for an issue. The “stardust” effect of her reputation on her Malibu home gives her an “unfair advantage” in attracting renters compared to her lesser-known neighbours.

TIP is celebrating its 50thyear in the trailer rental and leasing business.  Few, if any, companies in our sector, can match this longevity. Fleet managers know that TIP Trailer Services will go out of their way to support their customers, backed by specialist experience and expertise built-up over many decades.

An exciting range of assets

People renting Ms. Anderson’s home have an “unfair advantage”; the opportunity to live in an architecturally dramatic, one-off 5,500 sq. ft (510 sq. m) house. The house includes “floating staircases, massive closets, a Picasso-style tub, a detached guest house, a cool pool, …” (source: TMZ)

TIP Trailer Services provides a different type of “unfair advantage” for their customers, an impressive choice of over 70,000 trailers for lease or rental. They are available in all forms from standard to the more specialist trailers. They include semi-trailers, flatbed, curtainsiders, box trailers, reefers, tankers, tipping powder, non-tipping, containers, moving/walking floor, waste and chemical trailers.

Other TIP “unfair advantages”

TIP Trailer Services rental and leasing is not just about renting or leasing trailer assets. It’s also about taking the weight off the shoulders of fleet managers and drivers with other trailer services that enable them to focus on the parts of their roles that add the most value to their businesses.

These sources of “unfair advantage” for TIP’s rental and leasing customers include TIP’s provision of maintenance, its European roadside assistance, and flexibility.

Subcontract your maintenance

Running your own maintenance and repair workshop can be a drain on your resources. You can invest a lot of management time and overheads in building up, training and retaining a team of specialised trailer mechanics. You can also tie up significant capital in an inventory of spare parts, taking up valuable space in a warehouse. All the capital you put to work here could be invested more profitably in other parts of your business if you subcontract your trailer servicing and repairs to a company such as TIP.

European roadside assistance

Another “unfair advantage” that TIP shares with its rental and leasing customers is access to its European roadside assistance network. TIP has a network of its own workshops across Europe and access to local partners that can quickly come to the rescue. They operate in 16 countries across Europe, round the clock and 365 days per year. This network consists of over 5,000 workshops including mobile service vans.

We know that your time out with breakdowns costs you revenue. Which is why our mobile service vans are at the frontline of our response to call-outs for roadside assistance. They carry a sizeable load of workshop equipment including tools, spare parts, and diagnostic technology.  When not responding to emergencies, our technicians travel to customer sites in these service vans. There they can conduct regular servicing including repairs to minimise their trailer downtime.

Rental and leasing flexibility

Another “unfair advantage” that a company of our size can offer customers relative to competitors is flexibility through rental or leasing.

Flexibility can be about giving the fleet manager the opportunity to bring on additional trailers to handle the peaks of unexpected demand and return them in slower times, with little notice and without the need to own the assets outright.

Flexibility could mean you taking advantage, through rental or leasing, of our economies of scale to access better and/more recent trailer models than if your fleet manager had purchased them directly from the manufacturers. You might also change your trailers more frequently than if you owned them.

Flexibility can be about giving the fleet manager a choice of cost-effective and flexible ways of financing their trailer requirements. For short-term needs, rental could be the best option. For medium to long-term requirements, fleet managers can choose from several leasing options.

You may have missed out on the opportunity to rent or lease Pamela Anderson’s home, but you are never too late to experience and find out more about the “unfair advantages” of TIP trailer rental and leasing. For further information, please contact TIP using this form.


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New truck collision mitigation technology, at your service

“Collision mitigation technology” is a collision warning system linked to emergency braking using a camera and radar technology to monitor objects ahead.

Musician Elvis Costello performs a song called “Accidents will happen.” Acknowledging that accidents will happen, the challenge for trailer and truck manufacturers is to find ways of minimising them. Accidents, where one vehicle drives into the rear of another, are extremely common. Truck “collision mitigation” technology is one of the solutions that manufacturers are developing, helped by recent advances in technology.

What is collision mitigation technology?

“Collision mitigation technology” is a collision warning system linked to emergency braking which is available for vehicles now.  It uses a camera and radar technology to monitor objects ahead. The system issues a warning if it senses a possible, instantaneous collision. If the driver fails to respond, the collision mitigation system activates the brakes automatically. (source: Volvo)

Multiple flavours

Collision mitigation technology includes several specialist variants that provide blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition and electronic stability control.

Going Urban

For example, WABCO, leading truck OEM supplier has developed “OnCity,” its urban turning assist collision avoidance system.  Using a single sensor and LiDAR (light imaging detection and ranging) technology, the system will alert a driver visually and acoustically to a potential collision, both right before and during a turning manoeuvre. It applies the brake autonomously if the driver has failed to take corrective action. This has been designed especially to protect cyclists and pedestrians in urban areas (source:New Electronics)

360-degree vision

Volvo is creating an all-round 360-degree view and scan of a truck and trailer’s surroundings that will eliminate the risk of accidents caused by a limited field of vision. This technology will analyse obstacles on and near the road and set-off automated evasive action to avoid accidents. This is in a test phase, likely to become a reality within the next 10 years. (source: FleetEquipmentMag)

Why is collision mitigation technology interesting?

“Collision mitigation technology” is a particularly hot area for trailer and truck manufacturers, technology companies, governmental organisations, and all road users for several reasons. At a basic level, this technology can contribute dramatically to reducing death and injury on our roads.

Platoon soon

In addition, this technology will be important in the adoption of platooning, in which trucks travel in convoys, linked and controlled by short range vehicle to vehicle communications.  One truck, usually with a driver on hand to manually override the self-driving system when necessary, leads the convoy, supported by technologies such as “collision mitigation technology”. This enables trucks in the convoy to accelerate or decelerate instantly in unison and remain in close proximity to gain the benefits of platooning including fuel economy, thanks to the reduced air resistance; fewer collisions and longer rest periods for the drivers.  (source: New Electronics)


In the longer term, collision mitigation technology will be a vital component of autonomous vehicles including autonomous trucks.

Increasingly mainstream today

The technology is starting to become mainstream. For example, in late 2017, UPS in the USA announced that it is going equip more than 60 percent of its large heavy truck, US class 8 tractor fleet or more than 11,000 vehicles with advanced collision mitigation technology. (source: UPS)

TIP and road safety

TIP can contribute to truck driver road safety by providing your fleet with preventative trailer maintenance on an outsourced basis and through rental or leasing, new trailer models.

Preventative maintenance prevents trailers breaking down, thereby maximising their time delivering orders. Most issues with trailers are maintenance related. They can be prevented in a more cost-effective way prior to travel than discovering an unexpected problem on the road.  Any undetected mechanical problems with trailers are potential road safety hazards.

Through trailer rental or leasing, TIP can give you flexible access to new trailer models and the latest safety technology including tyre pressure monitoring systems and telematics.

TIP repairs

We prefer to work with our customers on preventative safety measures for their trailers to ensure that their chances of mechanical trailer failure are minimised through smart trailer maintenance. However, we know that accidents will happen.

Through our 84 workshops and fleet of over 179 mobile service units across Europe, we provide a comprehensive repair service for entire fleets, or just one trailer, on a one-off basis or through a contracted outsourced programme.  Our specialised trailer mechanics are highly skilled and trained to repair all brands and types of trailers. To deliver their high-quality service our trailer mechanics have access to the latest workshop diagnostic equipment, tools and bodyshop repair facilities as well as a wide array of spare parts for models from the main trailer manufacturers.

As part of giving fleet managers and drivers peace of mind as they deliver across Europe, we operate a 24 hour 365 days per year European roadside assistance service. To find out more about how TIP can help you with truck driver safety and renting/leasing trailers, contact TIP using this form.


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How to score with a mixed trailer leasing – rental fleet

How to score with a mixed trailer leasing - rental fleet

Football fans will know that last summer Paris St-Germain signed the French World Cup star Kylian Mbappé on a season-long rental from Monaco, with the option to convert this short-term arrangement into a permanent fixed term “leasing” deal for €180m or £161m (source: BBC). Like Paris St-German, as a fleet manager, you don’t have to own all your trailer assets. Short-term rental or longer-term leasing or a mixture of the two will give you the best of both worlds when expanding your fleet.

Determining factors for ownership and/or rental/leasing

Given the high levels of capital involved, the decision to rent or lease trailers is a major one for fleet managers. Both options have their advantages. Many fleets mix the two and get the best of both worlds.

Why lease?

Lower total cost of ownership

Mike Spence, senior vice president of fleet services at Fleet Advantage, a lease finance company in the US presents interesting arguments for truck and trailer leasing in that are equally valid for Europe. He notes that “fleet operators need to pay attention to the total cost of operating, not just the financial costs of owning versus leasing.” Buying a vehicle and depreciating its cost over eight years will require lower monthly payments than leasing. However, over that time, the total cost of ownership will be greater as the asset ages and needs more maintenance. “Shorter leases are beneficial to fleets since the newer the vehicle, the less the maintenance costs.”


Leasing or rental enables you to swap your trailers more frequently and for the latest models. Freightwavesreports that trailers last between 10 and 15 years. If you keep them for that long, you may miss out on new money-saving technology.  Leasing or renting trailers can help you to future-proof your fleet so your business enjoys new trailers with the latest, most efficient technology.

New technologies

For example, you might want to upgrade the telematics and security capacities with your new trailers. Alternatively, you could benefit from new smart trailer technology like Intelliscan. Intelliscan uses a proprietary combination of optical imaging and laser time of flight technologies embedded into trailers to deliver an accurate representation of the current loading in your trailer. The technology can then assist you in finding ways of maximising additional volumes of cargo to carry. (source: FreightWaves)

Free-up capital

For trailer ownership to be profitable on a stand-alone basis, you need to own a workshop in which you employ and train skilled technicians to maintain and repair your trailers, backed up by an inventory of spare parts. Fleet operators who buy and build large fleets often do so to enjoy more control over their operations, benefit from economies of scale in terms of costs of ownership and are keep them going for longer. However, under a leasing or rental agreement, companies will supply maintenance and repair services. Leasing or rental frees up capital for fleet managers to use in the most profitable parts of their businesses

Trailer flexibility

E-commerce is growing year on year, a trend that is reflected in data and forecasts.  Researchers cited in a article predict a 246.15% rise in worldwide e-commerce sales, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. This is close to a threefold increase in online revenue. EE-commercecontinues to present fleet managers with exciting opportunities for new business. Having flexibility trailer capacity is a trump card for success in capturing a greater share of the ever-growing market for the delivery of e-commerce orders. The addition of trailers to a fleet through leasing or rental agreements is a sensible way of capitalising on this opportunity.

TIP leasing and rental

Trailer leasing and rental is our bread and butter, representing 65% of our turnover in 2017 (source: TIP Annual Report 2017) TIP offers a wide range of rental and leasing solutions and can advise on the different leasing regulations across Europe. With a transport fleet of over 70,000 units, TIP is one of Europe’s leading transport equipment leasing companies. It can purchase assets specifically for you.

TIP rental options

We offer trailers on a rental basis in all forms including flatbed, curtainsider, box trailers, tankers and reefers to fill short-term gaps in your fleet.

TIP leasing options

For fleet managers looking for a flexible and cost-effective way to manage their flexible medium to long-term trailer fleet requirements, TIP provides several trailer leasing options.

We also provide further value-added services across all our leasing solutions including replacement vehicles during servicing, roadside assistance, fleet and tyre management and telematics for your fleet. We can resell your used trucks and trailers.

Like Paris St-Germain with top players in football, continue building your trailer fleet into a world class business through a mix of leasing and renting.  Simply get the best of both worlds through TIP Trailer Services. For more information about TIP trailer leasing and rental, please contact us here.

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The benefits of adding electric trucks to your fleet

The benefits of adding electric trucks to your fleet

On the road in 2020: the Mercedes-Benz Urban e-Truck. Source: The

Have you been experiencing sleepless nights debating whether you are ready to add electric trucks and vans to your fleet? Experts predict a rapidly growing market for electric trucks and vans. We will guide you through the benefits and challenges of using them to facilitate your decision-making.

Skyrocketing sales

Analysts Idtechex predict that the global market for electric trucks and vans will reach US$ 408 billion by 2028. Management consultants McKinsey in their report “What’s sparking electric truck adoption in the truck industry?” expects the electrification of trucks to start now, not in 10-20 years’ time, with sales set to skyrocket just after 2025.

eTruck ready

McKinsey believes that the world is now finally ready for “eTrucks”.  In its report, it identifies three reasons why. First, that the total cost of ownership of eTrucks will soon be equivalent to diesel engines. Secondly, that the technology and infrastructure for electric vehicles are increasingly cost-effective and available. Thirdly, electric vehicles will meet regulatory requirements including targets to drive down CO2 emissions and local access policies including low emission zones.

The benefits:

  • Comply with environmental regulations– With e-commerce growth, continuing urbanisation and a trend towards lowering emission levels, your fleet may soon have no choice but to go electric if you are making last-mile deliveries in the centres of cities such as Amsterdam, Lisbon, London or Stockholm which are part of the EU’s Frevue Frevue seeks to achieve “essentially CO2 free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030” through electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Reduced total cost of ownership– Electric powertrains can offer lower per kilometre operational cost of ownership compared to conventional combustion engines. This is through the fuel savings generated and the lower costs of maintaining electric powertrains which have fewer moving parts. (source:Interactanalysis)
  • Government buying incentives– The UK government is offering a discount of 20% on light commercial vehicles with a plug, with a total maximum saving of £8,000 per vehicle. From July 2018, German hauliers can apply for government grants ranging from €12,000 to €40,000 depending on the trucks’ weight, to a maximum of €500,000 per company. The German government will also exempt electric trucks from road tolls from 2019 onwards. (source: Electrive)
  • Silent running– Electric vehicles are virtually silent which is better for drivers and can provide new opportunities for deliveries at hours previously considered anti-social.

The challenges:

  • Battery range– Consider the manufacturer’s guidance on the distance that the electric vehicle can travel on one charge. The best-selling electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV), the Renault Kangoo ZE 33, goes 362 km on a single charge, (source: Parkers)whereas the new heavy truck, the Volvo FE with gross weights of up to 27 tonnes, can travel 200 km. (source:insideevs).
  • Battery durability– Daimler expects conventional trucks to run to one million kilometres. How will eTrucks match up to this? (source: zone) For vans, most battery packs are covered by extended warranties of up to eight years, which should cover the eLCV’s lifespan. (source:Parkers)
  • Payloads– As vehicles become larger, so does the battery. This reduces carrying capacity and increases purchase prices. As such, Interactanalysis says that “Even as electric trucks get larger, it is our opinion that they will still be limited to point-to-point routes between relatively close urban areas.”
  • Charging– There is a perceived lack of battery charging infrastructure. McKinsey sees this as being more of an issue for the eLCVs, competing with private electric cars for access to public charging facilities than eTrucks which will run on predictable routes and can charge in depots, typically overnight. (source: zone) There are also concerns about the speed of battery charging.
  • Purchase cost– Whilst cheaper to run than their diesel equivalents, eTrucks cost more to buy. The cost benefit analysis depends partly on the price of diesel fuel.
  • Resale value– “At the moment, uncertainty in the used market about electric vans [sic: and, by extension eTrucks] means that they often lose value faster than their diesel counterparts.” (source: Parkers)

Key decisions

When selecting an electric truck or eLCV, fleet managers need to consider what battery size, load capacity and driving range that they require.

Experience electric delivery with TIP

Why not experience the benefits of eLCVs through rental or leasing without the upfront costs of purchasing them?

Meanwhile, TIP can provide its customers in France with eLCVs on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). Customers benefit from TIP’s extensive fleet management experience and its network of workshops across Europe. TIP can also buy conventional LCVs and dispose of them as part of a part-exchange option.

For more information on how you can experience electric delivery through TIP’s eLCV, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

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Will your trailers get an automated warehouse welcome?

Will your trailers get an automated warehouse welcome?

When you next send your trailers to collect goods from a warehouse, will your drivers be welcomed by a human or a robot? This question will become increasingly commonplace as automation gathers momentum.

Greater warehouse automation

The adoption of warehouse automation technology is on the up, fuelled by several factors.  A key factor is the continuing growth of e-commerce. For example, E-commerce Europe predicts that European e-commerce turnover will grow by 13% to €602 billion in 2018 from €534 billion in 2017. This is putting pressure on logistics and warehousing, sectors that are suffering from a shortage of warehousing space and suitably qualified labour.

Attractions of warehouse automation

According to MHLNews, logistics companies are finding that the lower cost of capital, faster return on investment and the modularity of automation through robotics enable them to make incremental investments in warehouse automation technology that can be recouped in a reasonably short timeframe. In addition, robots enable warehouses to operate with greater efficiency and continuously.

Early adopters

The early adopters of robotics in their warehouse operations are retailers for their store and e-commerce fulfilment across a wide range of product types including clothing, beauty and health products, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods.

Typical applications

Retailers and other users of warehouse automation use robots for “goods-to-person picking” where robots bring goods from across the warehouse to a human picker at a central packing station, for packing and shipping the order. Robots can also function as “collaborative picker aids” where a robot will accompany a human picker around the warehouse and physically pick out the goods for an order from a storage point. Once the order is completed, the robot will take the order to the packing station. And, finally, robots can operate in sorting applications including parcel sorting, distribution, and fulfillment. (source: MHLNews)

Amazon’s warehouse automation technology lead

Amazon is one of the leaders in using robots to improve the efficiency of its warehouses. Its small warehouse robots carry shelves of products to human pickers who then select items for sending out. Amazon has over 100,000 “bots” operating in its fulfilment centres and says that its population of human employees has grown with the number of robots it deploys. (source: ZDNet)

Chinese innovation with

However, other companies are fast catching up with Amazon., a major Chinese logistics company, recently announced that it has built a warehouse close to Shanghai which can handle 200,000 orders a day, thanks to robotics. It employs just four people, who focus on servicing the robots that run the warehouse. (source:FreightWaves)

Ocado, a British technology disruptor

Originally an online-only British supermarket, Ocado is also revolutionising warehouse automation technology and providing its robot-driven warehousing solution to other grocery chains such as Casino in France and ICA in Sweden. Its automated fulfilment centre at Andover, close to London, uses proprietary storage and picking technology and contains hundreds of robots shifting groceries along an aluminium grid or “Hive” with human employees working in the background. (source: JLLRealViews) It used to take Ocado two hours to fill an average order in its old warehouse. At Andover, the order fulfilment time has come down to five to 15 minutes. (source: AJOT)

Where to now?

Samuel Dermont, a senior manager at consultants Argon told AJOT“ It’s [sic: the automation of warehouses] a slow process. The warehouse manager of tomorrow will be someone who knows how to manage both people and machines, while in the past, the warehouse business was people. But the warehouse itself, I don’t see it being so different.”

In the same article, Magne Hatteland, Marketing Director at AutoStore, which developed a robotics cube storage system almost 20 years ago, said: “In five years there will be a lot more robot arms instead of human arms.”

Flexibility through trailer rental

Overall, this environment including warehousing with greater automation represents a good opportunity for new business for the fleet operator with flexible trailer capacity. Customers renting trailers through TIP Trailer Services benefit from preferential terms to take on more trailers or reduce the number as demand fluctuates.  Trailer rental gives you the best trailers and latest trailer technology without the high investment costs and overheads of ownership.

Outsource trailer maintenance and repair

For peace of mind, as part of a trailer rental contract, TIP Trailer Services offers maintenance and repair management services. Whilst your rental trailer is being maintained or repaired, we supply you with alternatives to ensure that your business continues to operate as usual.

Should one of the trailers require roadside assistance on the way to Bath, Berlin, Brussels or any other European destinations, you can rely on our Europe-wide breakdown recovery service 24/7 365 days per year. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services rental fleet, please contact us using this form.

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Securing trailer loads: tips and tricks

Securing trailer loads: tips and tricks

Every so often accidents caused by poorly secured cargo on trailers become news headlines. Are you confident that your trailer loads are properly secured?

Unsafe situations

Poorly secured cargo on trailers is a major issue. There was a recent case in the headlines in which Frances O’Driscoll, an Irish mother of three, suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by iron bars protruding from a trailer whilst out for a morning walk. She settled out of court but has been left with irreversible brain damage. (source: Irish Times) 

The UK government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) reported that, in 2013, it issued over 2,000 prohibitions to vehicles which presented a road safety risk because of how their load was secured. A prohibition requires the driver and vehicle to stop immediately until remedial action is taken. Failure to do so can result in prosecution.

Over the same period, another UK government agency, the Highways Agency reported over 22,000 road impact incidents caused by objects falling from vehicles. Dangerous for all road users, the incidents resulted in lane closures and took an average of 20 minutes to resolve. The resulting time wasted in traffic and the damage to goods and infrastructure have a negative impact on the UK economy.  (source: UK government)

EU and governmental guidelines

Fortunately, in 2014, the EU issued some guidance on load securing best practice. In 2017, the UK government published an updated version of its Load securing: vehicle operator guidance. Other countries such as Switzerland have taken similar initiatives. These guidelines cover most types of trailers and cargoes.


There is one exception. There are strict guidelines on the carrying of solid goods but none on the transport of liquid in tanker trucks and trailers. The law forces tanker trucks carrying dangerous liquids such as oil to be fitted with perforated baffles which slow down the forward movement when braking but do not provide any side-to-side stability. These make tanker trucks and trailers vulnerable to tipping over.


Luckily, whilst at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, Dutch engineer Dr. Erik Eenkhoorn developed a solution called a “Cairbag”. This rubber airbag, placed inside the tank, automatically fills empty spaces and stops the remaining oil or other liquid from “sloshing about” and potentially destabilising the tanker. (source: Science Daily)

Trailer loads top tips and tricks

In its guidelines, the UK’s DVSA suggests the following best practices:

  • Make sure the vehicle is fit for purpose

You need to match the vehicle including trailer and securing products to the type of goods that you are transporting to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

  • Load the vehicle properly

Stack the load against the headboard with the centre of gravity as low as possible. Make sure it’s stable without lashings to reduce the risk of it falling over during unloading. If necessary, place the load in a box, stillage or transport frame.

If the load isn’t against the headboard – or items could slide over it – use extra lashings, sails, chocks or blocking to stop the load sliding.

  • Choose the right securing method

Whatever method you choose, the load restraint system needs to secure the load to the vehicle chassis and prevent movement.

  • Use adequate load restraint

Incidents happen when drivers and operators underestimate how much restraint is needed to keep a load on the vehicle. Take the time to understand the energy forces that influence loading.

  • Communication is important

Generally, there are minor incidents and near misses before injuries and deaths. Encourage drivers to report these incidents and give them clear loading and unloading instructions.

  • Load restraint system

The combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a forwards force not less than the total weight of the load to prevent the load moving under severe braking, and half the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways.

(source: UK government’s Load securing: vehicle operator guidance)


Advice on secure loading with TIP Trailer rental

With a fleet of over 64,000 assets, TIP is well placed to advise on the best ways to secure trailer loads. Customers renting trailers through TIP Trailer Services benefit from this advice and preferential terms to take on more trailers or reduce the number as demand fluctuates. Trailer rental gives you the best trailers and latest trailer technology without the high investment costs and overheads of ownership.

TIP rental options

We offer trailers on a rental basis in all forms including flatbed, curtainsider, box trailers, tankers and reefers to fill short-term gaps in your fleet. This is an extremely useful option for fleet managers needing to fulfil a last-minute customer delivery request.

Outsource trailer maintenance and repair

For peace of mind, as part of a trailer rental contract, TIP Trailer Services offers maintenance and repair management services. Whilst your rental trailer is being maintained or repaired, we supply you with alternatives to ensure that your business continues to operate as usual. Should one of the trailers require roadside assistance on the way to Dordrecht, Dresden, Dublin or any other European destinations, you can rely on our Europe-wide breakdown recovery service 24/7 365 days per year.

For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services rental fleet, please contact us using this form.

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Selling your used semi-trailers successfully


The European market for used semi-trailers and trucks is buoyant and thriving. Do you have the right experience to generate maximum value from the sale of your used semi-trailer assets?  TIP Trailer Services can help you sell your pre-owned semi-trailers and trucks.

Used semi-trailer assets – the challenges

Many fleet managers are keen to modernise and expand their semi-trailer fleets but are held back by an inventory of used semi-trailer assets. As with all semi-trailers, used semi-trailer assets require maintenance and investment to keep them on the road and take up considerable space in the yard. These are significant issues if the used semi-trailers are carrying loads on a less regular basis. The key challenge for fleet managers is how to dispose of used semi-trailer assets in a time-efficient manner and not be distracted from their core business of day-to-day trailer fleet management.


If you decide to sell your second-hand semi-trailer assets yourself, there are additional considerations:

  • Valuation: you will have to value your semi-trailer assets at a realistic market price so that they sell and give you a sensible return. Do you have this market knowledge in-house?
  • Preparation for sales: do you have a team of highly-experienced semi-trailer mechanics available to ensure that your used semi-trailer assets are in prime condition for sale?
  • Marketing: how are you going to promote the sale of your semi-trailer or truck? Do you have an extensive network of possible buyers? What are the best ways of communicating with possible purchasers?
  • Time: there is no telling how long it might take you to achieve a sale. How much time will you need to prepare your assets for sale, promote them, handle test-drives, inspections, conduct sales negotiations and deliver them?
  • Opportunity cost: is your used semi-trailer taking up space that could be more profitably utilised for a new semi-trailer, undertaking more journeys, more effectively?

The healthy used vehicle market

The European market for used commercial road freight vehicles is robust if the example of the French market is anything to go by. French publication Decision Atelier reported that the market for second-hand heavy goods vehicles had grown in 2017 by 54,300 registrations, up 6% on the year before.

What buyers of used semi-trailers are looking for

What will buyers of used semi-trailers be watching out for? Fleet Equipment Magazine recently shared some useful insights. They include buyers:

  • Communicating their used semi-trailer needs to their semi-trailer dealer to find out if they have any suitable vehicles in stock
  • Conducting a thorough physical inspection of each semi-trailer. Among the key areas to pay attention to are: tyres, wheel ends, brakes, suspensions, flooring, upper couplers and semi-trailer electrical systems including lights.
  • Asking for the service history of the semi-trailer. The recommendation includes requesting the preventative maintenance schedule history, the repair history and the maintenance and repairs performed by their semi-trailer dealer.

Fleet Equipment Magazine says that “Well-maintained semi-trailers offer productive lifespans that reach into 10 to 15 years. If you’re looking to add several seven-year-old semi-trailers to your fleet, you can expect that they’d have at least a three-year lifespan before their operational costs grow beyond their value.”

TIP Trailer Sales Team

At TIP, we have over 50 years of sales experience. We sell 7,000 used vehicles annually and have over 3,000 happy customers.

The TIP Semi-trailer sales team is uniquely qualified to help you sell your used semi-trailers and trucks, whether you are keen to upgrade to buy new assets or have decided that rental or leasing would be a more cost-effective way of running a flexible semi-trailer fleet rather than purchasing semi-trailers and trucks outright.

Accompanying you through the full sales process

We can accompany you through all the steps of the sales process. We begin with an assessment of your semi-trailers or trucks, advising on whether any modification or refurbishment is required to maximise their market value. To ensure that your semi-trailers are in top condition for sale, you can take advantage of our maintenance and repair services including refurbishment from our 50+ workshops around EU.

We can then market the sale of your vehicle(s) through advertising, promotion, and communication to an extensive international database of clients and prospects and handle all the sales enquiries. We may already have customers who want to buy your specific type of pre-owned semi-trailer or truck and have asked us to search for them.

International reach, local knowledge

Our highly-experienced semi-trailer sales team can work across borders to help you sell your semi-trailer assets, using TIP’s local knowledge of European countries and markets. TIP Trailer Services can assist you with the various transport solutions to ensure, once sold, your semi-trailer arrives at its final destination – whether it’s within the same country or intended for export.

Semi-trailers and trucks on sale

The types of vehicles we sell include:

  • Curtainsiders –Coil, Fixed Roof, Sliding Roof, Lifting with Sliding Roof
  • Reefers – Standard, Double Stock, Meat Rail, Meat Rails 2 Sets
  • Vans– Standard, Garment, Double deck
  • Tankers – Chemical, Milk
  • Swapbody – Curtainsider, Van, Tilt

Selling your assets

Selling used semi-trailers requires expertise, market knowledge and time. Whether you are looking to sell a single semi-trailer or thinking of renewing your fleet, our team can assist you in the sale of your semi-trailers: from inspection, preparation for sales, marketing and conducting sales negotiations.  Experts from our TIP Semi-trailer Sales Team can take care of selling your assets while you concentrate on your core business.

For more information about TIP Trailer Sales, please browse our  TIP Sales specific website for initial information. You can also contact us for more detail using this form.

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Are electric trucks coming our way next year?

Are electric trucks coming our way next year?

The Mercedes-Benz Electric Truck is driven by an electric rear axle with the electric motors being installed right next to the wheel hubs. The power comes from a modular battery system with three battery tanks and 90 modules in all. The batteries are installed in the frame, a compact and safe solution.

Until recently, truck manufacturers have focused on bringing electric light commercial vehicles to market. However, increasing international pressure to reduce truck emissions and advances in battery technology have led manufacturers to develop electric medium and heavy trucks. Will electric trucks be on European roads by 2019?

Electric trucks: start-ups and the Big 7

Let’s discover what start-ups and Europe’s Big Seven truck manufacturers have announced recently.

Tesla Semis

Public interest in electric trucks rocketed in November 2017 when Elon Musk, founder of global electric vehicle start-up Tesla, presented his plans for the launch of an all-electric Tesla Semi truck. The Tesla truck comes complete with an ‘autopilot’ function that can provide driver assistance with semi-autonomous driving and safety over long distances.

Tesla claims that, due to fewer systems onboard to maintain, the Tesla Semi can save fuel costs of over $200,000 over a two-year period.

The Tesla Semi will be available in two versions, one with a battery that needs to be recharged after approx. 300 miles (482 km; expected base price £110,000 or €125,000) and another after 500 miles (804 km; expected base price £140,000 or €159,000). Those who have ordered a Tesla Semi can expect delivery in 2019. (source: ZDNet) UPS has pre-ordered 125 Teslas (source: TTNews).

Other examples of electric truck start-ups, this time in Europe, include:

Swedish start-up Einride

Swedish start-up Einride has developed a fully electric, windowless and autonomous truck, the “T-Pod” which has a range of 200 km and could start delivering goods this autumn.  The “T-Pod” has been likened to “containers on wheels”. Two German companies, Lidl, the food chain and Schenker, the logistics company have placed orders already. (source: Nordic Business Insider)

Germany’s Street Scooter

Unable to find the electric trucks it needed, Deutsche Post created its own electric truck manufacturing subsidiary StreetScooter. It has already produced 6,000 eLCVs which Deutsche Post uses in urban areas. StreetScooter has opened a second factory to build electric trucks in different formats. (source: CleanTechnica)

Europe’s Big Seven

  • DAF is partnering with electrical systems supplier VDL to release a series of CF Electric trucks later this year. The CF Electric will be a 4×2 tractor unit, weighing 9,700 kg and developed for up to 40-tonnes distribution applications within urban areas with its 100 km range battery. (source: TruckingInfo)
  • Daimler has been quick off the mark, putting its light electric truck, the Fuso eCanter with a 100 km range on sale in late 2017. (source: InnoTechtoday). It has also shown its E-Fuso Vision One concept heavy truck, which it expects to launch about four years’ time.
  • Iveco has been one of the pioneers of electric commercial vehicles in Europe, having launched its Daily Electric eLCV in 1986. Since then, the Daily range has been extended to include vans, mini-buses, urban buses. (source: Iveco)
  • Renault announced in January 2018 that it will launch a range of electric trucks in 2019. It has been selling a 4.5 tonne electric truck since 2010. Renault Trucks is now conducting real-world tests on various experimental full-electric 12-16 tonne trucks. (source: Renault Trucks)
  • Volkswagen (owner of the MAN & Scania brands) is taking a “wait-and-see approach” to electric trucks, stating that it will launch electric trucks and buses by 2022. (source: TheDrive)
  • Volvo said in January 2018, that its medium-duty electric truck will be widely available in Europe in 2019 with some customers able to take delivery later this year. (source: InnoTechToday) Two models will be available. The Volvo FL electric truck will have gross vehicle weight of 16 tonnes and offer a range of up to 300 km (185 miles.) It is designed for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions. The Volvo FE electric is a larger, distribution-sized truck that can handle gross weights of up to 27 tonnes and has a range of up to 200 km. (source: CleanTechnica)

Slow electrification

Management consultants McKinsey estimate that electric long-haul trucks will be cost equivalent to diesel trucks by 2028 if battery technology improves consistently at its current rate and that by 2030, electric trucks will account for up to 15 percent of global sales. (source: Nordic Business Insider)

Are electric trucks coming our way next year?

Yes. There will be a reasonable selection of electric medium and heavy trucks to choose from in Europe in 2019 with some available before then.

Experience electric delivery with TIP

TIP will offer electric trucks through rental or leasing as the market matures, possibly in 2019. Meanwhile, it can provide eLCVs on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). The long-term lease includes maintenance and repair. Customers benefit from TIP’s extensive fleet management experience, its network of workshops across Europe that can service electric vehicles; its expertise in telematics and remote access maintenance; reporting.

TIP can buy conventional LCVs and dispose of them as part of a part-exchange option. For more information on how you can experience electric delivery through TIP’s eLCV offer, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.


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