STAS UK: Safe and high-performance tippers and moving floors in the UK
After exporting STAS products for more than twenty years and having them distributed through professional business partners, STAS UK was founded in March 2017. The subsidiary deals with all new sales and provides full product support sales, service, parts & rental for the United Kingdom. Graham Macmillan heads the team. We asked him about STAS trailers in the UK.
How did you become convinced about STAS trailers?
“I have been involved with STAS for around 20 years, and I was hesitant at 1st as a fleet engineer of a large UK Tipping fleet. I didn’t believe the aluminium chassis was robust enough for the rigours of the UK tipping industry. But after 2 years of operating the STAS full aluminium chassis, I was sold on STAS. From a maintenance point, no maintenance was required to the aluminium chassis or body even after 6 years of arduously tipping 4 to 5 loads per day,” Graham explains.
“Drivers were quickly convinced of STAS trailers by how immaculately the trailer follows the truck and how they handle on corners. We often get feedback from drivers that it feels like there is no trailer behind the truck. The feedback was 100% positive. Comments ranged from “It feels like the trailer is on rails” to “the truck is better to drive” and more positive feedback about the truck-trailer combination.”
What are the greatest advantages of a STAS trailer in the UK market?
For a start, we can state our decades of product and production knowledge in the home market, but in addition to this, the comprehensive European Whole Vehicle Type Approval and the certified load securing system are clearly significant trump cards for the UK. And don’t forget that the 1400mm chassis centres with 1600mm at the outer edges are the widest and deepest on the market. The 11 full-height cross members make the full chassis frame the most resistant in the market to torsional stresses & fatigue. The aluminium chassis results in less distortion and greater stability. This means a reduction in the ‘rolling effect’ with contortions, as well as less paint peeling off. The STAS aluminium chassis has been the strongest and lightest for over 40 years.
The 1400 mm wide chassis is typical STAS and therefore typically Belgian of course. How has it been received in the UK?
By having different chassis upper and lower beam thicknesses for each type of chassis, it’s possible to create the perfect level of strength and reduce material fatigue. The rigidity of the chassis lowers the pressure on the paint. We design the chassis to flex less than a steel chassis, and thanks to the rear welded container crossbeam, the torsion resistance is increased. There’s also the tipping hinge which is integrated into the chassis and therefore prevents corrosion. These are the advantages that our competitors cannot match and of course, are details that get people talking and are clearly appreciated. The whole chassis design gives the strongest tipping platform on the market.
The safety regulations in the UK are a little more complex than in Europe. To what extent does STAS comply with the regulations?
As far as I know, STAS is the only manufacturer of tippers and moving floors in the UK that supplies a comprehensive, practical manual with all its trailers. Some British transport companies even use our manual as a general manual. This means that the strict observance of the regulations regarding safety becomes a useful tool for selling. For example, the WVTA certification. Only the axle and braking systems are approved by many of our competitors. The UK IRTE tipper stability test is the minimum requirement, and many industries need this to ensure the trailer is manufactured to a high standard. This also shows the commitment to safety. The STAS Agrostar and Buildstar have an angle of inclination of 7° and therefore have easily passed the test. STAS UK now offers training on how to safely operate and unload STAS tippers and moving floor trailers.
In comparison with other countries, the dimensions of the moving floor in the UK are often greater than elsewhere. Does the British market experience stability problems with vehicles of this size? And what effect does it have on driving comfort?
No problem of course if you are driving a STAS. However, the driver of another make of a fully loaded trailer will soon discover that the vehicle doesn’t give in the same way as the lower chassis does. This is because of the less-than-optimal distribution of forces. Resulting in a less stable feel. With STAS the subdeck is the strongest and lightest in the market with specially designed cross members centres spaced every 300mm and fully welded, the vehicle, chassis, and body work nicely in harmony. This makes driving feel much more stable and gives the driver full control over the vehicle.
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