Baltimore, Maryland-based A-Safe Inc. has unveiled TrailerKerb, a temporary barrier (or kerb) that provides resistance when forklift trucks get close to the edge of flatbed trailers during loading and unloading operations at the dock.
A-Safe, a manufacturer of protective guarding for warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and other workplace environments, will offer TrailerKerb directly to end users and to the reseller / distributor marketplace upon its full launch later this year. Like other products in the range, it is made from A-Safe’s Memaplex material, the company’s patented blend of eight materials and rubber additives that, practically, absorbs impact without incurring damage.
TrailerKerb fills a gap in the U.S. market for a product that enhances safety where loading of flatbed trailers is required from a dock. As Paul Barlow, CEO at A-Safe Inc., explained, construction materials, for example, are commonly loaded from a dock, but as typical sites don’t have such docks, product must be shipped on flatbed trailers to facilitate unloading by telehandlers or other equipment. There are inherent hazards associated with operating forklifts on flatbed transportation without sides or means of protective guarding.
A single section of TrailerKerb weighs just 22 lbs., measures 5 ft. 10 in. in length, and is rated at 3,000J. They will usually be supplied in sets of 12 with the option of a transport rack that can carry all pieces securely via wheels or lifted by forklift. In a typical application, all 12 pieces will be installed from aboard the trailer then as the load moves back, two pieces of the TrailerKerb will be removed at a time. The process can be repeated in reverse if a flatbed is to be unloaded at a dock. TrailerKerb pieces are designed with two handles for ergonomic use in all instances.
Barlow said: “I have not been able to find anything on the market even remotely similar. TrailerKerb is suited to use at any facility or company that currently loads flatbed trailers via forklift trucks from a dock. The product is easily installed by hand prior to loading, and removed as the vehicle is loaded backwards. It is lightweight and can be installed even on trailers with damaged rails, owing to tapered legs.”
A-Safe is gearing up for full product launch in September or October, based on levels of interest and pre-order volume, but a set of 12 units is already out on trial with a large roofing material manufacturer. Barlow revealed that feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with the customer planning to purchase TrailerKerb for each of its regional distribution centers. They will be supplied in highly visible yellow as standard but available in black upon request.
Barlow added: “The early signs are that the product will be widely welcomed. The roofing company has noted the ease of installation and safety advantages gained by this simple but effective guarding solution. We’ll continue to reiterate the importance of not using TrailerKerb to support loads or remain installed during travel. It’s worth adding that the product does not limit flatbed capacity or hinder loading / unloading operations in any way.”
Shown above: TrailerKerb provides a ‘kerb’ to make it safer to operate forklifts on flatbed trailers at loading docks.