DS Smith, a leading provider of corrugated and specialist plastic packaging solutions, has returned to Ryder for the supply of nearly 240 specialist vehicles, including 218 Lawrence David trailers with demanding safety specifications and 21 Mercedes-Benz tractor units.

The replacement trailers are among the highest specification Ryder has ever supplied to a customer. The straight frame pillarless curtainsiders feature:

  • SAF wide axle configuration (which helps prevent roll-overs);
  • Strap Safe floor-to-floor load restraint system (previously developed jointly by DS Smith and Lawrence David);
  • securing curtains;
  • Michelin Effitrailer tyre pressure monitoring system (following a successful trial);
  • ground coupling Mavis rails;
  • Soft Dock system with audible warning (adapted to focus on the driver’s rear blindspots);
  • high-level indicator and brake lights; and
  • internal illumination of the trailer (triggered by the driver opening the doors, but only when coupled to a tractor).

DS Smith is renowned for its uncompromising stance on safety; many of the features first appeared in a concept safety trailer that DS Smith and Lawrence David revealed in 2015.

The Actros 2545 Streamspace tractors also feature Active Brake Assist 4 and Predictive Powertrain Control, and Lytx forward-facing and driver-facing cameras. The tractors are fitted with the 12.8l engine rather than the 10.7l as they are trunked hard, with empty running of just 13% on 3,000 miles a week with an average load of 26.5 tonnes. Ryder is supplying the vehicles on lease complete with maintenance.

The tractors and trailers are designed to be as safe as possible around vulnerable users: for example, Brigade’s Backchat speaking side warning alarm is fitted to the tractors, while the trailers’ side marker lights flash when the indicators are used.

The tractor/trailer combinations service England and Wales, primarily delivering reels and paper from DS Smith’s paper mill in Sittingbourne, Kent, to box manufacturers and sheet feeders, and then returning to Sittingbourne with baled papers for recycling. As well as recycled material from DS Smith’s own operations (through the Group’s Recycling Division), papers for recycling are collected from many of the UK’s leading retailers and delivered direct to the mill for recycling.

Mark Abbey, UK Logistics Manager at DS Smith, said: “As a FTSE 100 plc, DS Smith looks to partner with market-leading suppliers that have the infrastructure to support our requirements. Working with the Confederation of Paper Industries and the Health & Safety Laboratory, we’ve concentrated on load security and general safety standards. We wish to continue to be at the forefront of safety standards and developments in our industry – and working with Lawrence David and Ryder is key to that.

“The trailer’s safety spec is designed to ensure the driver does not need to work at height and does not need to climb on to the catwalk.”

John Murray, Ryder Sales & Marketing Director, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with DS Smith, and supporting their drive for increased safety standards for their drivers. Our Business Development Director, Steve Williams, has been able to create an innovative package with the flexibility that works for DS Smith, Lawrence David and Ryder.

“This is one of Ryder’s biggest trailer contracts in the UK and proves our expertise in understanding operators that require highly specified and specialist vehicles.”