Toll claims first with Wingliner and auto-mezz combination

By: Rob McKay

Toll Express and Vawdrey hail huge productivity and safety increases with technology pairing’s introduction

Toll claims first with Wingliner and auto-mezz combination
Toll Express national strategic operations manager Warwick Rust with the Wingliner/auto-mezz combination.


Toll Express has gone ahead with a further rollout of the Wingliner freight transfer solution that marries stronger side with mezzanine floor automation.

Developed by Toll Express and trailer manufacturer Vawdrey, the transport and logistics giant says marrying Wingliners with motor-driven mezzanine floors is an Australian first that "transforms how freight is loaded and delivered while increasing safety and productivity".

Toll Express says the automated sides themselves save about seven minutes per delivery over traditional manual methods while the auto-mezz keeps forklifts and personnel out of the way.

It has seven Wingliners across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with plans to bring on another six by the end of the year.

"We purchased our first rigid truck Wingliner around 12 months ago," Toll Express general manager Larry O’Regan says.

"During this time we have seen multiple benefits for both Toll Express customers and staff who both gain from the Wingliner’s smart, safe and time-saving technology.

"Unlike traditional vehicles, where the sides are manually opened and closed to load and unload freight, the Wingliner’s sides automatically open and close with a simple push of a button.

"This allows staff on lifting restrictions to return to the workforce sooner. And, reduces the time spent in loading docks enabling customers to access their freight quicker, reduce congestion and increase productivity.

"The time saved over manually opening and closing the curtains, together with automated mezzanine floors and larger vehicles enables drivers in some cases to more than double their deliveries per day."

In introducing the technology, Toll buys the Isuzu rigids, which the truckmaker sends to Vawdrey for fitout.

"We have two different rigid sizes in use and it can be applied to trailers of varying lengths," a spokesman explains.

The Wingliners themselves have a more solid side than usual.

"This has a hard body side, similar to a pantechnicon, so it performs a load restraint function also, unlike curtains which do not," the spokesman adds.

"It locks in place automatically."

For Toll, arriving at the solution was a collective effort.

"We consulted extensively with our customers and staff to inspire the design of a user-friendly mezzanine floor that can be automatically raised and lowered to the required position," Toll Express national strategic operations manager Warwick Rust says.

"The result is an automatic platform that maximises space, enabling more freight to be safely and efficiently transported and unloaded."

For Vawdrey director Paul Vawdrey, the safety aspect is very satisfying, particularly in dispensing with the dangerous use of pins inserted to hold the mezzanine floor.

"There’s a huge safety aspect to this as we’ve taken the human element away from it," Vawdrey says, noting the incidences of crushing accidents when mezzanines have fallen on workers.

"[Drivers] are not opening curtains, they’re not even out there where the forklifts are loading and unloading."

Also lost is the time wasted shifting floor heights to suit warehouses, he adds.

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