Within the transport sector, air cargo transport is regarded the type of transport that requires a high level of expertise.
Working with first-class airline companies requires professional experience with time schedules in order to establish the best possible connections. That’s why time pressure and accuracy play a vital role in this transport sector. Speed is another pivotal factor in air cargo transport. After all, the transport company must always ensure that the cargo reaches the aircraft in time, without fail. An important element in delivering the right service is the use of correct transport equipment that meets the requirements, among other things, set by the airline companies to the transport companies.
Van Eck has been an important partner for both air cargo carriers and airline companies for years and a European leader in the development and production of trailers for the transport of air cargo pallets. The extremely high air cargo pallets are tailored to fit the main deck of a freight carrier, but also fit the Van Eck volume vehicles. Van Eck has a special range of vehicles specifically for the transport of air cargo pallets. All vehicles in this range have been developed by Van Eck in conjunction with transport companies and airline companies and as such meet airline safety standards and requirements and are fully geared to the user criteria set by the carrier. Van Eck further ensures that it provides the air cargo sector with new and innovative transport solutions on a regular basis, so that its clients can have a headstart in their logistical service provision.
Various superstructure options
The Eckspress range offers various superstructure options for the transport of air cargo pallets, such as a curtain canvas with sliding roof, polyester plywood and an insulated superstructure for refrigeration and freezer transport.
Curtain canvas body
The vehicles with curtain canvas body are produced by means of a strong bisonyl canvas with anti-theft security. The bulkhead and the roof can be raised 40 cm by means of three sets of dampers at the front and sides, considerably reducing the loading and unloading times, ensuring a swift handling of the 3,000 mm high pallets without the risk of damage. Other options include loading and unloading from the sides. With the canvas slid back and raised roof, the lateral load-through height is 3,340 mm. An extending rear portal is another option that makes it possible to extend the rear portal to a width of 3,400 mm. With an extending rear portal the carrier creates maximum accessibility when loading and unloading, offering its clients a swift service while minimising the risk of damage.
The refrigeration version is built with high-quality, insulated bodywork. The bodywork is made of glass fibre and polyurethane foam, which is pressed under high pressure into a panel by means of a so-called wet-on-wet method. The result is lightweight, strong bodywork with a high insulation value. The vehicle is supplied with an FNA type ATP certificate, which means that it is suitable for international transport at 0 degrees Celsius and higher. Side doors are optional in the refrigeration version.
The vehicle comes with a refrigerating unit for which the specially designed 157 litre aluminium tank is situated underneath the refrigerating unit and within the vehicle front slewing radius. This offers increased clearance underneath the vehicle, reducing the risk of damage to the vehicle.
Polyester plywood bodywork
For air cargo pallets carrying goods that need not be refrigerated, a polyester plywood superstructure suffices. The plywood is gelcoated on both sides. The polyester plywood bodywork provides proper anti-theft protection and additional strength in terms of securing the load.
All vehicles within the Eckspress range can accommodate 3 metre high pallets. Since the floor and roller conveyors are built into the chassis, an extreme internal height of over 3,000 mm can be realised. With a fifth wheel height of 960 mm, the high main deck pallets can be transported while the carrier can use the maximum potential of the vehicle.
Roller conveyor system
The 3 metre high and 6000 kg heavy air cargo pallets can be easily loaded and unloaded thanks to a floor-integrated roller conveyor system. The system comprises four pneumatic roller conveyors with rolls of 109 mm in width. The roller conveyors have been designed with reliability and lifespan in mind and therefore no dirt can accumulate in the roller track paths, for instance. Contrary to other manufacturers, the roller conveyors have been fitted with two tubes on either side, rather than one. Two tubes make the roller conveyor system stronger, creating a higher pressure to lift the rollers with the cargo. The entire system can be remote controlled.
Drive-assisted loading and unloading system
In cooperation with airliner Lufthansa, Van Eck has developed an extremely safe loading and unloading system, drastically reducing the risk of accidents. The roller conveyor system is fitted with an automated drive system requiring less manpower when loading and unloading the high and heavy air cargo pallets. Transport companies that commission Van Eck to build a drive-assisted vehicle, automatically meet the Lufthansa requirements.
Specially treated chassis
Due to the extreme internal height of the bodyworks, the clearance underneath the vehicles is less compared to that under standard vehicles. Hence the vehicle sits low to the road surface. To prevent accelerated corrosion, all chassis within the Eckspress range undergo a special treatment. The chassis are blasted, metal-sprayed and finished with two-component paint in a colour of personal preference. The customer can also opt for the chassis to undergo a hot-dip galvanizing treatment. Both treatments prolong the life cycle of the vehicle, as a result of which the transport company can keep the vehicle in operation for longer and thus reducing is operational costs.