Lorries can be up to a size of 18.75 metres long, 4 metres high and 2.55 metres wide and what's more, vehicles that big are not necessarily a rarity! So it's logical that the halls and storage facilities that such lorries visit need to be big enough to accommodate them. A recent example of this would be the Elvis AG Truckport in Knüllwald close to the A7, which was finished in the summer of 2012. The vehicle doorways are XXL here as well: At 15 metres in width and 5 metres in height, even the largest of vehicles is able to enter and exit the building comfortably. Teckentrup (Verl) developed a special double door system to allow the doorways to be closed with roller shutters. The moveable centre posts are a real highlight.
Efficient and fast, even for small loading volumes: that was the goal that Elvis Teilladungssystem GmbH set itself when it was planning a new goods handling facility. Now smaller part loads can be handled rather than the pallets having to be processed individually. The plan was also to utilise the loading capacities of the lorries to the fullest extent. The result of this is a 10,000 square metre hall with to entrance/exit doorways through which the lorries drive in and out.
The central facility is very well placed on the A7 just south of Kassel. Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin - hardly any important destination is further than 400 km away. The modern "hub" has become a firm favourite for long distance drivers due to its size being perfect for heavy-goods vehicles. The hall makes short loading times possible and extremely wide entrances and exits mean that drivers do not have to manoeuvre extensively.
XXL entrances for XXL lorries
The entrances and exits were planned to be extra-large so that they do not become an obstruction in the hub. They are 15 metres wide and almost five metres high. A special solution was needed for the doors. The door and gate specialist Teckentrup (Verl) rose to this challenge. The basic idea: A design with roller shutters was required, despite the fact that the entrances and exits needed to be very wide. The solution: Two doors located next to each other, in which the middle post takes over the lateral guidance; the post then slides to one side when the doors are fully opened. Eight ThermoTeck roller shutters with direct mount drive were fitted into the four hall entrances - two for each opening. The middle post is 50 cm wide and is made from galvanised steel; it ensures that the doors remain stable and assists with guidance. It is connected with the guide rails at the top; using these it can also be shifted to the side.
Safety is ensured at all times: To shift the post, it must first be unlocked; in the same manner, the doors can only be moved when the middle post is locked in place. As the glazing is on eye level, it is easy to see what is happening on the other side.
Like a beehive at night
At night, the goods handling hall becomes a hub for goods exchange - a buzzing beehive of activity. 70 to 75 lorries enter the large entrances from all directions. Fork lift trucks arrive immediately, load and unload the lorries and the vehicles are quickly back on the road, with new goods and new destinations. 700 to 800 tonnes of goods are moved every night. But there is still room for more: The capacity limit is 200 lorries; the current plot of land would permit three times as much stock to be processed if further facilities were built.
Day or night, they're always on the go.
As the main working hours are during the night, the Knüllwald facility is equipped with strong floodlights. A photovoltaic facility provides part of the power supply – around 760,000 kWh per year.
With its new hub facility, the operator (Elvis Teilladungssystem GmbH) has secured a good position in the transport market. Up until now, transport had primarily taken place using pallets. The Truckport provides the group of logistics experts and companies with a centre for handling smaller quantities. This means that the following ideal situation can be achieved more often: The haulage company sends a lorry from their region to the central hub, the lorry then transfers parts of the freight to partners from destination regions and receives loads for their own region. The drivers go back home and deliver the goods (on behalf of the partners) and the loading volume is utilised in the best possible manner.