Category Archives: News

Northern MHE demonstration generates high interest

There are the Oscar’s, the Brit Awards, and the Grammy’s, but the recent demonstration of the Multidrive horizontal ejector system (MHE) kit may have put all of these in the shade!  Since the last demonstration held in Somerset in October 2019 word had spread around the construction cognescenti that the Multidrive MHE kit ticks all the boxes, so attendees at the Northern demonstration at a Hanson site near Wigan were eager to see for themselves just how the MHE is different from alternative systems available.  This was a practical demonstration at a working site, using a working vehicle fitted with the Multidrive MHE kit.

The event welcomed a total of 22 people representing a wide range of companies including some of the major players in the construction industry, owner operators, and body builders.  Among the attendees were several Health & Safety specialists keen to learn more about the benefits of the MHE.  Serious debate among many of the larger construction companies at the event was about the adoption of non-tipping trailers (NTT), and how this would impact on not only future projects but the reboot of major infrastructure projects such as HS2.

To set the scene, the demonstration featured the MHE kit fitted to a Freuhauf semi-trailer, driven and operated by Mr Martin Walker, a Hanson franchisee of many years experience in the discharge of aggregate and asphalt, and with knowledge of operating a wide range of different discharge technologies including vertical tippers, and walking floor based systems.  The aim of the demonstration was to show a range of aggregate being discharged, and to show the many benefits of the MHE kit.

Technology can change perspectives and working practices fast, and whilst few people would dispute the proven safety record of the Multidrive MHE, the demonstration was an opportunity for stakeholders to scrutinise other important aspects, including economy, environmental impact, and performance.

At the top of many people’s list was the subject of the difference in cost between a tipper, the MHE, and alternative horizontal discharge systems.  It was interesting to note the same comment from several individuals saying that although initial purchase cost was traditionally one of the two main criteria (load carrying capacity being the other), it is important to take into account the lifetime cost of ownership and resale values.  Returning to Martin’s extensive experience, he explained to the audience that replacing plates and bearings on a walking floor can be expensive and time consuming, requiring specialist equipment and service.  Furthermore, he mentioned that frequent replacement of parts should be expected with metal based walking floor type systems, depending on the type of aggregate discharged.  Martin also added ‘specifying a dual asphalt and aggregate belt on the Multidrive MHE can be an economic and time saving investment as the MHE belt can easily last 5 years or more, and provides greater flexibility to discharge a wider range of materials’.

Another major consideration when considering the discharge of material is the environment.  Attendees at the demonstration witnessed the rapid discharge of different types of aggregate, each  in under a minute, and at idling speed of the engine.  This was an important feature to the Fleet Managers present who said that pressure from environmental groups to reduce pollution levels associated with slow discharge would be a key consideration when deciding on what type of discharge system to use.  On a similar note, the quietness of the MHE was also applauded, again minimising the impact of noise levels to wildlife and local communities.

There was a clear appreciation of the performance of the MHE in terms of the time taken to discharge loads quickly and safely, allowing a faster throughput of vehicles on a construction site, using less fuel as a result of the rapid discharge time.  There was also appreciation for how the MHE kit can be incorporated into a new build of trailer, semi-trailer, or rigid body, as Multidrive make the kit available to any body builder.

As we get set to enter the month of March the annual Tip-ex show at Harrogate looms ever closer, and body builders are already gearing up for the big event.  At this years’ show there will be 2 Multidrive MHE kits to see, one fitted to a body built by Martrans, a premier partner of Multidrive.  The shows runs from May 28th through May 30th.

Tip-ex and Tank-ex 20 are the only UK events dedicated to the tipping, bulk haulage, tanker and bulk liquid transport industries. With over 100 leading manufacturers and suppliers on show, many of whom only exhibit at Tip-ex.  As well as the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest trends in materials discharge, the opportunity to network at many of the social events each evening are a growing feature of the show.  Harrogate is centrally located with a good network of motorways and airports nearby.

Multidrive Horizontal Ejection System Demonstration Receives High Praise

The weather at the venue for the Multidrive Horizontal Ejector System (MHE) kit may have been wet and windy but praise was high from the people who attended the demonstration.  The event gave a practical demonstration of our MHE kit in operation, showing the MHE kit fitted to a Freuhauf body discharging a variety of different materials.  There was also the opportunity to understand more of the technical aspects from Hanson franchisee Martin Taylor.  It seemed everyone wanted to know the answers to specific questions and both Multidrive staff and Martin were kept busy answering them.


The attendees included representatives from some of the main players in the Construction industry, and their positive feedback covered different aspects: some were talking about the impressive performance of the MHE kit, seeing a discharge time of well under a minute for all materials, others were saying that the Health & Safety features had raised the bar for safety expectations, particularly where the MHE kit could replace the discharge of asphalt and aggregate where vertical tipping restrictions are concerned.  The event was held in response to a growing demand from potential users to see the MHE kit in action.

October Demo


For further information or to arrange a demonstration please contact us:


Phone: 01386 423633

A Successful Demonstration

Earlier this week Martrans Trailers alongside Hanson’s Martin Taylor (owner/operator) successfully demonstrated the horizontal ejector kit. Following the successful demo many orders have began rolling in.

Martin Taylor has operated a Multidrive MHE system based trailer for the past six years and has proven it to be ideal for the application.  He says ‘one of the main benefits for me is that the sharp aggregate that is a feature of the material quarried in the South West does not cause the same degree of wear as it has done with alternative horizontal discharge systems. “

As a franchised operator for Hanson working on major projects such as Hinckley Point C, he needs high performance, reliability, and the safety of a non-tipping trailer.  Martin also cites the speed of discharge of the Multidrive MHE system as being eco-friendly as less fuel is used.  Martin has recently taken delivery of another trailer with the MHE system and has another on order.

One of Hanson’s original MHE trailers.

Martin has recently taken delivery of another Fruehauf trailer with the system and has another on order.

Fruehauf has advised that his new trailer with the Multidrive kit will have a legal payload of 28.8 tonnes.

Martin’s first Fruehauf Trailer.

Following the MHE’s performance at the demonstration, further kits have been ordered.

For further information or to arrange a demonstration please contact us:


Phone: 01386 423633

Caterpillar’s Newest Industrial Trailer Is On It’s Way!

Caterpillar has previously been relying on the Auto-Mate industrial trailer on multiple daily shifts to carry and manoeuvre their heavier, more awkward items around their factories.

Today, Caterpillar are working on developing a new vehicle, which requires a larger version of the Auto-Mate. After some design work, Multidrive have managed to create the new Auto-Mate with an enhanced lifting system to suit variable weight distributions along the load bed.

Caterpillar is satisfied with their new purchase and will continue to rely on our Auto-Mate industrial trailer system for their heavy lifting.

Caterpillar have been using the Auto-Mate system for over 35 years. The systems have been used daily to move around their Articulated Dump Trucks at the Peterlee plant. Extended versions of the Auto-Mate industrial trailer have been designed for Caterpillar previously, however, their newest Auto-Mate industrial trailer needed to be even bigger.


The original Caterpillar Auto-Mate Industrial Trailers were designed for use in conjunction with a 3.5 tonne forklift, now, to be able to lift their newest vehicle, a 4.5 tonne forklift needs to be used. This step up in forklift size required some modifications to the exiting Auto-Mate industrial trailer system.

Caterpillar need an industrial trailer that could lift various, larger assemblies at variable weight distributions. Fortunately, Multidrive’s design team managed to make these upgrades with a minimal effect on lead times.

Caterpillar have relied on Multidrive for many years, and we believe they won’t stop now.


Zero Harm Contracts Logo. What are they? Why Are They important?

What is Zero Harm? Get Our Free Guide!

Zero Harm Contracts are an initiative embraced by businesses in order to reduce or eliminate risk to staff, clients, subcontractors, stakeholders and the environment.

To achieve this, companies are removing any tools or processes deemed an unnecessary threat to those involved.

Zero Harm contracts are becoming more and more important amongst the construction industry. This growth in demand has increased the awareness of zero harm contracts in the public eye.

EDF Energy state “We believe all harm is preventable. That’s why Zero Harm is an enduring priority for us. This ambition means making sure our workplaces are safe and healthy for everyone: our employees and anyone working on our behalf.” 

“Advocates of Zero Harm Contracts are arguing that it is the only target any organisation should set.” – Iosh Magazine

Infrastructure multinational Balfour Beatty also qualifies its zero-harm goals. Heather Bryant, director of health, safety and sustainability, says: “Although ‘zero harm’ is the slogan, Balfour Beatty focuses on controlling significant risks through a high level of employee engagement and empowerment. Zero harm presents a culture, not a set of unprioritised measures.”

The question to you is, can you really put a price on safety?


Subscribe to our newsletter for your free guide to zero harm implementation.


Martrans Trailers

To Tip Or Not To Tip? Tip-Ex / Tank-Ex Harrogate 2019

Last week we were exhibiting at the Tip-Ex / Tank-Ex show in Harrogate. With stands and presentations from a range of companies it was interesting to see and hear from people from all walks of the bulk haulage industries.


Our Stand:

Based at stand CA1 we had the opportunity to discuss with a range of different people the positive and negatives of different technologies within the industry. This was eye opening for a lot of people. 

With more and more companies recognizing that dump trucks are a dangerous method of aggregate discharge the popularity of alternative systems is growing. This was noticeable at the show with companies like Kellberg, Wilcox, Keith Walking Floor, Swan Commercials and Crick Trailers showcasing their take on horizontal ejector systems alongside alternative systems.

At the Multidrive stand we were showcasing our horizontal discharge system the Multidrive Horizontal Ejector System (MHE).

In hall B, on the Paneltex / Martrans Trailers stand visitors had the opportunity to see our kit incorporated into one of their semi-trailers.

Throughout the show were a range of presentations on different topics surrounding the industry of bulk haulage.

The topics included safety, alternative fuels and innovation followed by a debate on whether to tip or not to tip.

During the alternative fuels panel companies such as Daf, Iveco and Volvo showcased their views on electric powered transport solutions and other alternative fuels.

On the innovation spotlight were presentations from Multidrive, Müller, Peoples Panel and others. Each of the companies presenting in these slots had the opportunity to showcase their technology to visitors and exhibitors at the show.

To finish off was the tip or not to debate. With input from Multidrive, Keith Walking Floor and Hyva. Both parties came up with valid points covering everything from safety to reliability.

Opportunities to discuss these in public allowed everyone to make up their own mind about whether tipping is still necessary when alternatives are readily available.

Alternative Solution To An Ever Present Threat

The growing concerns over the potential safety hazards of vertical tippers are making people think more about the alternatives. There are many news stories out there today informing us of the potential dangers and consequences of the misuse of vertical tippers. Having acknowledged the risk, let’s turn our attention to the positive side and consider the alternatives. If we look at the generic horizontal ejector systems, there are several options available.
These include moving floor, push out, and belt driven systems.

Moving floor systems are a hydraulically-driven moving floor conveyance system ideal for moving bulk material or palletized product; however, they do not fare so well with finer aggregate loads such as limestone dust or sand due to the potential ingress of material acting as an abrasive within the moving parts. In some cases, the moving floor system can also be used to automate and facilitate the loading of palletized goods, eliminating the need for a forklift. Moving floor systems can take approximately 5 to 15 minutes to unload a full 13.6-metre trailer, depending on the material being discharged. Some users of the moving floor system have observed that its operation can be noisy, and this may be important when operating in an environment sensitive to disturbance from noise.

Push out ejector systems utilise a three-stage telescopic cylinder. This cylinder extends and pushes the aggregate load to the rear of the vehicle. Owner/ operators have reported that the system works well overall, successfully ejecting a range of aggregate loads in around 5-12 minutes. Maintaining the sequence of discharge is important to the operation of this system.
Belt driven systems use a conveyor belt system to carry loads towards the rear of the truck. This system has the least moving parts, making it easy to maintain. Different belts can carry a wider range of materials than the walking floor and push out systems, as there are no gaps for finer aggregate material to fall into. Out of the three mentioned, belt driven systems operate quieter, quicker and more efficiently, but all this comes at a price.

The main influences affecting a business’s decisions to include a horizontal ejector system-based vehicle are the increasing number of Zero Harm contracts being awarded, the environmental benefits, low maintenance costs, and the health and safety of the work force.
For these reasons the use of vertical tippers are slowly becoming reduced across construction sites. An example of these conditions being put into place is at the construction site of Hinkley Power Station in Somerset. Here, they are very sensitive to the potential problems of aggregate loads being discharged through tipping, and the use of the Multidrive horizontal ejector system (HES) is acknowledged as a more widely acceptable alternative.

Every construction site around the world makes an impact to their surroundings to a greater or lesser degree, including wildlife habitat, neighbours, and the natural and built environment. Good environmental practise enables these impacts to be managed positively. Impacts can take many forms. The most obvious ones are those that affect flora and fauna, watercourses, noise, and pollution. Vertical tippers are renowned for having a more negative affect on these aspects. The dust cloud produced when tipping can adversely affect the flora, fauna, and pollution levels. This has become a major influence when deciding to make the move to horizontal. If environmental considerations are the carrot, then penalties arising from the misuse of tippers may be the stick.

Recently, the Mick George Haulage Company was fined £565,000 when a vertical tipper came “close to touching” an overhead line. As a consequence, companies are weighing up the pros and cons of all types of discharge systems more seriously than may have been the case in the past.

Multidrive goes nuclear

Multidrive goes ‘Nuclear’

Multidrive’s MHE systems are currently delivering aggregate to EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point, the biggest construction site in Europe.

The MHE systems are being used to supply the aggregate to Hanson who produce the concreate used in the construction. The aggregate must be of the very highest quality, an essential requirement for ‘nuclear concrete’.

The horizontal discharging Multidrive MHE offers a safe means of discharge and is able to operate on unstable ground.

A further advantage of the Multidrive MHE is the speed of ejection, this dramatically reduces time spent at the discharge point.  Operators advise that this enables them to achieve a 20% increase in productivity.

Multidrive goes nuclear




Safety Critical

Safety Critical

Multidrive MHE horizontal discharging system offers a safe and quick means of truck and trailer discharge.

In a recent case a construction haulage company was fined £565,000 for tipping too close to a 33kV power line  Fortunately in this incident the driver was unharmed.

The non-tipping MHE system not only avoids the perils of a raised body contacting powerlines it also enables discharge in other areas of limited headroom, in tunnels under bridges and similar obstructions.

Tipper bodies are inherently unstable and prone to roll over when operated on soft or uneven ground, the MHE obviates this risk.

Safety Critical

Multidrive M8

Chinese Licensee for Multidrive M8

The Chinese licensee for Multidrive’s M8, multi-wheel driving technology, has now completed more than 3 years of intensive testing of their pre-production trucks, in various mining and civil engineering applications. They are due to start series production during 2018 and plan to manufacture vehicles for transportation in desert, swamp and mining areas. It is reported that annual output of the vehicles will be 10,000 when the project goes into full production.

Read more here. . .Multidrive M8Multidrive M8