Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Wessex Water has taken delivery of six high capacity pipe coil trailers manufactured by Steve Vick International. The newly designed 90/500 trailers are the first available in the UK to transport and dispense 500 metre coils of PE with diameters from 63mm to 90mm.

After extensive research, Wessex Water selected the new trailers because they found them to dispense pipe very smoothly and quickly thanks to a hydraulically raised hexagonal central drum configuration. Wayne Johnson, explains, “With the trailers we were using we had to allocate two or three operatives to assist in dispensing the PE pipe but with these new trailers, the pipe comes off so smoothly that it can be handled easily by one person.”

This is a completely new design from the company which began manufacturing pipe coil trailers in the 1980s. With its hexagonal frame, the central drum is moved from loading/dispensing position to the transport position by hydraulics. The method of removing and replacing the drum bars in order to load the pipe coil has been simplified and is now a one-man operation.

The ease with which pipe is dispensed from the trailer is demonstrated by the fact that, once loaded onto the central drum, a 500m coil can be easily rotated by hand to allow positioning of the leading edge prior to dispensing. A central drum brake disc, which is mechanically applied, allows the operative to control the rate at which the pipe comes off the coil thus avoiding the risk of the drum rotating freely. Any unused pipe can easily be re-coiled in a single-handed operation for use on another project.

All procedures carried out from ground level

With operational safety being paramount, all loading and dispensing procedures are carried out from ground level with the 90/500 trailer avoiding the need for operatives to climb onto the frame or put their hands within the rotating drum area.

Both ends of the pipe are secured until the moment of dispensing to prevent the PE ‘springing away’ thus avoiding an injury hazard. A rear safety cage, which encases and therefore secures the coil during transport, is raised and lowered using hydraulics when loading/unloading coils.

As the pipe is dispensed, the leading end of the PE is passed through a guide roller unit mounted on the rear of the trailer. This assists the smooth dispensing/re-coiling of the pipe


Wessex Water is using the four trailers in conjunction with pipebursting equipment, in pipe renewal projects around the region. Wayne says, “The new trailers work really efficiently on these pipebursting projects with just one operative controlling the PE as it is installed in the ground. We’re also finding that we are using less PE as we can re-coil unused pipe to use on the next project.”

The new Steve Vick 90/500 trailer is designed to hold coils with an inner diameter of 1.8 metres and a maximum coil weight of 800kg. Despite its high capacity, the 90/500 is a single-axle design resulting in maximum manoeuvrability during transport and in onsite conditions. And weighing in at less than 2000 kg fully laden, it may be towed by a typical transit vehicle.

Steve Vick International offers comprehensive training packages on the 90/500 trailer which meets PUWER requirements and is CE approved. It comes with full road lighting (LED is optional) and for overseas customers the trailer can be transported ‘flatpack’ to reduce delivery costs, and is suitable for registration in all EU countries.

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September 2019

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