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Intermodal and container chassis installations

The design of ‘Intermodal’ demountable chassis and trailer equipment is dictated by a set of internationally agreed body dimensions which not only covers the external dimensions, but also the leg arrangement, locking and lifting points, plus key parts of the underframe design. 

Intermodal is the term used to cover an approved body design that can be carried by road, rail or sea.

Not all bodies built to these dimensions are truly intermodal, as to qualify as an intermodal body the design must pass a number of very demanding physical tests carried out at an approved test facility, before a certificate is issued.  If the body is restricted to road use, as many are, it is quite common for the European operator to ‘tweak’ the dimensions to suit a specific requirement, therefore although the locking points are still set to the intermodal standard, the rest of the body no longer conforms.  These variations, particularly in length, can sometimes lead to complications with tail lifts and when used on a drawbar combination.

The use of intermodal bodies is very limited in the UK and as such very few are produced here, however there are requirements for chassis and trailer equipment to accept bodies coming over from Europe and Scandinavia.

The design of compatible chassis and trailer equipment is not governed in the same manner as the bodies, but is more a case of creating a suitable system that can cater for the dimensional constraints of the intermodal bodies and the nominated chassis.  The principles employed are very similar to those of a domestic demountable system, however they do require the use of a different guidance system and twistlocks.

Short sea containers can often be transported on suitable intermodal chassis’ and trailers, providing the detachable guides are removed, as some of the twistlock settings coincide, but more often than not if an operator is transporting sea containers on a regular basis the equipment manufactured would be designed specifically for that purpose.     




Intermodal and container chassis installations

Intermodal Container

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