Cartwright trailers

Location Atlantic Street, Broadheath, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 5EW UK
Customer The Cartwright Group
Products Used Birch Ply
End-Use HGV trailer flooring

Trailer manufacturer Cartwright relies on Metsä Wood’s plywood flooring – designed for industrial durability

​Cartwright Group is a privately-owned commercial vehicle bodybuilder and trailer manufacturer based in Altrincham in Cheshire in the UK. Established in 1952, this third-generation family business has become a leading trailer and commercial vehicle body manufacturer for heavy goods vehicles in the UK.

Cartwright has one of the most efficient bodywork and trailer manufacturing plants in Europe. The Group manufactures more than 3,000 trailers a year. One in ten Cartwright trailers is exported elsewhere in Europe, and the company also sells in Australia. Investment in new manufacturing processes and technology continues, and further expansion is being planned.

Cartwright builds most of their trailers with Metsä Wood’s Birch Ply Floor 500 plywood flooring, designed for optimal industrial durability.

Trailer flooring

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Logistics needs to rest on a solid foundation

HGV trailers are loaded as fully as possible for maximum payload profitability. This places high demands on their floors, which need to withstand structural strain such as the bending and twisting of the trailer itself, as well as the abrasion and roll wear caused by loading and unloading.

Moreover, the floor panels must always be dimensioned not only for the weight of the payload but for the load peaks to which the floor is subjected when driving on uneven roads or over bumps.

Finally, personnel safety needs to be considered. The floors must not be slippery, which might cause personal injury.

From the manufacturer’s business perspective, all these requirements must be met at a reasonable purchase price and with reliable deliveries. Metsä Wood’s Birch Ply Floor 500 ticks all the boxes for Cartwright.

Industrial durability

Advantages in the manufacturing process

Most Cartwright-manufactured trailers are refrigerated, box vans or curtainsiders built on a steel chassis. Metsä Wood’s durable Birch Ply Floor 500 plywood is used for the floors of two-thirds of all trailers built.

Lionel Curtis, Technical Director at Cartwright, says that the strength of Floor 500 allows the company to save on the amount of steel: instead of 300 mm between the supporting bearers in the chassis, Cartwright has been able to go to 375 mm.

“With Birch Ply Floor 500, we can optimise bearer space, thereby achieving the required floor strength with the minimum of steel underneath,” Curtis adds.

Unlike many competitors, Cartwright uses special fixings between the chassis and the floor to eliminate twisting. This contributes to longer lifetimes for the floor panels.


Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Strenght meest durability in the Birch Ply plywood floors

Metsä Wood’s birch plywood products are produced from high-quality birch from sustainably grown Northern forests. Birch plywood combines a light weight with excellent strength and stiffness properties, and therefore performs well in applications demanding high strength and rigidity.

Optimised for customer specifications

Metsä Wood develops trailer flooring in cooperation with key trailer manufacturers. This is also the case with Cartwright. “We have worked with Metsä Wood for several years, and the result is that the product meets our specifications exactly,” says Lionel Curtis.

A result of the collaboration is that Metsä Wood delivers Floor 500 panels customised to Cartwright’s specifications for material optimisation. “We can use the same boards everywhere, which helps logistics, as all the panels stored at the site are the same size. This reduces waste and eliminates errors in production, because you can’t pick up the wrong panel by accident.”

The custom size of the panels also means that the mill sealing on the edges of the panels remains intact. Because the panels are not reworked or machined at the Cartwright factory, the edges don’t need to be resealed for moisture protection.

​Thanks to the strength of the flooring panels, longer distances between the supporting bearers are possible, saving material and weight for higher payloads.

​All panels are the same size, eliminating errors and waste in production. The moisture sealing remains intact.

Durabilityfor demanding use   

Trailer floors are used in rough environments. Frequent loading and unloading cause both rolling and abrasion wear. Birch Ply Floor 500 is overlaid with a multilayer phenol film with a wire mesh pattern. The rough-surfaced heavy-duty multipurpose panel is ideal for applications requiring a reliable and long-lasting anti-slip surface.

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Besides its high strength-to-weight ratio, Floor 500 achieves 3,200 Taber revolutions for abrasion wear resistance and rolling wear resistance of 7,000 using a method corresponding to SS 923508. Its slip resistance class is the highest, R13 according to DIN 51130, offering advantages in both load securing and personnel work safety.

Plywood flooring with an optimised cost-benefit ratio

Birch Ply Floor 500 makes business sense for Cartwright. “There is a good balance between Metsä Wood’s delivery profile, their engineering and the product’s durability properties. This results in cost benefits, making Floor 500 good value for money,” says Lionel Curtis.

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