Ktwo trailers are widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading trailer and spreader manufacturers with state-of-the-art production facilities in Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, the Ktwo business started from more humble beginnings, producing drum mowers and swath conditioners in a barn half full of grain.
That was in 1988, but in 1990, the BJ Spreaders business was acquired, and Ktwo quickly developed new models with vertical beaters, which were preferred by the industry, and they sold well. A larger factory was needed to meet demand, and the current site at Haddenham in Buckinghamshire was purchased in 1993. Spreaders were manufactured there from 1994, at which time the last Ktwo mowers were produced, and after which the final units were sold in 1996.
Ktwo bespoke trailer manufacturers – The trailer sub-chassis starts with two main beams.
Customer Request Inspires Diversification
By 1998, the business was growing, and Ktwo bespoke trailer manufacturers was producing 25–30 spreaders per year. However, when a contractor asked the company to produce trailers for him, these were added to the range. “We have always been proud of producing machines of excellent quality and like to think they are as good as anything else available,” explained Group Managing Director Terry Kelloway. “Being familiar with our spreader quality meant that he regarded us as an ideal supplier for his trailers too.”
Increased Manufacturing Capacity
As demand exceeded the manufacturing capacity available at the Buckinghamshire plant, a visit to the Warwick Trailers factory at Shirrell Heath in Hampshire in 2019 resulted in an agreement for Ktwo to acquire the site and business, allowing it to triple its production capacity.
Within less than a year, manufacturing of Ktwo Curve tipping and Flatbed trailers started at the newly acquired site alongside selected models of Warwick Trailers. At the same time, the Haddenham plant continued producing spreaders and push trailers and cut and folded steel for trailer construction at both locations. Some steel cutting and folding are also contracted out to local businesses to ensure the high demand for Ktwo bespoke trailer manufacturers’ products can be met.
Ktwo bespoke trailer manufacturers – Steel body sections are assembled.
The Haddenham Site covers 26,000ft², while the former Warwick Trailers plant is 52,000ft². A team of 85 people is employed – four of whom were members of the original team when the company started. Terry Kelloway oversees manufacturing at both sites, and there are also production managers at both locations. “The additional space has allowed us to increase sales while investing heavily to develop our range further,” he continued.
To ensure product quality, only premium materials and components are used. Approximately 100t of steel is purchased monthly from Tata, including standard, high-grade and Hardox. PTO components and most gearboxes are from Walterscheid.
One of the most significant changes in recent years has been a move from selling direct to appointing a network of dealers, and this has resulted in a significant increase in orders. Most dealers are multi-branch, and Ktwo provides bespoke training for sales staff to ensure customers are recommended the most suitable products for their applications. Dealers book and commit to manufacturing slots throughout the year, and final specifications can be agreed upon later – ensuring excellent availability.
The chassis and body are shot-blasted in a new shot=blasting cabinet – 5m wide, 5m high and 25m long. High-quality Shotblast Profilium 058 steel pellets achieve an optimum finish and are recovered for reuse.
Growing Export Market
The first Ktwo trailer was a 12t model, but now the company produces large triaxle trailers up to 3.2m wide and up to 70t capacity for the American market. A growing reputation for quality products means that the demand from overseas markets is growing, and now 20 per cent of the trailers and spreaders are regularly exported to countries including Canada and North America, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland, where they are sold through dealers. Because demand for the spreaders is as high as for the trailers, shipping efficiency is improved by loading spreaders inside the trailer bodies. The factory’s location close to the port at Southampton is an advantage – reducing travel distances in the UK.
The Ktwo Roadeo trailer range includes Flatbed, Low Loader, Contractor, Dumper, Curve Tipping (10–20t), as well as Compact and Push (16–25t) models.
Specialist Roadeo Compact and Push trailers have a moving floor and hydraulic headboard to eject the load as an alternative to tipping and have been manufactured by Ktwo since 2013. “We were aware of push trailers entering the UK from European manufacturers, and as specialist top-end products, this type of trailer suited our business. Many of our customers are larger farms and contractors, and we believed that push trailers would appeal to the same users. We designed and built our own Roadeo Compact and Push trailers which make up the UK’s best-selling compactor range today,” Terry explained.
The trailer bodies are buffed after shot blasting, leaving surfaces completely smooth and ready for painting.
“The trailers look better as a result and require less paint,” explained Terry. “Two-pack paint is used. Undercoat and then topcoat is applied in separate bays – wet on wet. The paint application is automatically monitored during the painting process to ensure the correct application, and we can supply almost any colour.”
Using the push headboard to compress the load means compactor trailers typically carry up to 25% more material than standard models of equivalent size. Most are supplied for silage, and apart from the extra capacity, advantages of the push emptying system include the ability to operate in low sheds where standard tipping trailers are unsuitable and use on uneven ground where raised tipping trailers could be unstable.
The company’s experience is that once customers have had Roadeo Compact and Push trailers, they don’t buy standard trailers again. This is because they are just as versatile as traditional trailers and, as well as using them for cereals, silage, and root crops, they are ideal for woodchip, compost, and aggregates where the ability to compress and pack in more material improves transport efficiency.
Terry commented that although the move from standard tipping trailers to push models has been gradual, the change to large, flotation tyres is happening more quickly. “Only a few years ago, most trailers had super-single wheels and tyres, but now nine out of 10 orders specify flotation options. They cost more, but benefits include reduced soil compaction damage and fuel savings as they are easier to pull”.
“Steering axles are also becoming more popular as they protect the tyres by reducing scrubbing and extending the working life.”
“Suspension systems, both active and passive, are also in demand, and it’s easy to incorporate accurate load weighing technology – especially for the push-off trailers.”
The Ktwo factory visit coincided with production of a trailer for a Crawfords customer. Pictured –
production manager Alex Baylis with the build sheet and the half-built trailer.
Ktwo Spreaders. An Excellent Reputation
The Ktwo spreader range includes four series:
- Eco with vertical beaters: single axles and capacities from 8.8–10.8m³
- Evo with vertical beaters: single, twin, or triple axles and capacities from 21.5–36.3m³
- Duo with vertical beaters: single, twin, or triple axles and capacities from 9.8–23.2m³
- Bio with horizontal beaters and twin horizontal discs: single, twin, or triple axles and capacities from 21.5–36.3m³
- All spreaders except the Eco series have commercial axles and high-speed running gear
“Manure has become a valuable resource – partly due to the high cost of artificial fertiliser but also because soil health is a priority. This means that more farmers are investing in spreaders capable of precision applications, and sales of disc spreaders are increasing. Farms are also investing in their own spreaders rather than relying on contractors, which gives them the flexibility to spread when conditions are optimal and to apply manure as a light dressing when nutrients are needed,” explained Terry.
Trailers ready for dispatch at the Shirrell Heath, Hampshire, production plant. All tractor brand colours are available, while alternative colours can be specified at an extra cost.
Crawfords Partnership Benefits Customers
Crawfords took on the Ktwo franchise in June last year, although long lead times meant that 2022 was the first year that products had been fully available. “Being able to bring potential customers to the factory to see how the trailers are made has been a big advantage for our sales teams, particularly those nearby in Hampshire and Sussex,” explained Crawfords Marketing Manager Hannah Kelsey. “Teams from all of our depots find Ktwo very easy to work with, and our customers benefit from the wide range of products and options we can offer now, rather than just standard trailers.”
Ktwo employs three full-time design engineers between the two sites who are constantly working on product improvements as well as future additions to the range.
Building High-Quality Trailers.
Ktwo bespoke trailer manufacturers Group Managing Director Terry Kelloway.
“Achieving the best-possible build quality and finish is always our priority,” stressed Terry. “We put in a lot of effort to ensure longevity and customer satisfaction. The trailers must last well. They need to be robust, and by purchasing high-quality Ktwo products, our customers can be confident of their long working life and high retained values.
Contact your local depot to discuss your next Ktwo trailer.