Our drivers are very accommodating, but if you want us to deliver, don't ask us to do this:*
* Click on the images to see short videos our drivers brought back of installations that are not in a fit state to receive blown deliveries.
The following should seem obvious to anyone who has given a little thought to access, but these are all based on mistakes that we encounter frequently. Your installer should be practiced at taking these constraints into account in the design, but you might be surprised how often (in our experience) installers have, for their own convenience (and to secure the order), persuaded their customers that fuel suppliers will find a way to cope with an impractical delivery route. We may not, and you could find yourself with no way to fill your hopper other than with small bags of wood pellets (if indeed your hopper has a hatch into which one can tip bags). If you suspect your installer may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes, give us a ring, and we will be happy to discuss it with you and them.
You want to get this right. If we cannot make a delivery because you have failed to provide the necessary access, you will have to pay the delivery cost (to compensate for our wasted journey), even though you have not received your pellets.
You can find information about the required dimensions for access in our Design Guide.
A suitable space must be available on arrival, where our drivers can park safely, legally and without charge, without obstructing the flow of traffic, for as long as needed to deliver the wood pellets.
Do not expect us to park on yellow or red lines or anywhere else where parking is prohibited or limited to too short a time.
Do not expect us to stop for any length of time in the flow of traffic while you try to make space for us to park.
There are limits to the narrowness or gradient of road that our lorries can get down, and the radius of turn that they can get round.
Lorries should only be expected to drive on paved roads. There should be sufficient paved area to avoid having to swing onto soft ground, and to allow plenty of clearance from concealed obstacles such as ditches and bollards, which will not be as easily visible from the cab of a lorry as they are from your car.
Remember that pellet-delivery lorries are quite tall, so you will need to ensure that the route is clear of obstruction from ground level to above the highest point on the lorry.
The inlet flange to which we connect the delivery pipe from our lorries should have a Storz 110A connector, with clear access.
It should be no more than shoulder-height above either the ground or a secure platform on which the driver can stand safely while he attaches the pipe. If a platform is required, it must be accessible by steps or a ramp at a gradient convenient and safe enough to climb whilst carrying a heavy burden (the pipe). If a significant height above ground, the platform must be surrounded by railings high and strong enough to prevent a fall.
The path from lorry to flange must be easily accessible on foot. The driver should not be expected to climb ladders, remove or climb obstacles, or lift the pipe above shoulder-height to get past obstacles.
The flange should be visible from the back end of the lorry.
The following lengths refer to distances along the length of the pipes (i.e. allowing for curvature of the pipe around obstacles), not as the crow flies. The distance from the back of the lorry to the flange must be less than 30 metres. To reduce deterioration, the distance from the back of the lorry to the storage hopper (including our delivery pipe and any pipe between the flange and the hopper) should be less than 15 metres. Ideally, the distance from the back of the lorry to the flange should be less than 7.5 metres.
We will deliver at the rate that gives the least degradation. We achieve the least degradation with a combination of the highest pressure and the highest level of loading in the pipe that can be achieved without stalling the flow, because this minimises the velocity that the pellets travel through the pipe, and the severity of impacts at bends and in the store. Where we have to blow further, higher or round more bends, we may have to reduce the level of loading in the pipes, and this will increase the degradation. It will also increase the time taken to delivery. Counter-intuitively, the least degradation will be achieved at the highest flow rate, because a greater volume of pellets can be delivered in a given period if the pellets are moving densely but slowly through the pipes than if they are moving thinner and faster.
It is up to your installer to provide a store and fuel-handling system able to cope with the pressure required to blow the wood pellets into the store. If a higher delivery pressure is needed to get the wood pellets into the store, we cannot reduce the pressure simply because your installer has specified a low maximum delivery pressure. Your installers should also take account of the pressure drop along the lengths of pipe, and of the effect of venting (active or passive) on the pressure in the store.
Our drivers will not stop or start your boiler or get involved in its operation in any way. If the boiler needs to be stopped before we deliver, it is up to you to stop it. If it needs some time after stopping before we can deliver, it is up to you to stop it sufficiently in advance of our arrival.(Better still, if you are still at the design stage, ask your installer to supply a system that does not have to be stopped for fuel-deliveries. In the long-run, you will regret accepting this limitation.)
Likewise, for anything else that must be completed before we deliver (for example, if parking spaces have to be cleared). There are strict limits on how long our drivers can be driving and working, and we will often not have much scope to wait, if we are to stay within the law.
We will do our best to work with you - to provide an estimated time of arrival and to let you know if there are major delays - but traffic and accidents are out of our control, and our drivers may not always have a mobile signal to let us and you know if there is a hold-up. If you have the option of a system that can be refueled unattended, it will probably save you a lot of frustration in the long-run. After all, convenience was one of the reasons why you went for bulk-delivered wood pellets in the first place, wasn't it?