Swindon-based T. Quality has invested in 10 newly designed trucks to improve its fleet efficiency and driver safety.
The trucks, designed by commercial vehicle bodybuilder Paneltex, will be delivered throughout 2021 as part of T. Quality’s latest seven-year, full-service contract hire agreement with Coventry-based Fraikin, the largest commercial vehicle fleet services company in Europe.
Mounted to three 7.5-tonne, five 15-tonne and two 18-tonne DAF LFs, the new bodies have been re-engineered to improve fleet efficiency and driver safety.
Graham Kay, National Logistics and Safety Manager at T. Quality, said: “We knew we needed to address a number of issues with our existing truck design, so we turned to Fraikin to make that happen. With more than 20-years working together, I was confident they would find the perfect solution, and they didn’t disappoint.”
A major part of the re-design brief was to swap the position of the refrigerated and ambient compartments, providing the Carrier Transicold refrigeration unit at the front of the vehicle direct access to the freezer section. The new layout removes the need for the extensive internal piping that previously connected the two, something that had caused maintenance issues and costly downtime.
The new bodies feature improved load restraints to protect products in transit, with re-designed steps and flooring for safer loading. Both sections can be fully accessed from either side of the vehicle, meaning the driver never has to work in the road. Each truck also has a full camera and telematics package to monitor and improve driver performance and ensure compliance with the London Direct Vision Standard.
Phil Lang, Truck & Trailer Sales Manager at Paneltex added: “As soon as we sat down with Fraikin and T. Quality, we quickly understood what needed to be done and that our design team would be able to make it happen.”
Of the 10 new assets, six represent replacements for older trucks – two already supplied by Fraikin and four from a competitor – with the remainder new additions to the company’s 100-plus commercial vehicle fleet, of which Fraikin now supplies close to 60 per cent.
Distributed across T. Quality’s facilities in Birmingham, Darlington, Newton Abbot, Staplehurst and Swindon, the trucks will clock up around 40,000 miles a year, delivering ambient and frozen food products to fish and chip shops, fast food outlets and wholesale fish markets across the UK.
A wholesaler of fish and chips, fast food and catering supplies since the 1920s, T. Quality also has national depots in Avonmouth, Bridlington, Leeds, Peterborough and Swansea.