The latest addition to family-owned James Hall & Co’s refrigerated transport fleet is by preferred supplier Gray & Adams and features the electric rear shutter door which it now specifies as a matter of course.
The Preston-based operator is a primary wholesaler to SPAR retailers throughout the north of England, and distributes to more than 600 stores. Its new 11.4m urban double-deck trailer is built on a tandem-axle ‘wheel box’ chassis, employs a Thermo King Spectrum multi-temperature refrigeration system, and is fitted with a hydraulically tilting, 1,500 kg Dhollandia column tail-lift.
Using a key fob, the driver can open and close its JR Industries’ electric shutter door simply and quickly during deliveries. Not only does this solution enhance load security, but it also contributes to increased health and safety by eliminating risks of strains or other injuries.
A Gray & Adams customer for more than 20 years, James Hall & Co operates from a purpose-built head office and distribution centre overlooking Junction 31a of the M6. It runs approximately 70 vehicles built by the UK’s leading manufacturer of temperature-controlled road transport equipment – as well as other 11.4m urban double-deck trailers, the line-up includes 13.6m single- and double-deck trailers, rigid trucks, and dry freight trailers.
Gray & Adams presented one of James Hall & Co’s laned, 26-pallet single-deck trailers with Carrier Transicold Vector 1950 multi-temperature refrigeration unit and electric shutter door outside the National Exhibition Centre at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show.
The operator can trace its roots back to 1863, when James Hall opened a bacon cutting business and retail shop in Southport. Now one of Lancashire’s largest employers, James Hall & Co is also a food manufacturer, producing a wide range of products, from bread to bacon, cakes to cheese, and samosas to sandwiches, and a retailer, through its ownership of 140 SPAR stores. In addition to its core SPAR activities, the company owns other non-food businesses.
James Hall & Co Fleet Engineering Manager Ian Farnworth explains: “By delivering fresh food to store six days a week, we allow our retailers to improve product availability and maximise product life, order hundreds of fresh items in small volumes, control waste and react to changes in demand.
“We maintain an excellent distribution service level of 99%, and that is only possible because we use the finest transport equipment. Crucially, while other manufacturers struggle to provide anything beyond an ‘off the peg’ product, Gray & Adams will design and build bespoke trailers and truck bodies which are perfectly tailored to our needs.
“To underline this point,” he continues, “our latest trailer is based on one that Gray & Adams first produced for us back in 2012, but it’s been revamped to incorporate a number of refinements. These include the electric shutter door, which is still a relatively new concept for us, but has proved very popular with our drivers from a practicality point of view.
“Our primary motivation in introducing this system was to improve health and safety, by relieving colleagues of the hassle of having to bend down to open the doors manually. But there’s an additional benefit in the form of enhanced security, because it restricts the amount of time the door remains open during deliveries.”
Mr Farnworth adds: “We know that we can rely on our Gray & Adams equipment to give us at least 10 years’ trouble-free service. The manufacturer has consistently met our delivery deadlines and, although it’s only seldom that we’ve needed anything, provides reassuringly efficient back-up. It is a partnership that we value very highly indeed.”