Bumper year for Smith Brothers & Webb, manufacturers of Britannia brand of automated washing system
Orders have been pouring in to Smith Brothers & Webb, the Warwickshire-based manufacturer of the Britannia brand of automated washing systems for buses, coaches, trams, commercial vehicles and trains.
The company has enjoyed a bumper couple of years with orders coming in from fleet, bus and rail operators all over the world as well as in the UK. The truckwash market too is increasing as Britannia’s reputation continues to grow in the commercial vehicle marketplace. Indeed Britannia already has washing systems in place at Lymm – the biggest truckwash in Europe.
The buoyant market for automated truck washes comes at a time when the popularity of automated car washes is in sharp decline as motorists flock to use the hand-washing teams that have sprung up across the UK.
Fleet managers, however, in stark contrast to motorists, are shying away from labour-intensive manual cleaning in favour of the swift turnaround and excellent all-over wash quality, speed and cost-effectiveness that automated systems offer.
Andy Barracliffe, director of Britannia Washing Systems, said: “We have had a fantastic couple of years and see no signs of orders abating in 2016 – it’s full steam ahead at our factory in Alcester where all our equipment is designed and made.
“Fleet operators want to maintain their fleet’s professional image on the road at all times and keeping the vehicles sparklingly clean without fuss or bother is an essential element of that.
“They are looking for a time-efficient, reliable and professional solution that gives consistent results and the best answer is an automated washing system. Our Britannia systems can clean up to 80 vehicles an hour and can cope with a variety of differently-sized vehicles going through in quick succession.
“Moreover they can be supplied with full water reclamation units that cut water bills while at the same time giving operators peace of mind that waste water can be easily dealt with in line with environmental regulations.
“Crucially, Britannia wash systems can also be customised for particular types of vehicle, for example coaches with gull wing mirrors that are vulnerable to damage, articulated lorries and public service vehicles such as refuse trucks.”
Smith Brothers & Webb’s reputation for engineering excellence has won it orders from as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia, India and Europe. All of the company’s products are manufactured in Alcester, Warwickshire.
Its range of Britannia machines is designed to clean a range of buses, coaches, trams, trains, commercial vehicles and municipal vehicles. The popularity of its machines has risen so much that it has recently launched its own range of wash chemicals.
Mr Barracliffe said: “While it is possible to clean a car with a bucket and sponge and a lot of elbow grease, the same approach doesn’t work well with large vehicles such as buses or trucks – they’re too high, for a start.
“A roll-over or drive-through wash gives effective cleaning all over the vehicle while minimising the time the truck is off the road.”