Fraikin has opened the largest branch in the company’s 32-year UK history, following investment of over £1 million in securing a new flagship facility in Coventry to support its contract hire, fleet management and rental customers.
The 15,000 sq ft workshop offers 24/7 opening and will be used to maintain over 1,000 assets. Fraikin has also installed a water recycling plant on-site which allows it to operate a truck-wash facility almost entirely from reclaimed water. Smart new on-site conference facilities will also serve as an additional location for the company’s Driver CPC training programme.
The opening follows the relocation of City Link’s hub from Wednesbury, where Fraikin previously operated a workshop servicing 400 trucks and trailers supplied on contract hire to the express parcels carrier – one of Fraikin’s largest customers. This new facility takes over responsibility for the City Link trunking fleet, providing around-the-clock support to its night-time operation. It is conveniently located just four miles from City Link’s new hub in Baggington, Coventry.
Fraikin also plans to merge its Tamworth branch (where the lease expires in December 2010) into the new Coventry facility during the final quarter of the year; adding another 400 commercial vehicles. The sheer size of the Coventry site will also enable Fraikin to take direct responsibility of a further 200 assets based in the region which have previously been maintained by third-party repairers.
Peter Backhouse, Chief Executive Officer of Fraikin, says: "This investment represents a major enhancement to our network and affords us one of the most modern commercial vehicle workshops in the Midlands. It’s a flagship branch befitting of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle contract hire provider and will ensure we can offer the best possible facilities for both staff and customers."
Backhouse adds: "Selecting Coventry was a strategic move as it is close to the new City Link hub and – together with our existing Midlands-based branch in Oldbury – means we can provide comprehensive support to fleets across the region."
The new branch has been founded on the site of a former warehouse, enabling Fraikin to utilise the extensive internal space to create a flexible workshop environment with eight individual vehicle work areas. Vehicles enter via a newly installed 6m tall and 5.5m wide door – guaranteeing easy access for even the largest tractor unit and trailer combination. Fraikin has also installed a purpose-built inspection pit and 4 sets of vehicle lift ramps, together with a new roller brake tester and comprehensive parts store holding around £55,000 worth of all-makes stock.
The transformation of the site has also seen Fraikin concrete a ‘football pitch-sized’ area of land immediately outside the workshop, which will be used to provide sufficient parking for customer vehicles. It will also be home to a 100-strong rental parc when the Tamworth branch transfers later this year.
By December the Coventry branch will be staffed by a team of 40, including 30 workshop staff. The site will be managed by Richard Flanagan, who takes on the new role of General Manager Midlands.