Award-winning fresh pork and meat supplier Pinkertons has embarked on an exciting new venture – with a little help from Gray & Adams.
Pinkertons, which operates from headquarters in Armagh, acquired another Northern Ireland-based business, sandwich maker and hot food specialist Ashwood Agencies, last September.
The move meant that whereas previously Pinkertons had only distributed products at chilled temperatures, it now needed to transport frozen foods as well.
While Pinkertons delivers to hotels, butchers, supermarkets and wholesalers throughout Ireland, most of Ashwood Agencies’ customers were located in and around Belfast. To maximise efficiency, Pinkertons therefore resolved to invest in its first, dual-temperature (chilled and frozen) vehicle to serve the city.
But as Sales Manager David Gibson explains, this presented Pinkertons with a quandary: "We were taking on an entirely new type of business and uncertain as to how quickly it will take off, and how much fresh and how much frozen product we would have to carry. For this reason we were keen to make the load area in our new vehicle as flexible as possible, so we could deal with a range of volume requirements."
The solution, as developed by Gray & Adams (Ireland), is a movable, two-piece ‘mattress’ bulkhead, complete with integral door, which can be positioned between shelving modules to create either 50:50 or 75:25 splits in the cargo area. This allows Pinkertons to configure the vehicle to suit the load, while also offering excellent insulation properties so that temperature integrity is maintained.
The bulkhead can even be removed altogether for single-temperature operation, while its PVC finish also means it is easily cleaned, an important feature when transporting food.
Gray & Adams’ insulated box body wears an eye-catching livery and is fitted with a ThermoKing T-800R Spectrum refrigeration unit. The 10-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego 1018 chassis on which it is mounted is Pinkertons’ biggest yet, the company having previously relied primarily on 5.0- and 7.5-tonne vehicles.
Established more than 30 years ago, Pinkertons is proud to source its meat from trusted local farmers and is renowned for its top-quality range of fresh pork, cured ham and bacon, sausages and other products.
The company’s relationship with its temperature-controlled bodybuilder stretches back more than 20 years. "Our long experience has proved that Gray & Adams’ products are built to last," confirms Mr Gibson. "I know I can get a 16-year life from the same Gray & Adams body fitted to at least three chassis, so I wouldn’t contemplate using anyone else."
And he adds: "We also appreciate Gray & Adams’ consultative sales approach. I worked closely with its Sales Manager Stuart Martin over a number of weeks as we gradually refined the design of our latest truck. The result is a vehicle that’s perfectly suited to the job we need it to do."