Gray & Adams has responded to demand from the fast-growing home delivery sector for another major supplier, by launching its own purpose-designed vehicle.
Based on a 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the company’s first demonstration unit is more aerodynamic and futuristic in appearance than competitors’ products, important in a segment where brand image is crucial.
The vehicle is fitted with a dual-temperature GAH refrigeration unit and capable of carrying 105 totes (crates) – Gray & Adams freed up the space for an extra tote by ‘designing out’ the wheelbox intrusion.
Other innovative features include wide radius cappings to smooth the airflow and high-gloss Kemlite floor skins which are used externally as well as internally, to help prevent dirt and debris accumulating beneath the vehicle and thus reducing payload capacity.
Gray & Adams has also taken steps to protect the vehicle from costly accident damage by fitting plastic, high impact-resistant rear light plates, proximity sensors and reversing cameras.
Britain’s leading manufacturer of temperature-controlled semi-trailers and bodywork has allocated significant engineering and production resources to this new project.
Steve Rose is Managing Director at Gray & Adams’ Doncaster factory, where investments have been made in additional capacity in preparation for market entry. "We’ve shown our new vehicle to a number of major retailers," he says. "The feedback has been resoundingly positive and we’re already in detailed negotiations regarding the first volume orders."
Gray & Adams puts the current size of the UK home delivery fleet at around 7,500 vehicles. Based on an average five-year replacement cycle, this implies potential demand for some 1,500 new vehicles each year.
"Yet until now the home delivery sector has been dominated by a single vehicle supplier," says Steve Rose. "Given continued growth in this segment, the market badly needs another volume-based manufacturer to guarantee future supply and ensure price competitiveness.
"That’s where we come in. Gray & Adams has a proven track record for working with its customers to develop high-quality temperature-controlled transport solutions tailored specifically to their operations. We’re also known for delivering on time and as ordered, and for supporting our products with a first class aftercare service."