The retailer’s decision to commission Gray & Adams to build every one of its extended-length trailers reflects its faith in the manufacturer’s build quality and back-up.
Recent winner of the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ prize at the Green Fleet Awards, Tesco is a long-standing Gray & Adams customer and operates a substantial fleet of its temperature-controlled single- and double-deck 13.6m and short, urban trailers.
Tesco Fleet Engineering Manager Cliff Smith confirmed: "Once we’d resolved to use our permits for refrigerated trailers, Gray & Adams was the obvious supplier.
"It was best-placed in terms of the development work it had already done on these longer trailers, while experience has also proved that its products are well designed and ‘fit for purpose’.
"We run our trailers for eight years but know that Gray & Adams’ equipment is sufficiently reliable and strongly built to withstand the rigours of a demanding, round-the-clock operation."
Tesco’s 15.65m trailers are equipped with powerful but quiet Carrier Transicold Vector 1850 multi-temperature refrigeration units and 1500kg capacity Dhollandia retractable tail-lifts, as well as Tridec command steer axles which allow them to meet statutory turning circle rules.
Operating from regional distribution centres in Avonmouth, Livingston and Peterborough, they are delivering to Tesco stores and can each carry 51 cages, six more than a standard 13.6m trailer.
"That represents an increase in productivity of more than 13 per cent, so the potential benefits in terms of reduced vehicle movements and lower emissions are obvious," continued Mr Smith.
"But we’ve only just set these trailers on the road, so we still have a fair bit of work to do in terms of driver-training and risk assessment at the delivery points before we come to any firm conclusions."
Britain’s biggest retailer is committed to achieving dramatic reductions in carbon emissions across its distribution operation. Its ‘F plan’ – Fuller cages, Fuller trucks, Fewer miles and Fuel economy – has seen Tesco take 111 million miles off the road over the last five years, saving 142,000 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise have been pumped into the atmosphere.