Fast-growing fresh and dry foods supplier Wellocks has taken another step forward by investing in its first box-bodied refrigerated distribution vehicle.
The fully insulated Gray & Adams Eco-Aer body incorporates fuel-saving saving features such as large radius cappings on its leading edges and a roof-mounted vortex generator to smooth the airflow over the back of the vehicle.
Family-owned Wellocks is based in Lomeshaye, Lancashire, and its new 13-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego 1324 chassis arrived via local dealer Ciceley Commercials. The body, meanwhile, was manufactured and fitted at Gray & Adams’ Doncaster production facility.
Wellocks can trace its roots back to 1946 and takes particular pride in the wide variety of high quality, locally sourced fresh and prepared foods it offers, alongside other foods from all over the UK and overseas.
The company began serving the restaurant, pub and hotel trade in 1990, and 10 years later expanded its range by taking on dry store products. Its commitment to providing customers with ‘the perfect ingredient’ is underscored by the impressive roll call of top-quality restaurants it serves, a list that includes the majority of Michelin establishments throughout the UK.
Recently accredited by the British Retail Consortium, Wellocks’ relied previously on insulated curtainsiders to distribute its products. "But the requirements of our business are changing and we have to be 100 per cent certain of correct temperature upon delivery," explains Managing Director James Wellock, son of the company founder.
"Originally we focused fresh fruit and vegetables, but the business has developed so that we now offer a huge range of ingredients including cheese, dairy, poultry and game, plus a very full stores."
"Temperature control has therefore become more important. A box body is the most efficient solution, because there will always be gaps in a curtainsider, not least because the curtains can get torn, so the fridge has to work that much harder."
Gray & Adams is widely recognised as a volume supplier of temperature-controlled bodywork and trailers to some of the biggest names on Britain’s roads. Wellocks’ order demonstrates that it is every bit as willing and able to build bespoke, ‘one-off’ bodies for customers whose operations are much smaller in scale.
Smartly liveried and fitted with a single-temperature Hubbard 720 AEL refrigeration unit that maintains a constant 5°C-8°C, the 7.5m body has pallet-width doors on both sides and triple rear doors.
"We chose Gray & Adams because its products enjoy an unrivalled reputation for quality and durability," adds Mr Wellock’s wife Jo, who is the company’s General Manager. "Its sales specialist Tony Biggs was very helpful too, when we came to draw up the specification for the body.
"We talked through the operation and what we needed to carry. Gray & Adams’ Doncaster team then came up with a design which accommodates 14 pallets but is no taller than it needs to be, so we’re not wasting energy on cooling space immediately beneath the roof that we don’t need anyway."