Gray & Adams opens a new door for Heron Foods

Hull, UK: Retailer, Heron Foods turned to Gray & Adams for a second, moving bulkhead door on its latest batch of trailers. The second door gives flexibility to deliver more frozen product.

The latest 20 trailers are additions to the fleet and will take Heron’s fleet to 90 trailers – all with insulated, multi-temperature Gray & Adams bodies, and on contract hire from Grayrentals.

Half of its new trailers are 13.6-metre length, with the remainder 11.2-metre urban versions with command steer axles that offer better manoeuvrability.

As with all Heron Foods’ trailers, the interiors have two longitudinal lanes configured in an approximate one-third/two-thirds width split. A host Carrier Vector 1950 MT fridge provides temperature control to the wide lane, while two MVS700 evaporators cool the narrow lane. The new trailers are also fitted with 1,500kg Dhollandia tail-lifts – the 13.6-metre versions are fitted with retractable lifts but due to space constraints the urban variants have column lifts.

Previously, Heron Foods carried only chilled product in the wide lane of each trailer; the narrow lane, which had a moving bulkhead door, was for frozen product. However, increased customer demand for frozen foods has prompted the addition of a moving bulkhead door in the wider lane. This affords Heron Foods the opportunity to utilise the wider lane’s higher capacity for frozen product, and switch the chilled to the narrow lane.

Roof-mounted and easily deployed or stowed, the moving bulkhead door offers excellent insulation properties, so that temperature integrity between compartments is maintained.

alf of its new trailers are 13.6metres, the remainder are 11.2-metre urban versions with command steer axles

Karl Dawson, head of logistics, Heron Foods said: “As the profile of the stock that we’re selling in our shops changes, we might, for example, find ourselves in a situation where we want to fit 20 cages of frozen in a lane that will only hold 15. Rather than leave them off, we can now flip the lanes, so we’re using what was the frozen lane to carry chilled and ambient product, and vice versa.

“We discussed various options with Gray & Adams but settled on this low-cost solution, which is simple but highly effective. The increased flexibility it offers is already proving invaluable. In fact, it’s working so well in enabling us to maximise productivity and efficiency, that we may retrofit additional moving bulkhead doors to a number of other trailers on the fleet, too.”

Heron Foods is a highly space-sensitive business. Given their locations, room for storage is at a premium at many of its stores, so the retailer has developed its own roll cages, which are slightly smaller than the industry standard. These cages have two sides rather than the usual three, and these sides detach from their bases. The bases can then be stacked, and sides carried in other cages, all with the aim of minimising their footprint.

Heron Foods acquired its first Gray & Adams trailers in 2013. Dawson said: “Gray & Adams’ build quality is second-to-none, while its trailers are designed specifically to accommodate the unique dimensions of our roll cages.

“While others are happy to churn out hundreds of standard trailers every week, we greatly value Gray & Adams’ engineering expertise, and commitment to working with us in developing bespoke products that meet the needs of our business perfectly.”

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