Longer reefers start work at Tesco

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Tesco has taken delivery of 25 new 15.65m Gray & Adams refrigerated trailers as part of the Department for Transport-backed trial of longer trailers.

The trailers are delivering to stores from regional distribution centres in Avonmouth, Livingston and Peterborough. Each one can 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,” said Tesco fleet engineering manager Cliff 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.”

The trailers are equipped with Carrier Transicold Vector 1850 multi-temperature refrigeration units and 1,500kg capacity Dhollandia retractable tail-lifts, as well as Tridec command steer axles which allow them to meet statutory turning circle rules.

Tesco’s 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.

Smith said Gray & Adams had been 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.”

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