Heron truck

Gray & Adams opens a new trailer door for Heron Foods

United Kingdom-based retailer Heron Foods recently 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 meters long, with the remaining 11.2-meter urban versions with command steer axles that offer better maneuverability.

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 reefer unit provides temperature control to the wide lane, while two MVS700 evaporators cool the narrow lane. The new trailers are also fitted with 1,500-kg Dhollandia liftgates; the 13.6-meter 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 use 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 temperature integrity between compartments is maintained.

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.

Given its locations, room for storage is at a premium at many of Heron Foods’ 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 minimizing their footprint.

Heron Foods acquired its first Gray & Adams trailers in 2013.

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