Fraikin leads new rigid body design project to help improve safety and efficiency for T. Quality


T. Quality has cited the strength of its long-standing working relationship with Fraikin as key to the successful delivery of a project involving commercial vehicle bodybuilder Paneltex, 10 new trucks and an all-new design for the company’s traditional split-load rigid bodies.

Mounted to three 7.5-tonne, five 15-tonne and two 18-tonne DAF LFs, the new bodies have been totally re-engineered to improve fleet efficiency and driver safety. Representing a mixture of replacement vehicles and new additions, the trucks will be delivered throughout 2021 as part of the company’s latest seven-year, full-service contract hire agreement with Fraikin.

Graham Kay, National Logistics and Safety Manager at T. Quality, says: “We knew we needed to address a number of issues with our existing truck design, so we turned to Fraikin to make that happen. With more than 20-years working together, I was confident they would find the perfect solution, and they didn’t disappoint.”

A major part of the re-design brief was to swap the position of the refrigerated and ambient compartments, providing the Carrier Transicold refrigeration unit at the front of the vehicle direct access to the freezer section. The new layout removes the need for the extensive internal piping that previously connected the two, something that had caused maintenance issues and costly downtime.

“We’re delighted with the level of support we’ve had from Fraikin and Paneltex in tackling the complexities of this project. Our trucks are the lifeblood of our business and we are always looking at ways of making improvements to help our drivers and, ultimately, our customers. We had a wish-list of things we wanted to include in the new design, and we’re happy to say each and every one was ticked off,” adds Kay.

The new bodies feature improved load restraints to protect products in transit, with re-designed steps and flooring for safer loading. Both sections can be fully accessed from either side of the vehicle, meaning the driver never has to work in the road. In addition, each truck has a full camera and telematics package to monitor and improve driver performance and ensure compliance with the London Direct Vision Standard.

Phil Lang, Truck & Trailer Sales Manager at Paneltex says: “As soon as we sat down with Fraikin and T. Quality, we quickly understood what needed to be done and that our design team would be able to make it happen.

“Another big draw to this project was T. Quality’s Hull heritage. With all that has happened in the last 18 months, we’ve been placing great emphasis on working with local businesses and this fit the bill perfectly.”

Of the 10 new assets, six represent replacements for older trucks – two already supplied by Fraikin and four from a competitor – with the remainder new additions to the company’s 100-plus commercial vehicle fleet, of which Fraikin now supplies close to 60 per cent.

As with its previous Fraikin vehicles, T. Quality will continue to benefit from the powerful maintenance portal FraikinView, which helps to maximise fleet uptime. The system’s easy-to-use online dashboard allows the company’s transport managers to view all scheduled maintenance and track any unplanned work in real time, as well as providing access to all vehicle documentation to aid compliance.

Distributed across T. Quality’s facilities in Birmingham, Darlington, Newton Abbot, Staplehurst and Swindon, the trucks will clock up around 40,000 miles a year, delivering ambient and frozen food products to fish and chip shops, fast food outlets and wholesale fish markets across the UK.

A wholesaler of fish and chips, fast food and catering supplies since the 1920s, T. Quality also has national depots in Avonmouth, Bridlington, Leeds, Peterborough and Swansea.