Abel & Cole switches to box bodies for payload hike 04 March 2011

Following its change of spec for 3.5 tonne home delivery vehicles, from refrigerated van conversions to refrigerated box bodies, Abel & Cole has ordered 45 more of the new specification vehicles.

Nick Cannell, transport manager at the organic food delivery specialist, explains that, having achieved a full 13% extra payload, he is now going for Paneltex 3.8m refrigerated box bodies.

"We were looking for a better payload to achieve more efficient delivery routes and a better fit for our product range," says Cannell.

"Paneltex came up with the best payload by far, with an increase from 940kg on our earlier van models up to 1,060kg on the latest Iveco Daily chassis cabs that we have just purchased."

To date, Paneltex has supplied Abel & Cole with 35 new box bodied vehicles and there are a further 10 in build at the company's factory in Hull.

All the vehicle bodies use Hubbard 360 direct drive refrigeration systems, with the Paneltex refrigerated box body, which is compliant with ATP Class C standards and designed to operate at chilled temperatures of +8° C.

Each body has triple rear insulated doors, with an integral central double step, and the bodywork has been custom built, with flexible shelving space and sufficient roof height to allow drivers to stand up fully inside.

All the Iveco chassis cabs feature air deflectors, with the exception of the vehicles that run solely in Greater London – enabling even better payload.

On most routes, the Daily chassis cabs run on stop/start delivery routes, handling up to 75 drops per day per vehicle – this figure rising to over 115 in the London area.

The 95 strong Abel & Cole home delivery fleet is now 100% Iveco, with the latest Daily 35S13 chassis cabs purchased via dealer Hendy Van & Truck and supported by a five-year R&M contract.

Cannell says that, while the chassis cabs have a five-year working lifespan, Abel & Cole will use the Paneltex bodies for a further five years, switching them to new chassis for a 10-year overall working life.

Brian Tinham

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