Heron Foods increases payload with semi-trailer customisation

Heron Foods

Heron Foods has enlisted Gray and Adams to add a second moving bulkhead door to its latest batch of semi-trailers, helping it to increase payload and meet operational challenges.

Reflecting Heron Foods’ strong growth trajectory, the latest 20 semi-trailers represent extensions to its fleet. Once the last has been delivered Heron Foods will be running approximately 90 trailers with an insulated, multi-temperature Gray and Adams box, and the subject of a contract hire agreement with independent, Hull-based specialist Grayrentals.

The interiors have two longitudinal lanes configured in an approximate one-third/two-thirds width split. A host Carrier Vector 1950 MT refrigeration 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 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 has 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.

Heron Foods’ head of logistics Karl Dawson 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 and Adams but settled on this low-cost solution, which is simple but highly effective,” said Dawson.

“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.” 

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