The latest additions to the PRM Group fleet demonstrate why the Lisburn-based operator puts its trust in temperature-controlled bodywork and semi-trailers by Gray & Adams.
Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, PRM Group is one of Ireland’s largest independent chilled and frozen food sales and distribution specialists. It runs 35 rigid vehicles of varying sizes, as well as 17 tractor units and 22 trailers.
The two new vehicles are similar to the others in the fleet, on Mercedes-Benz chassis – one is a 26-tonne Antos 2532 and finished in PRM’s own colours, the other is a 15-tonne Atego 1518 which is used – alongside five other vehicles – to distribute ice cream for Unilever, and displays livery promoting some of its best-selling lines.
The Atego is the first rigid truck in Ireland to be fitted with Gray & Adams’ latest-generation cappings. These are more aerodynamic than the manufacturer’s previous, standard square-profiled cappings, a feature that helps to reduce diesel consumption as well as giving the vehicle a more modern, streamlined appearance.
Built at Gray & Adams’ production facility in Newtownabbey, the 15-tonner’s 6.1m body also has upgraded insulation on the sidewalls, roof and floor for enhanced thermal efficiency, and a high-performance Thermo King T-1000 Spectrum refrigeration unit, which allows it to operate at a constant temperature of minus 25°C. PRM has thus ensured that ice cream can be delivered in perfect condition every time, regardless of the ambient temperature.
While the smaller vehicle’s body is brand new, the 26-tonner’s 8.9m box is just embarking on its ‘second life’. This body had already provided eight years’ reliable service when it was removed from a previous six-wheeled chassis by Gray & Adams’ technicians, who then carried out a comprehensive refurbishment programme before re-fitting it to the new Antos.
The work entailed repairing wear and tear damage to panels and cappings, overhauling the tail-lift and remounting the body to the new chassis, as well as designing a new roof deflector with integral catwalk that allows fridge engineers to work safely when carrying out service work.
“If anyone wonders why we choose Gray & Adams they need only look at these two vehicles,” says Managing Director Philip Morrow, who founded PRM Group with his wife Lynne. “The superior build quality and durability of its products means they represent far and away the best value for money on the market.
“There are many other alternatives within the market but with Gray & Adams, I know from many years’ experience that I’m investing in a premium body or trailer which will perform reliably and withstand long years in operation. We’ll run our rigid bodies for six or seven years then get them refurbished so that – as with our latest 26-tonner – they look immaculate, and are ready to go again for a second time.”
If the quality of Gray & Adams’ products is important to PRM Group, so too is the service it offers.
“This is a ‘people’ business and I’ve known Billy Dougan, the Managing Director of Gray & Adams’ operation here in Ireland, for more than 30 years,” continues Mr Morrow. “The relationship between our two companies is based on quality, service, trust and mutual respect.
“Gray & Adams understand what we need from a supplier and respond with a very high level of customer service. New vehicles arrive on time and to exactly the right specification, while occasional mechanical issues and incidents of accident damage are invariably dealt with smoothly and efficiently, and with a speed of turnaround that never causes us any challenges. That’s crucial because we need our vehicles to be out working, and take pride in keeping the fleet looking smart and well maintained.”
PRM Group, whose customer portfolio includes some of the biggest names in food retailing, provides daily deliveries to depots and retail stores across the island of Ireland, from its hub in Lisburn. Its tractor and trailer combinations undertake UK as well as Irish haulage, while the larger rigids are on general distribution duties and the smaller vehicles are used for more local deliveries and van sales.
In addition to its transport and logistics operations, PRM owns two food manufacturing businesses, garlic bread producer Galberts, and the long-established Fresh Food Kitchen, which manufactures salads, sandwich fillers, desserts and pasta meals.