“You can’t cut corners with converting temperature-controlled vehicles,” says Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Chiltern Distribution.
Paul, who has been with the company for 25 years, says there are a lot of rivals out there – but when it comes to converting vehicles “Everything CoolKit do, they do it right.”
In November last year, Peterborough-based Chiltern split into two separate businesses – Chiltern Distribution and Chiltern Cold Storage Group – to enable them to focus on their different core markets.
Chiltern Distribution can transport anything that requires a temperature-controlled service between -25 degrees and +25 degrees, and their main industries include the pharmaceutical and food sectors.
Paul said the European-wide company has seen a sharp rise in the number of ‘just in time’ requests.
“People want their goods yesterday. The generation of people we are dealing with grew up with Amazon. Businesses nowadays don’t carry as much stock because buying and storing products cost money.
“More and more people go hand to mouth, requiring smaller, more regular deliveries – especially with products such as fast food products.”
Paul’s team have recently taken delivery of two new Mercedes Sprinter refrigerated vans from CoolKit after being impressed with their build quality. This brings their fleet to 40 articulated 44-tonne trucks and 8 Mercedes Sprinter vans.
He said: “I have known of CoolKit for a number of years. I had one of their vehicles on rental because one of my vans was in an accident and I was really impressed with the build quality.”
Paul spoke to CoolKit’s sales team about Chiltern’s specific requirements before placing an order for two vehicles. He specified a dual compartment vehicle with a moveable bulkhead, pallet protection pack, LED lighting, ATP specification, and temperature recorder.
“There’s a lot of vehicle builders out there and what I’m interested in is the quality of the build. I need a converted vehicle that will do 350,000 miles over three years.
“I have been doing this for 25-years so I know what I need and what does and doesn’t work. I have tried other vehicles, but the Sprinters offer reliability and service and come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty.
“The key thing CoolKit offer over their competitors is the quality of build and the extra payload capacity. An extra 70kg per van is 7% of the payload.”
He said: “The CoolKit vans give us slightly larger cubic capacity, but it’s the 70kg weight advantage that makes a big difference to us compared to the older vehicles.
“A pallet of goods is usually sold by the tonne, and the weight may be slightly over the weight threshold for the older vehicles so without the newer CoolKit vehicles I would have to send a HGV, which is more costly.
“CoolKit products are good value. They’re not always the cheapest but a great quality build is worth spending a little extra. You have to ask yourself if the product will stand the test of time. You can’t cut corners with converting temperature-controlled vehicles.
“I’m looking to order more vehicles with CoolKit in the next 12 months and that’s the biggest testament I can give. Everything they do, they do it right. The staff have been very helpful.
“The vehicles are on the road seven days a week and get a lot of use. They are well built, durable conversions. The insulation qualities are also better so, over time, we should also see fuel cost savings and less wear on the vehicles.”
Mark Beaton, Sales Specialist at CoolKit explains: “When we can deliver a solution to a customer that not only meets their requirements, but exceeds them, it makes the job worthwhile.
“CoolKit has been concentrating on quality of build, value for money and product reliability. Continuous improvements have seen us become the largest convertor of panel vans in the temperature-controlled industry.
“It is a real pleasure to deal with customers such as Paul, who understand quality when they see it and value the overall customer experience.”