The West Midlands-based processor took the step of specifying an eight-wheeled refrigerated rigid to ensure that it does not fall foul of axle loading regulations.
Midland Bacon Co is one of a small handful of privately-owned suppliers that provides a complete bacon processing service, which encompasses butchering, curing and then slicing. This allows it to minimise transit damage, so foodservice customers nationwide benefit from a consistent product.
Chris Cox, managing director, said: "The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is becoming very hot on overloading issues and it's easy to get caught out on the front axle with a 26-tonner. As a responsible operator I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that my vehicles meet all legal requirements and I see this concept as being a template for the future."
The 9-metre insulated box was built and fitted at the manufacturer's Doncaster production facility. Positioned very close to the back of the cab to reduce drag, it features an underslung Carrier Supra 950MT single-temperature refrigeration unit and Gray & Adams' latest, aerodynamically profiled panel cappings to improve fuel efficiency. The interior has a full chequerplate floor, stainless steel rear end and a PIR (passive infrared) lighting system.
The new truck offers an 18-tonne payload and 18-pallet carrying capacity, compared to the 14-tonne payload with 16 pallet spaces that Midland Bacon Co's 26-tonners can accommodate.
"We run out of weight before we run out of space with the six-wheelers," said Cox. "We've been enjoying a period of steady growth, so the time was right to try this new vehicle, and we've put a lot of effort into getting it right."