One for the road: trucks
Hesse President Victor Lenarczyk (VL) provides aninsight into the truck industry that serves the cooler market, as wellas his company’s truck manufacturing capabilities.
How would you describe the state of the trucks industry?
“Generally there is a huge demand for trucks at the moment that hasresulted in a lack of supply, with some delivery times reaching 2009.In our vehicle range of 3.5 to 16 tonnes, the situation is not assevere, although six month delivery times are not unheard of. It iscausing us some problems as production scheduling is very difficultwithout firm chassis delivery dates. It is now the industry standard touse side roll up door bodies in the 5 gallon industry. Very fewcompanies are using vans as their main delivery vehicles, aside fromstartups.”
Outline the range of trucks that you offer to cooler companies.
“Our range comprises 3.5 to 16 tonne Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) withbodies that can be installed on any European chassis brand. We alsomake units on dropped frames, equipped with a rear tail lift.”
Which countries do you export to?
“21 countries, mainly in the European Union.”
How do you specifically meet the needs of cooler companies?
“By supplying equipment tailored to each customerís needs.”
What should the perfect truck for the cooler industry offer?
“It should have a ground level unloading height and be environmentally friendly.”
What is your newest truck?
“We are working on a vehicle that will combine the advantages of aside dropped frame truck with the bulk delivery straight frame truckequipped with a tail lift. The user will be able to combine two kindsof routes for multistop deliveries with full pallet drops andconvertible bays, enabling them to adapt the vehicle according tomarket demands. We are planning to introduce it in 2008.”
What is your best selling truck and why?
“Our vehicle that can carry approximately 200 bottles with a spacefor coolers, cups and a hand cart. It features a ë6.5 bays high boyítruck body and is usually installed on a chassis ranging from 7.5 to 9tonne GVW. Itseems that this configuration allows the optimum numbersof bottles to be carried. Its width, length and height are alsoacceptable for European roads and city streets.”
Do you invest heavily in R&D of new products?
“Yes, we now have a programme in place to develop new health and safety features.”
What requests do you get from your customers when it comes to designing new products?
“Health and safety are top of the agenda.”
What is more important to your company – customer demand or company innovation?
“Both, demand is driven by innovation.”
Are you working to make your trucks more environmentally friendly?
“I think we are one of the few bodybuilders in Europe with thestrategy of ‘one truck body for four chassis lifetime.’ Imagine theenvironmental savings that can be achieved by using the same body overand over again.”
What does the future hold for the trucks industry within the cooler market?
“There is no doubt that over the next few years the pipeline will befull. This is taking into consideration that our truck bodies are builtfor 20 years. Nevertheless, we think that the market will continue togrow.”
Bespoke truck body*
A team from Alcoa’s Auto and TruckStructures business in Hungary has developed a bespoke lightweight aluminiumtruck body for Belgium-based Sip-Well.
Alcoa Köfém constructedthe body from aluminium extrusions, castings and plates,with the aim of saving on weight, while increasing the home and office waterdelivery company’s payload, in a three month turnaround time.
In addition to a strict project deadline, Sip-Well requested various specialfeatures for its two new water delivery trucks, including double width rackroll-up doors for covering two bays each, a compartment for water coolers andtailormade thin walls between the bays to make maximum use of the body length.For these new truck bodies, we incorporateda new safety feature,” said Alcoa Business and Applications DevelopmentCommercial VehicleDirector Dr Holger Haddenhorst.
”Foldable steps functionas a warning system with sounds and lights in case the driver forgets to closeany of the six side steps before departing. This required creating and thenadding a well thought out safety system for early warning in case the sidesteps accidentally open during driving.“
This additional safety system is now available to other customers with similardemands. Sip-Well has since ordered four more truck bodies from Alcoa Köfém.
For more information visit [www.alcoa.com]
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019