65 Years of Innovation – the evolution of our trailers

As we celebrate our 65th year of business in 2022, Gray & Adams recognises the key to our long-term success is our people and commitment to innovation. As one of our values, Gray & Adams put innovation at the heart of everything we do, we have continuously strived to develop new solutions to meet our customer’s requirements, as well as taking the ever-growing environmental concerns into our consideration.  

Throughout the years, the Gray & Adams drawing office have been the first port of call when an innovation or development in technology is on the horizon. Our team of CAD engineers ensure that customer requirements can be worked seamlessly into a trailer design, as well as upholding the quality standards that Gray & Adams have become synonymous with. 

From our humble beginnings as a body shop repairs business in 1957 to the business Gray & Adams is today, it is with no doubt that long serving employees will remember key milestones in our history including the development of mechanically forced air refrigeration in the 1960s and the development of double deck trailers in the 1990s.  

Neil Gilland, Fraserburgh Drawing Office Manager tells us, 

“I started as a CAD Engineer in 1998 after completing a degree in Civil Engineering, which was a really exciting time to join the business as the first double decks had just been developed and were in production. They weren’t as common then as they are now as it was such a new development in the 90s but the trailers were certainly exciting to work on.”   

He then shares, 

“For the drawing office team, innovation can mean innovation with our software as well as within Gray & Adams products. We primarily use CAD 3D and 2D for our manufacturing drawings which bring great capabilities in bringing ideas to life that we can pass on to the team, however I remember that my boss when I first started at G&A was a draughtsman to trade so he would have drawn everything by hand! 

When the lifting floor trailers came in with the millennium, that changed the way we worked as we now had extra considerations within the drawing such as, at time, the hydraulics, ropes, and electronics that all had to be designed in whilst not impacting the quality of the finished product. I enjoyed this challenge as it developed the capabilities in my team and it’s now became something that is a common requirement today.” 

When looking to the future of his team and the business, Neil shared with us, 

“I’m really fortunate to work with such a great company and with a fantastic team, my intentions for the future would be further develop the team and see what innovations come next for us. As most of our customer base will now be aware, we have worked extensively on trailers that are environmentally friendly, such as the Vector eCool, the first ever fully electric trailer in the UK, which we developed in 2021 in partnership with Carrier Transicold. It’s incredibly important that we help our customers reduce their environmental impact so that has very much been a focus.

From another perspective, progressions in noise reduction technology may also become a focus which would be interesting to work on from a CAD perspective.” 

To find out more about Gray & Adams history, visit our timeline of innovation, here: www.gray-adams.com/about-us/a-timeline-of-innovation/