A fresh approach to temperature-controlled automation in the freight industry

Working in partnership with global perishable cargo specialists, Perishable Movements Ltd (PML), Gray & Adams has engineered another innovative first for the UK – a refrigerated trailer with an automated loading and unloading system which features a powered rollerbed floor.

The new PML vehicle has been purchased by Farnborough Van and Truck Hire and contracted to PML. The first rollerbed floor system was introduced to the UK by Joloda, a premier designer and manufacturer of loading systems in the UK, 25 years ago. The manual rollerbed system used for air cargo transport, was developed by adding powered driven rollers, making this system fully automatic. There are currently over 200 vehicles using this system moving standard air cargo bins and pallets but this is the first one to be used in refrigeration vehicles.

Gray & Adams supplied PML with air freight trailer manual loading equipment 5 years ago, which has proven that its products can last the hard-wearing durability required of their industry. As PML’s cargo is held in air freight containers, the rollerbed method is the only system available for use in this specialist area of the freight transport industry. The innovative power rollerbed floor system enables the automated loading and unloading of containers via a series of drive rollers that are built into the floor surface of the trailer.

With remote operation integral to the design, the trailer has been developed to allow safe and efficient operation where personnel are not able to access the interior of the trailer throughout the loading process. Additionally, staff can accurately and safely control the speed of discharge from the control panel, and further engineering innovations have been built into the electronic and pneumatic controls to complement the refrigerated environment, ensuring maximum product performance and quality for years to come.

Although they have been previously used in factories, the new PML trailers denote the first time this technology has been applied to a refrigerated trailer. In addition, the new trucks include electronic and pneumatic controls to complement the refrigerated environment and the very latest refrigeration system which produces less carbon emissions.

Commenting on the investment in the new vehicles, Robert Haynes, Business Development Manager for PML said,

“As the leading force in the transfer of perishable goods sector, PML is committed to introducing pioneering new technologies to further enhance the standard of service to its customers. Our relationship with Gray & Adams dates back to five years ago when they were first identified as the preferred supplier to fulfil our requirement for air freight trailer manual loading equipment. Their reputation for innovation and the delivery of ground-breaking technological advances in their field made them the first choice for this project. PML has a busy year ahead with a number of exciting initiatives planned, the investment in new trucks is just the start so watch this space!”.

Andrew Brown, Sales Director (Doncaster) at Gray & Adams said,

“This project ideally suits the Gray & Adams development team, who are one of the few manufacturers in the UK to have the design skills and engineering expertise to develop this trailer to meet current operating guidelines whilst also considering potential future legislation developments and highlighting our continued focus on, and dedication to, industry-leading innovation.”