Championing our relationships – Gray & Adams and David Payne & Son (Coachbuilders) Ltd

Long term partner, and approved Gray & Adams repairer, David Payne & Son (Coachbuilders) Ltd have been carefully looking after our Southern customer’s repairs since the early 1980s. With both businesses having milestone anniversaries in 2022, a 50th anniversary for David Payne & Son and our own 65th Anniversary, we thought it would be a great time to sit down with Managing Director, Chris Payne, to discuss the long-standing relationship.  

Tell us a bit about the business and your role? 


“The business was set up by my parents and myself in 1972. I was working for a very small bodybuilding company.  It became apparent that company was failing so, after a family discussion, we decided to purchase the business.  We soon discovered that there was a big and growing demand for repairs to bodywork and especially refrigerated bodywork.  It made perfect sense to adapt, and we have been carrying out repairs for our customers ever since!

We’ve grown significantly over the last 50 years.  At first, it was just my parents and I with 3 or 4 men in our workshop, but with the market demand, we have grown into a business of around 30 full time staff.  It was with this projected growth in mind that we purchased our current premises in 1980 and adjacent premises in 1990 which enabled us to expand.

My role in the business has changed over the years.  I started as a trainee coach builder, then transferred to the paint shop which gave me a varied experience of the shop floor. 

I then became General Manager and for the last 30 years, since my parents’ retirement, Managing Director.” 

Tell us about the relationship you have with Gray & Adams and how has it been beneficial to the businesses


“We were repairing more and more refrigerated vehicles and would source parts directly from Gray & Adams at Fraserburgh, but the relationship really developed in the 1980s when a larger repair to replace a whole side panel was required.

My father and Lewis Gray Snr discussed the best way to facilitate this repair and he invited my father and I, with a few members of staff, up to Fraserburgh to take part in Gray & Adams’ specific training and a tour of their facilities.  It was then agreed that David Payne & Son would be recognised as a Gray & Adams approved repairer which has been very beneficial to our business to be associated with such a prestigious industry name. 

Gray & Adams reputation for quality is well known, so we were very proud that they demonstrated their faith in us.  In turn, we have provided them with an enhanced presence in the South of England”.  

Tell us about the process of collaboration for repairs on a Gray & Adams built trailer 


“Communication is key in any collaboration process but fortunately, as we have been working with Gray & Adams for so long, we understand their build processes and procedures.  Over the years, Lewis Gray Jnr and I, have developed an excellent working relationship based on mutual respect and understanding of our customers` expectations”. 

How do you see the future for David Payne & Son?


“We still regard ourselves as a specialist refrigerated vehicle repairer but have diversified into the repair & refurbishment of all types of CVs including buses, coaches, utility vehicles and vans.  However, refrigerated trailer repairs are what our business was built on and is our passion.  Refurbishment of Gray & Adams trailers is still a large part of the business as, due to the quality of the build, the trailer life can often be extended to 14 to 15 years”.  

For me, personally, I will look to slowly step back from the position of Managing Director, and I am delighted to say that Matt Jex will be joining us as Operations Director on 1st March.   

I will still be involved and guide the business that was built by my family but also have more time to enjoy other pursuits.” 


For further information on David Payne & Son, please visit