An interview with Phil Hopkins, Transport Director at Hunt’s Food Group

Hunt’s Food Group is a family-owned business with a vision of being a business that manufactures, sells and delivers great-tasting food that’s loved by everyone.

Hunt’s inception was collecting and selling milk from local farms. They expanded into milk bottling and processing and from there moved into warehousing where they decided to get their own vehicles for transportation of what they were storing. They now boast 120 trucks on the road, mainly rigids, with depots in Nottingham, Bridgwater, Fareham, Sherborne, and Redruth.

We spoke with with Phil Hopkins, Transport Director at Hunt’s Food Group to discuss the exceptional customer service Gray & Adams provided throughout the build process and the new relationship that had formed between the two businesses.


What was it that made Hunts Food Group turn to Gray & Adams?

We initially came to Gray & Adams, looking to go down the double deck trailer route as we had seen the product and had seen others with the product. We had a number of visits at our site in Sherborne with Gray & Adams and Carrier, determining that the double deck route wouldn’t be the right fit for us. The team at Gray & Adams were brilliant and came up with the bespoke concept of our current trailers, 15.65m long LST trailers with a Varideck system in them. We also went to 4.8m tall.

The reason for our bespoke request was to achieve stacking multiple pallets at height, which we have achieved as a normal trailer will only take 26 pallets and we can now take up to 90 pallets depending on heights and of course weight. Our new concept allows us to reduce the number of trips, save on drivers and vehicles and ultimately save costs.


How did you find working with Gray & Adams?

The team at Gray & Adams were so helpful throughout the process. When we first came to view the factory in Fraserburgh we were made to feel very welcome. I was amazed when we took a tour of the factory at the amount of hands-on labour from the Gray & Adams employees, it was remarkable to see the detail of the build process in the factory from start to finish. Working with Gray & Adams was a very easy process from start to finish, nothing was too much trouble, and it was never a chore to phone up and ask for something to be changed or tweaked. The whole project was very smooth and very enjoyable.


How has your relationship between Hunts Food Group and Gray & Adams grown throughout the build process?

The team at Gray & Adams has been brilliant and ensured we had a good relationship right from the start. I first met some of the Gray & Adams sales team at the CV Show, we sat down had a coffee and they showed us the different products Gray & Adams had to offer. The team at Gray & Adams were conscientious throughout the build process, showing great attention to detail and ensuring effective communication at all points of the journey. The delay on legislation held up the 15.6 LST trailer builds so while the concept was signed off fairly quickly, we had to wait for the green light from the government. Throughout this delay, Gray & Adams stayed engaged with us, ensuring our relationship was maintained and enabled the build process to begin straight away when the government gave the green light.


Thinking ahead to Hunt’s Food Group’s future plans, will you choose to work with G&A again?

 We don’t often buy trailers, this is only the third time Hunts Food Group have had new trailers and the first time built to our own specification as well as this being the first time we have had trailers built by Gray & Adams. We have around 120 rigids on the road at the moment and most years we place an order for 15-18 tonne vehicles. We will certainly maintain our relationship with Gray & Adams and engage with them for quotes on that range of vehicles in the future based on our positive experience.

I am really proud of the 3 new trailers we have received from Gray & Adams and can’t wait to see them out on the road knowing I was involved in this project.