24 Oct Continuing Our Partnership Journey – Interview with Scott Dargan
Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams have a longstanding working relationship that dates back decades but a key date in this relationship was early in 2021 when the Vector eCool – the industry’s only fully autonomous electric trailer was fitted to a Gray & Adams demonstrator as an exclusive partnership, to showcase the latest technology to our UK customers.
The Vector eCool utilises an energy and recovery storage system which generates kinetic energy from the trailer axle and brakes into energy stored in the battery pack, powering the refrigeration unit. The vision for the technology was that its incorporation into a fleet, would help our customers reach their sustainability goals, increase efficiency in their operations and reduce fuel costs, whilst still delivering the quality in the trailer body that Gray & Adams customers have come to expect.
The Vector eCool has now been available to our UK customers for over a year, and has generated interest, PR and most importantly, orders from our industry contacts over the past 12 months, so we thought it would be a great time to catch up with Carrier Transicold Managing Director, Scott Dargan on the success of the collaboration.
Scott shares with us,
“The feedback we have had from customers since we entered the demonstrator partnership with Gray & Adams has been absolutely fantastic! We have found that the conversion rate on orders from those who trialled the system in the first year to be over 30%, which has been above our expectations for such revolutionary new technology. We’ve also had customers asking if existing orders can be transferred into Vector eCools which speaks for itself in terms of how well the product has been received.
Now that the technology has been on the UK’s roads for over a year, both Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams have gathered feedback on how the Vector eCool has impacted customer operations. This is something that both businesses were excited to receive as a proof point for the technology but were keen to allow time for both the data and the anecdotal evidence to develop.
On this, Scott tells us,
“We have the detailed data from our telematics which confirms that the statements we gave at the beginning of the project were true. We were also able to share this data with customers at the demonstrator stage, to help them with their considerations on whether they wanted to go ahead and purchase the Vector eCool to add to their fleet. As well as the data on cost savings, efficiency, and environmental considerations, we have also had some direct operating feedback on some other surprising benefits which we are delighted about. We have been told that the Vector eCool is so incredibly quiet whilst running which has added value to customers who operate in residential and urban areas. The reduced noise has also provided a much more relaxed environment for drivers, we feel that this is an important benefit as experienced drivers are in demand across the UK, so ensuring their workplace is that bit more enjoyable and comfortable is key for staff retention.”
Like Gray & Adams, Carrier Transicold is an industry leader in terms of innovation. Both businesses explore new technology and designs to bring to the market and despite the success of the Vector eCool, they are not planning on resting on their laurels just yet. When discussing the next steps for the eCool and Carrier as a business, Scott discusses his vision with us.
“As well as our existing relationship with Gray & Adams building Vector eCool trailers, we also work closely together supplying customers with engineless all-electric rigid truck solutions as well as all-electric LCV refrigeration systems which can be powered from a multitude of fuel sources so we have all bases covered. We’ve also just announced a unique industry first fully integrated hydrogen fuel cell concept for our Vector product in conjunction with Bosch which we’ll be excited to bring to UK customers together with Gray & Adams in the future.”
“At the start of next year, we are also introducing further developments to the Vector eCool itself drawing on customer feedback and innovations from our supplier partners. Examples of these include additional battery pack power options so we can service a wider range of customers with more diverse operations. We are also exclusively offering SAF’s TRAKr regen axle which will feature alongside the current VALX solution so that customers have additional options for their trailer build based on their operating preference.”
When discussing the relationship to date with Gray & Adams, Scott tells us,
“The supply chain challenges affecting everyone at the moment can prove testing at times, however our close working and transparent relationship with Gray & Adams allows us to pivot quickly together and react proactively for our valued customers. It’s the open communication and trust we enjoy with the G&A team that allows us to be mutually successful. As we move into 2023 we also expect the Vector eCool to continue to be a key contributor to that success.
What Our Customers Say
“Seeing the Vector eCool unit in action made making the switch an easy decision. It will play a key role in reducing our carbon footprint, helping us to focus on our path to net zero.”
Ian Cooper, Regional Fleet Manager, Samworth Brothers Supply Chain
“Thanks to the Vector eCool, we can see a clear path toward an engineless future for our refrigeration systems and don’t anticipate specifying any diesel- powered systems from here on.”
Craig Stopforth, Transport Manager, Booths
“We were excited to see the Vector eCool in action, and we weren’t disappointed.”
John Fletcher, Managing Director, Dawsongroup