09 May 2023
Temperature-controlled transport business P&S Logistics has taken delivery of an eye-catching Mercedes-Benz Actros GigaSpace rigid truck, equipped with Schmitz Cargobull M.KO COOL box body. The bespoke vehicle was designed and built over the course of 15 months – a process that owner-operator Phillip Hudson describes as a “labour of love”.
Hudson embarked on the upgrade of the 26-tonner with the aim of maximising the flexibility of his Middlesex-based European food distribution operations.
Built by Schmitz Cargobull in Lithuania, the refrigerated box body M.KO COOL was shipped to the UK and equipped with Carrier Transicold’s Supra 1150 MT (multi-temperature) unit and ECO-DRIVE power module. It was fitted with a tail-lift sourced from Germany, with additional truck specifications including Kelsa light bars, safety cameras and interior equipment. The rigid was finished with a hand-painted livery, in original designs to reflect different aspects of the business.
Hudson also operates a Schmitz Cargobull drawbar reefer, equipped with a Carrier Transicold Supra 1050 unit. The ECO-DRIVE is able to run both the truck fridge and the trailer cooling unit electrically off the truck engine’s power take-off.
The drawbar was built to the same high specification as the rigid truck, featuring Schmitz Cargobull’s proven FERROPLAST® side panels, which are stronger yet thinner than glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) bodywork – helping to increase the loading aperture inside the body.
“What I have is very rare. I wanted to create something highly-specced which stands out from the crowd that I can use for the long-term. With the technology fitted, the truck and drawbar meet all the regulations, which has future-proofed my business,” says Hudson.
“I am very happy with it. It was a labour of love putting it together, but now it allows me to do things that some other businesses cannot. I have the ability to use three different temperature zones – ambient, chilled and frozen, depending on what my customers want. If I have work that only requires a 26-tonne truck, or there are weight restrictions, I can just park the drawbar. The bespoke, mechanically operated tail-lift also enables easy and quick loading and unloading of pallets by electric pump trucks.”
Used primarily to transport Slovakian food, the rigid has been liveried with the country’s flag, with the cab painted with images of London where Hudson was born. The rear doors, designed with Hudson’s Polish wife in mind, feature the Wawel Dragon from Polish folklore as well as the country’s flag.
P&S Logistics’ relationship with Schmitz Cargobull dates back more than five years. The company first supplied Hudson with a rigid reefer in 2016 to help him expand his business operations.
“Schmitz Cargobull are incredible at dealing with my requests for each order. I wouldn’t buy a box body from anybody else. Despite the build being so complex, they resolved all the challenges in a timely manner. I keep returning to them because of the quality of their products and excellent customer service,” he says.