Scottish galvanizing firm Highland Galvanizers & Colour Coaters has teamed up with transport designers and manufacturers Gray & Adams to develop a new truck chassis design. Two of Gray & Adams' top customers Marks & Spencer and Tesco were concerned about the deterioration of their truck chassis by corrosive environments on delivery routes in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In response, the company approached Highland to help them design a new chassis which would stay rust free and wouldn't involve costly and wasteful paint coating.
Ordinary chassis are too complex to be easily galvanized, but the new specially designed 13.6m x 2.5m double-deck chassis invented by Gray & Adams and Highland comprises six separately galvanized sections, bolted together once coated. As a twin-deck chassis, greater loads can be carried in one truck. In real terms (using average HGV mileage and 1 per litre of fuel) this results in a saving of nearly 37,500 and 25 tonnes of CO2 per year. Meanwhile, harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) found in paints and varnishes are absent from the galvanizing process.
Paul McCafferty, Sales and Marketing Director at Highland Galvanizers & Colour Coaters said: "The hot dip galvanizing process out-performs even expensive paint jobs. This type of coating can give over 75 years' corrosion protection to steel, so is perfect for these trucks and the environments they encounter. We have built our relationship with Gray & Adams over the last 15 years, and this is just one of many instances where we have fused our expertise for the benefit of our clients, and the environment."
With stores as far afield as Orkney and Shetland, M&S and Tesco delivery trucks must withstand the maritime environment of Northern Scotland. Sea salt and ferry journeys accelerate the corrosion of painted steel, and the old chassis were estimated to last around five years only, with on-going maintenance.
The latest of these trucks to get the hot dip treatment will be galvanized at Highland's Elgin plant and ready to hit the road later this year.
In the UK alone, steel corrosion currently costs 4% of GNP and it has been estimated that nearly half of all steel produced around the world every year is manufactured to replace steel rendered useless by corrosion. In fact, around the world one tonne of steel turns to dust every 90 seconds.
Gray & Adams was established in Fraserburgh in 1957 and now has an additional four sites around Britain in Bedford, Doncaster, Dunfermline and Newtownabbey. Remaining a family business, Gray & Adams has over 50 years' experience of designing and manufacturing trailers for dry freight and refrigeration and a range of bespoke vehicles.
As well as supplying major retails brands including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer, Gray & Adams also have strong relationships with haulage and logistics firms and key parcel delivery firms.