Kilmarnock-based gourmet catering supplier Braehead Foods has commissioned a second pair of fridge-bodied Mercedes-Benz chassis cabs following a successful trial of two vehicles last year.
Like their predecessors the new Sprinter 313 CDIs were supplied by Dealer Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Ayr. Their aerodynamic Slipstream insulated bodies are by Solomon Commercials, of Rossendale, Lancashire, and fitted with Thermo King refrigeration units.
Braehead Foods had previously relied exclusively on Sprinter panel vans – it runs a fleet of 22, which deliver to customers across Scotland and beyond. However, the new vehicles offer significantly more volume. Not only does this allow more foods to be carried, but it also means the load area can be divided into two practical compartments.
“Demand for our fine food and game is growing, and as well as our traditional fresh items we’re also generating increased sales of frozen products,” explained Transport Manager Warren Costello. “The move to box-bodied vans has allowed us to introduce freezer compartments, without losing too much capacity in the chilled sections we use to carry fresh food.
“The first two Sprinters we trialled with this configuration have been a great success. Each carries 20 crates more than a standard van, an increase of approximately 20%, which makes planning our delivery runs much easier.”
He continued: “While we were open to changing the specification of our vehicles, we were also determined to retain the outstanding reliability that we’ve come to expect from our Sprinters, and the top-quality support we receive from our local Dealer.
“We deliver to some very remote locations so we need to know that we can depend on our vehicles to reach these destinations. Our Sprinters have never let us down, while they’re also impressively fuel-efficient, offer very high safety standards and popular with our drivers.”
Mr Costello added: “We’ve formed a great working relationship too, with Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Ayr, who maintain the fleet. They understand our business and will always do whatever it takes to keep us moving.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz Vans, Braehead’s Sprinters came with three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranties and MobiloVan cover, which includes free roadside assistance for up to 30 years provided the vehicle is maintained within the manufacturer’s official Dealer Network.
Braehead Foods was bought in 1998 by proprietor Craig Stevenson, and transformed within a year from a small estate-based game supplier to a £1m-turnover business. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength, growing and diversifying its product range along the way.
In 2008 it moved to a purpose-built 35,000 sq ft headquarters – 10 times the size of its previous premises – and a year later opened sister business The Cook School. Today, as well as fine food and game the company produces its own ranges of cheese, high-quality Scottish charcuterie, and professional chefs’ equipment.