Premier Truck Hire begins new body building service
Premier Truck Hire has opened a brand-new body building facility at its base in Blaydon near Gateshead.
The new arm to the business, which already includes leasing, used truck sales, truck maintenance, short blasting and paintwork, began in June and has already built four bodies on brand new DAF trucks.
“We’ll build anything you want building,” said company director Martyn Tailford. “We expect to do mainly curtainsiders, box vans and dropsides, but we have a lot of experience in bin wagons, so really we can do anything. I think we will look to build this new part of the business up slowly and maybe get to around 10 bodies a month.”
Previously a showroom for an Isuzu pick-up truck franchise, the new Premier Truck Bodies workshop has undergone extensive renovations in order to accommodate the vehicles, including digging out more than a metre of concrete across the whole of the once-raised floor.
“We had a spare building and the choice was to either rent it out or do something to keep it in-house. We didn’t want to have to give away any more yard space, and we already get a good amount of business from the manufacturers, doing a lot of paintwork for them, so it seemed obvious to start doing bodies for them.”
Tailford added: “Now a truck can be bodied and can go straight into get its paint work. Also, if an operator comes to us and they need to hire something while their truck is in the shop, we can also arrange what too while it’s in for its works.”
Get the scoop on the world’s leading ice cream van manufacturer
For next week’s Commercial Motor magazine we visited Whitby Morrison operations director Ed Whitby, who along with father Stuart and younger brothers Kris and Nick, work for the world’s leading ice cream van manufacturer. The Crewe-based family-run firm, which has over 50 years of history behind it, is widely considered to be the Rolls-Royce of the ice cream van world.
“We are building more than ever - in fact we’re working flat-out seven days a week to meet demand for new ones. And last year we put 100 new vans on the road, 85 of which stayed in the UK.” Ed Whitby, operations director, Whitby Morrison
Whitby Morrison is a British manufacturing success story, and its products are exported around the world. Over the years it has sold its vans to more than 60 countries, including Kurdistan, Malawi, the Caribbean and Australia. During CM’s visit it was completing a van for Libya, the 13th to go to the country in six years.
A growing revenue stream for the manufacturer is restoring vintage ice cream vans. “Everyone loves a bit of retro” exclaims Whitby, who says this part of the business started to develop in the 1990s.
Learn everything about the process of turning vans into ice cream selling machines by reading our 6-page feature in the Summer Special issue of Commercial Motor magazine. Coming out on 8 August, this bumper issue will feature 16 extra pages!