Palmer and Harvey go ‘on the road’ with 50 new Isuzu trucks

When Palmer and Harvey rolled out its new nationwide van sales food service operation last month under the ‘P&H Direct’ banner, the vehicle fleet used for this service is based on 50 Isuzu Forward N75.150 7.5t rigid vehicles. The trucks were specifically purchased for this brand new initiative and all specified with purpose-designed Paneltex bodywork.

The addition of these 50 new vehicles now means that Palmer and Harvey’s national vehicle fleet currently incorporates over 110 Isuzus covering a range of distribution applications, all at 7.5 tonnes GVW.

P&H Direct is a brand new van sales operation set up by Palmer and Harvey to service retail food outlets such as cafes, snack bars, garden centres, sandwich shops and pubs - this move into food service is a first for the wholesaler.

Each Isuzu vehicle stocks market-leading FMCG lines including crisps, countlines chocolate, chilled drinks, chewing gum and key catering essentials such as tea and coffee. A FMCG category specialist, who can provide expert advice to any of the outlets on ranging, merchandising and promotions, staffs each vehicle.

According to Huw Davies, Managing Director at P&H Direct, "We pride ourselves on providing the most reliable distribution service to our customers and for this we require a dependable vehicle fleet. As a company, Palmer and Harvey has operated Isuzu trucks for well over 10 years within its national fleet and the proven performance and reliability of the products, supported by unrivalled customer service, is second to none. Furthermore, the payload capacity we achieve from the Isuzus is by far the best in the industry."

These latest 7.5t Isuzus all feature Isuzu’s popular Easyshift transmission and Hull-based manufacturer Paneltex was chosen as the exclusive supplier of bodywork for the vehicles. Each truck has an extra-long Paneltex Ecofont S dry-freight body, which has an interiorlength of 6100 mm. Whilst the dry-freight body is principally designed for ambient products; there is a provision for chilled products through the supply of a mobile refrigeration unit within each truck. Mounted on castors, the container has an approximate capacity of 500 litres and is fitted with a top-mounted fridge that can be plugged into either 12 V DC or 240V A/C supply.

To facilitate ease of access into the truck body for the driver/salesman, there is a single, centre rear door with double-folding step. The body also has a compact Penny Hydraulics Load Lift 250 platform at the rear that can handle the loading and unloading of roll cages and trolleys up to 300kgs. Within the body itself, there is a specific office facility with additional electronics for iPads and overall vehicle security is provided through Maple, Twin-Active, Lock-Secure systems to the rear door.

According to P&H Direct, these new Isuzu trucks will each have a working life of seven years covering approximately 20,000 miles per annum operating as sales vans working on a localised geographical area.

"Palmer and Harvey operate the UK's largest van sales operation, calling on 1,000 customers per hour and visiting over 50,000 customers every fortnight. With over 110 Isuzus in its fleet, Palmer and Harvey has proven, first-hand experience of running the marque on such large-scale, very demanding, van delivery operations. During the 10-year working relationship between our two companies, Palmer and Harvey recognised the quality of our award-winning customer CARE service. For ITUK, it’s particularly rewarding to know that our products have been chosen to be the backbone of this new P&H Direct foodservice distribution operation," said Keith Child, marketing director at Isuzu Truck.

Full details of the current Isuzu Truck range can be viewed and downloaded from the company’s website on www.isuzutruck.co.uk

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