The spike in business enjoyed towards the end of last year by leading South African trailer and truck building company Serco has extended into 2018 with a healthy order book providing hope that the trend will continue for some time.

Managing Director Clinton Holcroft attributes the improvement mainly to the introduction onto the market of the company’s new refrigerated vehicle, the Protec Steel Frostliner.

“We have seen a swift uptake of the new Protec Steel refrigerated bodies with our order book for trailers being 95% Protec Steel, a clear indication that the vehicles have been well received,” said Holcroft.

“Fleet owners have been extremely positive and impressed with the finish of the coated steel panels, including the new rice grain aluminium floor – a flat full sheet bonded onto the vehicle – creating a durable, high wearing feature.

“An added attraction is that repair costs to the coated steel units are very similar to that of our fiberglass model that when coupled with the improved thermal performance and increased durability makes for a significantly lower cost of ownership,” said Holcroft.

The vehicles have welded scuffs creating a waterproof and high strength structure.

“We also introduced a new 5 lip door seal made of an extruded rubber, providing an excellent thermal barrier which prevents the leakage of cold air.  The seals have a coating that makes it easier to open and close the rear door,”

An attractive feature for customers is that repair costs to the coated steel units are relatively low.

“A key issue becoming highly relevant is that clients are keen to improve the thermal performance of their refrigerated vehicles,” said Holcroft.

“With our new injected foam technique for the panels we expect an improvement of more than 20% in thermal performance compared to our previous products.  The significance of this, of course, is that the load on the fridge unit will be significantly reduced – that is a big plus factor for clients.”