The results successfully demonstrate the considerable work and knowledge transfer between these companies.
With the demands of the consumer and regulations for the transportation of food, home delivery vehicles are often the more complex bodies on the road for this market sector today, due to the wide variety of products they are tasked with carrying and this offering is no different.
Moving away from their traditional panel van conversion solution allowed Waitrose to increase their capacity by 35% enabling their vehicles to stay on the road longer, completing more deliveries whilst reducing their carbon footprint due to not needing to return to the store as often. These vehicles include a number of other ‘Waitrose’ specific features, many individually designed with selected components which Solomon Commercials have been able to assist in the development of thanks to their ability to design bodies specific to the end-users individual requirements.
In addition to the extra 35% increase, a dedicated frozen compartment has been created so Waitrose are now operating true multi-compartmental layout suitable for the transportation of three dedicated temperature range products – frozen, chilled and ambient – again allowing the vehicles to complete more deliveries per trip and subsequently improving their efficiencies.
The bodies are accessed through both the rear, via a roller shutter, as well as a side access door, to maximise vehicle load space and loading opportunities and to create dedicated compartments for each required temperature.
Solomon has used all their 40 years of experience to create a body that not only maintains its structural integrity and strength to withstand the rigors of a home delivery operation but it is also incredibly lightweight to return the customer a maximum return on their investment.
Externally, the vehicles feature a fully curved front roof section to improve aerodynamic performance, along with Solomon’s small section capping which further reduces the weight. A bespoke-designed plastic trim continues along the body sides, mimicking the Mercedes Sprinters’, creating a continuity of the styling between the cab and body.
As the first Solomon Vehicles enter service, Solomon Commercials look forward to developing their relationship with Waitrose and The John Lewis Partnership in the future, to drive both companies development forward in an ever-changing market place.