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Our new Thermaxx body really is two van types in one!

Thermaxx Refrigerated Truck Bodies

Scarcella Transport – Director – John Scarcella

Scarcella Transport is based in NSW and has been in business since the late 1960s. During that time, the small family company carried coal locally, and was involved in the transportation of grain, fertilizer, and produce for the rural community in NSW. The company has diversified, delivering quality services to the Northern Regions of the country using Road Trains.

Often when it comes to refrigerated trailers, operators have two options: either a curtain-sider, which offers full side access but can sacrifice in insulation capability, or a rigid body that has better insulation but access area confined to the rear.

But for John Scarcella, Director of Scarcella Transport, Thermaxx presented a third option – a newly designed 14-pallet refrigerated rigid van with both rear and full side access. “The real beauty of the Thermaxx body is that it is two van types in one,” says John. “It can open fully on the side like a curtain-sider to pick up from the farms, then drive straight to our depot in Darwin and unload from the rear into the dock.”

John explains that the ambient temperatures found across the Northern Territory can provide a real challenge for refrigerated freight, with an average temperature of 30° over the year. “I’m very particular about temperature control, and this vehicle gave me a freezer van performance with a side-loading body,” explains John. “The Thermaxx can refrigerate down to -25° when closed, which is a temperature that most refrigerated curtain-siders can’t match.”

The rigid’s full side access is made possible with a concertina style door system on the side of the body that opens from the middle, folding back on itself to allow full access. “Unlike most side doors, these run the full height of the body, so there is no chance of the tops of pineapples or our other loose-packed produce getting caught in a door seal or overhang. It is full, unimpeded access,” says John.

According to Richard Stock from the sales team at Thermaxx, the trick to the doors of the new Thermaxx rigid lies in the panels. Sourced from a European company that specialises in forming intricate shapes with fibreglass, the doors’ hinges are double knuckles moulded right into the panels.

“Anyone can make a panel, it takes an expert to have the ability to fix the hinge into the panel itself,” says Richard. “Other types of rigid bodies’ side opening doors have aluminium hinges and seals that compromise the insulation capabilities of the body.”

When closed, the concertina doors form a flush internal and external wall with a thickness of 45mm. While Richard says that’s about 5mm thicker than a standard wall, it still offers the full 2.4m of internal space that is integral for pallet loading, while also remaining within the regulation 2.5m trailer width.

The concertina doors open from the middle out, meaning that John’s drivers don’t have to open the whole side of the body to access stock. “If we’re making partial deliveries, we can open the doors as much or as little as we need,” says John – adding that this way stock in either the front or back of the van can be accessed much quicker.

The general operation of the side doors also helps the Scarcella team save a lot of time over conventional curtain-siders, which usually have two buckles per pallet space that need to be manually operated. “The Thermaxx body is much more productive to unload, opening with three clicks and less than two minutes to get full access to the side,” says Richard.

He adds that to help with partial deliveries, the Thermaxx rigid has been built with vertical shoring for increased pallet stability. “Most other rigids have horizontal shoring, but this one has vertical shoring so that if John does take advantage of the concertina door to partially unload stock, the horizontal gates ensure the remaining stock can’t move into the newly emptied space during transit.”

John took delivery of the rigid late last year, it has been put to hard work in the Darwin region, picking up fresh produce such as mangoes, rockmelons and other tropical fruits from farms and dropping them off at the Scarcella depot in Palmerston. “From there, the produce is loaded up and run the long journey to either Melbourne or Sydney,” says John.

The Thermaxx rigid has joined the Scarcella fleet of 84 trailers spread across two depots in Sydney and Darwin, 45 of which are refrigerated. But if you ask Richard, it’s like adding two van types at once. “No matter what application John wants to put his two-function Thermaxx rigid too work, it has the capability.”

Article as seen in Trailer Magazine>