Fowler Welch has become one of the first UK operators to put a Schmitz Cargobull own-brand fridge unit into service.

Giant German trailer builder Schmitz announced plans in 2012 to develop its own fridge unit to challenge Carrier Transicold and Thermoking. At present, it is only available as a 9,000kW mono-temperature unit on Schmitz’s top of the range S.KO Cool Executive reefer trailer, but a multi-temperature version is under development.

To minimise running costs, Schmitz’s fridge uses a four-cylinder, 2.2-litre Perkins diesel engine driving a generator to power the electric compressor and fans.

Fowler Welch currently operates around 250 Schmitz Cargobull trailers and will use the new unit on a dedicated trunking route between Slough, Northamptonshire and Lancashire, transporting chilled foodstuffs.

It is equipped with Schmitz Cargobull’s TrailerConnect Interface (TCI), which provides comprehensive monitoring of the trailer and fridge.

Paul Allera (pictured), head of fleet at Fowler Welch, said: “The telemetry that’s included as standard is going to be very useful. We can track and trace everything and it means that Schmitz Cargobull can pre-empt most faults before they happen. We’re taking this unit for five years but we may well order more after the first 12 months.”