Salford Van Hire has become the first operator in the UK to run a fleet of Schmitz Cargobull’s new SKO Pace Smart semi-trailers.

The privately-owned company, which has bases in Manchester and Leeds, has acquired 40 of the assets which will operate seven days a week on nationwide contracts with major supermarkets, retailers and parcel delivery companies.

They are the first to have been constructed in Schmitz Cargobull’s Manchester factory and join Salford Van Hire’s existing fleet of 1,800 dry freight curtainsiders and reefers, half of which were also supplied by Schmitz Cargobull.

Salford Van Hire contract and fleet engineering director, Steve McNally, said: “We are very proud to be the first logistics business in the UK to acquire these new SKO Pace Smart semi-trailers which are perfectly suited to our needs.

“The fact they are manufactured in the UK is hugely beneficial both for lead times and cost, as well as reducing our environmental impact – which they will continue to do on a daily basis because of their lightweight construction.”

Featuring a galvanised Modulos chassis, innovative Struktoplast panels and options for three different floor strengths, the fully modular S.KO Pace Smart is EN 12642 code XL certified and comes with Schmitz Cargobull’s telematics system TrailerConnect fitted as standard.

The use of innovative lightweight panels helps keep the semi-trailer’s weight down to around 600kg, helping to cut Salford Van Hire’s carbon emissions and lower its fuel bills.

Salford Van Hire has worked with Schmitz Cargobull for more than 10 years. The company said its confidence in the manufacturer allowed it to place its order without the need to trial a demonstrator vehicle.

McNally said: “We have always been impressed by the quality, design and build of Schmitz Cargobull trailers so we were completely confident in our choice to be the first to run S.KO Pace Smart trailers. Now we have them, they are already exceeding our expectations.”