Articles & Case Studies

Water Lot of Hubbard Units for United Utilities

Posted: Friday 9th January 2009

United Utilities Plc, the largest operator of water and waste water networks in the UK, has this month taken delivery of their final batch of vans fitted with Hubbard 360AlphaM refrigeration units, bringing the total number delivered over the last 9 months to 50.

The vans are used for the transportation of water samples from point of collection to United Utilities’ state of the art laboratories in Warrington for analysis. The samples need to be chilled to 5°C to ensure Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) Compliance.

The Hubbard refrigeration units are fitted on 44 Vauxhall Combo and 6 Vauxhall Vivaro vans and have been supplied to United Utilities Transport Services as a package by Vauxhall and their approved body converter the GRP Group of Leeds, who custom-build GRP refrigerated transport solutions.

Dual compartments have been fitted on both types of vans, with a chilled compartment used for water samples and an ambient compartment for storing sample bottles, tools and test equipment.

Hubbard, a Zanotti Group company, is one the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of transport refrigeration systems. Suitable for temperatures down to 0°C, the 360AlphaM is designed to operate in suitably insulated micro vans, panel vans and compartmental bodies and uses environmentally friendly R134a refrigerant.

The 360 series units comprise a low profile evaporator and twin fan condenser, a compressor mounted within the engine compartment and belt driven from the crankshaft, complete with a mount kit compatible to the vehicle.

The system is operated by a fully programmable, easy to use in-cab, digital controller that provides constant temperature read-out.

United Utilities Transport Services are responsible for the supply, maintenance and repair of all United Utilities Vehicles and HGVs and currently have six internal workshops based throughout the North West.

David Smith, Fleet Engineer of United Utilities Transport Services says, “It was a real team effort. We specified the size and number of crates, bottles and other equipment that would be contained in the two models of Vauxhall vans and supplied this information to Hubbard and GRP who between them designed the correct size refrigeration units for our requirements. One vehicle was initially built in order that we could assess its suitability in the flesh. It worked excellently so the rest of the refrigerated vans were rolled out.”

David continues, “The Hubbard units are fit for purpose, functional and although it is early days they have provided good, solid performance as well as being aesthetically pleasing. What has also been impressive is Hubbard’s level of service throughout the process. Our company’s needs are always evolving and we will be looking into designing different vehicle layout variants in the future.”

Ray Downey, Hubbard’s Key Accounts Manager for the North comments, “United Utilities’ fleet is all white and the Hubbard units ordinarily have a black back panel. Due to the type of vans specified the units sit on top of the van body and so all sides are on display. David asked whether it was possible to fit white back panels in order to match in with the fleet and we were happy to help out.

“I have also carried out driver training for United Utilities at their sites in Cumbria and Winsford, Cheshire, running through day-to-day operation such as how the equipment works, operational controls and what to do when the driver gets out of vehicle. Now that the last batch has been delivered I will be back to do some more training for drivers of the new vehicles. This sort of training is essential for companies like United Utilities where they must ensure that they meet industry regulations and it’s also important to ensure that the units are used correctly so that they work at their optimum level.”


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