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Thermo King launches new trailer units

By John Ackermann

Thermo King recently launched its new SLXi single- and multi-temperature refrigeration units for trailers, showing off this new product with events in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

The launch was kicked off in Johannesburg, then moved to Cape Town and ended in Durban during April and May.

About SLXi
So, what makes this product so special? “With the new SLXi, you always win,” Francois van der Westhuizen, head of transport cooling sales GEA, said at the national launch. This unit has been designed with applied technology to prevent loss and damage to product.

Reduced total ownership cost with less impact on the environment, a lower carbon footprint, lower fuel consumption, ultra-quiet operation, and 24/7 real time connectivity are some of the attractions of Thermo King’s new unit.

The whisper-quiet operation and the higher fuel efficiency stems from extending the application of electronics and communication technology.

The unit is also equipped with Bluetooth via the TK Bluebox communication. From their mobile phone, an operator can view from any location the real time operating data of their refrigeration units from across the country.

The unit comes with an extended warranty of six years. The new e-coated frame has been designed to place less stress on components and contributes to extended life.

The SLXi design has been focused on advanced, efficient, ‘green’ technology with the least impact on the environment and is charged with R452A refrigerant, which has a reduction of 45% in GWP compared to previously used R404A. The refrigerant charge has also been reduced by a change to microchannel finned heat exchangers.

The direct injection industrial-type engine operates at a reduced nominal speed with resultant less exhaust gas emissions.

A launch with a difference

There was a virtual reality presentation of the installation of a unit in the workshop. This had been produced by Oliver Karsteel, a 23-year-old with amazing electronic design skills. In Johannesburg, the viewing was done inside one of the new trailers of Icecold Bodies.

The launch was rather unique in that it incorporated the body builders. In Johannesburg, the SLXi was shown in the new trailers of Serco, Icecold bodies, and Elite Fibre. Each with its own features as a result of changes in their manufacturing techniques.

Backup support
Having efficient and high-performance refrigeration units is only of value to operators if backed by a quality backup service network. GEA Africa has 10 authorised service distributors across South Africa and Namibia. And in their own branches in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, KwaZulu-Natal, and Johannesburg, they have 70 Thermo King trained technicians with different levels of competency (gold, silver, or bronze).

Thermo King has an extensive international training programme for all service technicians, who are graded according to their level of competency.

In a highly competitive market where operating costs are under the spotlight in a challenging economy, the features of this SLXi, which will contribute to reduced total cost ownership, will be attractive to all operators in the refrigerated logistics sector.

Cape Town launch

From left: Marius Mans (Mans Vervoer) with André Basson (Fast ‘n Fresh). From left: Annes Geldenhuys (Geldenhuys Vervoer Ceres), Gert van Rooyen (Elite Fibre), and Johann Coetzee (GEA Africa). From left: Peter Viljoen (Fast ‘n Fresh), Gert van Rooyen (Elite Fibre), and Jacques van Rooyen (Elite Fibre). From left: Scott Buckley (Elite Fibre Cape Town) with Jacques van Rooyen (Elite Fibre George). From left: Francois van der Westhuizen (GEA Africa), John Ackermann (Cold Link Africa), and Clint Holcroft (Serco).

Johannesburg launch

From left: Martin Richie (Mercedez Benz Centurion) with Leonard Streicher and Attie Lubbe (both of Sequence Logistics). A new design of Elite Fibre triaxial refrigerated trailer with reinforced sides at rear end for extended life. The Icecold Bodies refrigerated triaxial with a tail lift offered easy access to the virtual reality presentation. A GEA group, from left: Ken Reed (MD); Herbert Makhubele (sales engineer, Equipment Sales); Darren Hutcheson (sales manager, GEA Farm Technologies); and Rob Allen (head of flow components, Equipment Sales). The GEA workshop in Midrand was converted into a showroom for the launch. From left: Gordon Brown and Gawie du Toit of Shoprite Checkers with Peter Meroi (Thermo King sales and service manager for South and East Africa, based in Dubai). The new Thermo King SLXi combines the latest in electronic technology and fuel economy. From left: Andre Jansen (Elite Fibre Johannesburg), Martin Walkenshaw and Jim Ward (both of Unitrans), and Francois van der Westhuizen (GEA). A new generation triaxial refrigerated semi-trailer of Serco’s with steel skinned panels manufactured on their new automated injected foam manufacturing equipment. Attie Swanepoel (on left) with Tertius van Heerden, both of Icecold Bodies.


Click below to read the September/October 2017 issue of Cold Link Africa

CLA Sept-Oct 2017

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