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• There were several new products and plenty of detail developments among the exhibits in the bodywork display at this year's Freight Transport Association conference, confirming the event as a new landmark on the bodybuilding scene.
Reflecting the interests of the distribution-orientated FTA audience, exhibitors homed in on certain key themes. Temperature control was one, with full-sized refrigerated trailers on display from Saxon and Carrymaster and smaller fridge vans from other makers. Swap-body systems were much in evidence, notably from Abel, McDonald Kane and Ray Smith, and tail-lifts were prominent too.
While many national companies made the trip to Torquay, there was nevertheless something of a southern flavour to the event, with a strong showing from relatively local manufacturers such as Refrigerated Vehicles Uckfield, East Sussex: Sparshatts of Andover; and Vaile of Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset. However, all these makers aspire to markets well beyond their own region.
Underlying the whole presentation wa an awareness of 1992's Single European Market, with all its implications for freight. Intermodal transport was a pervading theme, conveyed by Railfreight with a DIN-standard swap-body, and by Tiphook with a York piggyback trailer.