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Sonia offers on-line truck painting

2nd May 2002, Page 19
2nd May 2002
Page 19
Page 19, 2nd May 2002 — Sonia offers on-line truck painting
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II by Brian Weatherley

Scania has taken a further step towards what it describes as a "shrink-wrapped" ready-to-roll truck with the launch of an online operator paint and livery service.

According to Tony Ballinger. Scanla's director of retail operations, the ability to produce a completed livery, including decals, on the assembly line has removed all the problems previ

ously experienced with postassembly painting. The on-line livery is also covered by Scania's normal cab paint warranty.

Ballinger explains: "If we do it at the factory we can do the. components at the same time. We don't have to take them off paint them, then put them back on again with all the issues and impact on factory-build quality that involves." One of the first UK operators to take advantage of the new service is Eddie Stobart, whose 500th Scania was recently finished in the company's distinctive livery at Scania's Zwolle plant. "If we can paint a Stobart truck we can paint anyone's," says Ballinger. The 420hp R124 6x2 tractor is on Scania's show stand at this week's CV Show.

The on-line paint service also removes the traditional bottleneck between vehicle completion and final delivery. "It can take a UK paint shop anything up to 10-14 days to finish," says Ballinger. "With our lead times we can do up to five Stobart trucks in a week through our paint process—not many paint shops can do that."

h-le estimates that an average full cab livery will cost around 5% more on-line than having it done locally. "But the truck is ready to roll," he stresses. "You no longer have to wait for it to come out of the local paint shop, and it's covered by a full Scania cab warranty."

Ballinger predicts that tighter environmental legislation being imposed on paint shops will further reduce the number of local vehicle finishers capable of handling an HGV.

The on-line paint service is part of a growing programme of on-line services from Smile which now include: • Fifth-wheel fitment;

• Equipment including PTOs and pumping kits; NI Alloy tanks and catwalks;

• Chequerplate walkways/ finish; • ADR requirements (though not UK Pet-regs); • In-cab height indicators/ radios/O-licence/tax disc holders.

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