Food delivery specialist Apetito has chosen to fit Seymour Manufacturing International’s Back-Stop curtains to its new-look fleet after being impressed by their thermal insulation credentials.

The company, which has been delivering frozen and chilled food to care homes, local authorities and hospitals for more than 50 years, has just completed a major investment in new eco-friendly vehicles.

SMI announced the new contract at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, where the company said its products were very well received, with interest from several ‘big players’.

Industry experts worked in partnership with Apetito and its drivers on the design of the new fleet, to come up with a system which would reduce the loss of cold air during multiple deliveries.

SMI’s Back-Stop range was chosen after tests showed they reduced the loss of temperature from the back of vehicles by nearly 60 per cent.

Managers at Apetito said the company only wanted to use “the best quality equipment” for its new fleet, and felt Back-Stop fitted the bill perfectly.

The Back-Stop range is a family of insulated flexible barriers designed to reduce energy loss from the back of a chilled or frozen vehicle.

The door curtain system, using SMI’s celebrated Tempro thermal insulation, conserves significant amounts of energy by retaining chill.

Daniel Paull, distribution manager at Apetito said: “Our new distribution fleet was designed with Cold Chain optimisation in mind.

“The inefficient plastic strip curtains used in the old fleet have been replaced with the latest thermally efficient Back Stop insulated curtain system from Seymour Manufacturing International.

“Each curtain can be operated independently to manage the aperture size and reduce temperature gain in the rear of the truck through wasteful loss of cold air.

“These curtains were designed in collaboration with SMI, and Apetito were the first company to utilise this technology in the back of a vehicle.”

He added: “Before deciding to specify Back-Stop, tests were carried out to compare the new system with the old strip curtains. The rear doors of both trucks were left open and a comparison between the temperatures inside the truck recorded.

“The truck fitted with backstop system recorded a 58 per cent improvement in terms of temperature retention when compared with the vehicle fitted with the original plastic curtain system.”

Apetito seeks to deliver food to its customers in perfect condition at a temperature of minus 12 or colder.

SMI managing director Brian Seymour said: “We are delighted that Apetito has chosen our Back-Stop range, having seen for itself the performance benefits and energy savings which it offers.

“The company first came to look at Back-Stop when we were exhibiting in Peterborough in 2013, and installed 32 units into their new vehicles. We now have an excellent relationship with the team.”

Bus-Stop, which SMI officially unveiled at the CV Show, consists of the same four movable insulated curtains, but instead of being attached to the back of the vehicle they are fitted on a sliding bar mounted below the truck ceiling, allowing it to be moved from the back, to the front of the truck as the load requires.

The bar is locked in position by a spring-loaded bolt, and the curtains held in place by magnets.

Mr Seymour said: “We have been field testing Bus-Stop for several months in partnership with Ruskim Seafoods, who believe it has the potential to revolutionise the frozen and chilled food haulage sector.”