Sensing a need for additional competition in the North American transport refrigeration market, Zanotti Transblock North America has begun distributing three series of truck refrigeration units from Zanotti Sp A in Pegognaga, Italy, to a network of dealers in Canada and the US. Zanotti Transblock North America has been in operation for three months and is headquartered in Flamborough, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. The company is headed by Zoltan Lamperth, the corporate principal, Dave Purdie, who handles the dealer network, and Scott Biggs, who heads product support.

Planning for the joint venture began in October 2002 and culminated with the official opening with 12 dealers on April 1, 2003. The company now has a string of dealers across Canada and a network along the eastern seaboard of the US plus a dealer in California. The plan for US distribution is to surround the country at its edges and then work inland, Purdie says. To complete the encirclement, more dealers are planned for the West Coast to be followed by a group along the Gulf Coast with emphasis on Louisiana and Texas. When dealers around the edges are in place, Zanotti Transblock will next look for market in areas with hot climates and a need for straight truck refrigeration. The lone exception to the perimeter plan is a dealer already in place in Tennessee. “He came to us rather than us seeking him out,” Purdie says.

Expansion plans call for the addition of approximately 10 dealers per year up to a target total of 50. With the dealer network already in place, Zanotti Transblock projects reasonable annual sales in the first year. These will be for straight trucks alone, as Zanotti does not produce trailer refrigeration. Parts distribution for the dealer network already is in place in the form of NuLine Transport Refrigeration Parts, an organization also owned by Zoltan Lamperth.

Zanotti dealers have three series of units to offer. At the small end of the scale are three electric systems that run off power from the 12-volt truck battery. These systems are intended for eight- to 10-ft boxes that need constant refrigeration. These units are sized for a small cargo space at capacity ranging from 1,808 Btu/hr to 3,808 Btu/hr at medium temperatures. Total unit weight is low, ranging from 128 lb up to 152 lb. They are ideal for florists, caterers, and other medium duty applications. “We have one user in Montreal who has mounted a battery-powered unit in the rear section of a Ford Econoline van for delivery to cheese shops,” Lamperth says.

In the middle of the product line is a group of units with the compressor driven by the truck engine. These systems correspond to the Integra units from Carrier Transicold or the V-series from Thermo King. They are available in two configurations — split units with an external condensing section and a separate evaporator or single-piece units with an external, nose-mounted condensing section coupled with an evaporator section that extends through the front wall of the truck body. The split units are designed for truck bodies ranging from 12 ft to 23 ft and provide refrigeration capacity, including multi-temp, ranging from 8,963 Btu/hr at medium temperature for 12-ft boxes up to 24,157 Btu/hr for 23-ft bodies.

Three single-piece units with truck engine-driven compressors have capacity ranging from 11,761 Btu/hr for 15-ft boxes up to 19,100 Btu/hr for 21-ft boxes. Single-piece units are heavier than their split configuration counterparts with the lightest weighing in at 275 lb and the heaviest tipping the scale at 363 lb.

At the top of the line is a series of diesel-powered, self-contained units, again in two configurations. Two are undermounts with the engine, compressor, and condensing section installed under the truck body and a separate evaporator section mounted inside the body on the ceiling. These large units were designed for European-styled bodies in excess of 30 ft in length and provide an opportunity to refrigerate a trailer with a truck unit. Capacity ranges from 37,218 Btu/hr to 43,663 Btu/hr for medium temperature, and weight ranges from 1,122 lb to 1,318 lb.

The remaining five units among the diesel-powered series are conventional nosemounts. The DFZ425 corresponds to the Carrier Transicold Supra 644 or the Thermo King MD-II. It is designed for bodies up to 23 ft and provides 16,309 Btu/hr capacity at medium temperature. The unit weighs 693 lb. Next in the series is the DFZ430, which roughly matches the Carrier Transicold Supra 744 or the Thermo King KD-II with capacity of 20,806 Btu/hr at medium temperature. Designed to provide high capacity for a 23-ft body, it weighs 715 lb.

Lamperth says that the DFZ435 has more capacity than the Thermo King TS-300 and is a rough match for the Carrier Transicold Supra 844. It offers 23,693 Btu/hr at medium temperature for bodies up to 26 ft in length. The DFZ435 weigh 847 lb.

The DFZ465 is an approximate match for the Carrier Transicold Supra 944 or the Thermo King RD-II and at 38,733 Btu/hr has more capacity than the Thermo King TS-500. Designed for bodies up to 28 ft, it weighs 946 lb.

The largest unit in the Zanotti Transblock line is the DFZ495. Designed for trucks up to 34 ft long, it has no counterpart among truck units in North America, Purdie says. Its medium temperature capacity is 49,481 Btu/hr, and it weighs 1,133 lb.

All diesel units are powered by three-cylinder Perkins engines and use Boch compressors. Zanotti produces the refrigeration circuits and assembles the units. At present, units are about 70% complete when received in Canada by Zanotti Transblock. At that point, units are completed using electrical componentry that complies with the certification standards of CSA in Canada and Underwriters Laboratory in the US. Purdie says that company plans will eventually result in complete assembly of units in North America.

Capacity data for Zanotti Transblock units is different than that of competitive systems, because the units are certified to the European ATP standard at 32° F instead of the 35° F used to certify transport refrigeration units by the Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Institute.

For more information, contact Zanotti Transblock North America, 12 Innovation Dr, Flamborough Ontario L9H 7P3.