Gray & Adams has launched its 60th anniversary celebrations by hosting a visit from HRH Prince Charles and announcing its intention to build the UK’s first maximum-length, lifting-deck semi-trailer.

The Prince was conducted on a tour of Gray & Adams’ Fraserburgh, Scotland, headquarters by Joint Managing Directors Peter and James Gray. He chatted with staff from all levels of the business and viewed the production facilities in which the ground-breaking 51-foot trailer is to be built.

“A lot of time and effort went into the planning of this visit, which was a huge success,” Peter Gray said. “The Prince was very interested in what we do, and demonstrated an impressive understanding of some of the engineering challenges that we have to overcome in tailoring equipment to meet the specific requirements of our customers.

“Our Royal guest was also very generous with his time, chatting with numerous members of the company team and leaving them with memories they will never forget. His visit was the perfect way in which to celebrate this important milestone in the history of our company.”

The factory tour took in the various stages of the production process, with the Prince showing particular interest in the different types of insulated panel used by the manufacturer to build its trailers and bodies.

The Gray & Adams team invited a number of leading customers, and they also had the opportunity to meet the Royal guest and see him unveil the plaque commemorating the biggest day in the company’s history. 

Before returning to the helicopter in which he arrived, Prince Charles received a number of gifts as mementoes of his visit. Among them were scale models of tractor units and double-deck trailers bearing the names of his grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte. These were presented by Stuart Philpot, aged 13, and his sister Grace, 10, founder Jim Gray’s own grandchildren by his daughter Marie Philpot, who is also a Gray & Adams Director.

Commissioned by an established, high-profile customer, the new trailer’s precise specification has yet to be confirmed. However, it will feature four separate temperature zones and offer a capacity of 60 pallets, comfortably more than double the number that can be carried on a standard, 44-foot single-deck trailer.

Although Gray & Adams also builds dry freight trailers and bodies, including highly specialized vehicles for niche markets, it is for temperature-controlled equipment that the company is best-known. Its products enjoy an unrivalled reputation for quality and durability, and are chosen by many of the biggest names on UK roads, including all of the major supermarkets.