Five minutes with Clive Jones, Sales Director, Andover Trailers

07 October 2021 #Uncategorised

What type of trailers does Andover specialise in?
Established in 1985, Andover Trailers has grown to become one of the best regarded names in bespoke trailer manufacturing. Calling on decades of industry experience, we primarily design and construct genuinely bespoke heavy plant, specialist and drawbar trailers, as well as a range of plant bodies. We pride ourselves on our impeccably high standards of engineering and use of the best materials to achieve an unparalleled combination of strength, low weight and low height, with a major focus on ease of operation as well. The result is a product range of exceptional quality and durability which has earned us a loyal customer base across all sectors, including the armed forces, not only in the UK but across the world.

Any new products to talk about?
Though we do like to keep a small number of standard products in production, allowing us to deliver trailers quickly into customers if required, 95% of what we build is designed to individual specifications. This means pretty much every time we build a product for a new customer, it’s the first of its kind – our focus is on being bespoke. Most recently we have been developing new design and manufacturing techniques that further improve strength and durability across our range, while at the same time reducing weight. There’s no getting away from the fact that payload capacity is one of the most important factors for our customers, along with strength and reliability. Most recently we’ve been able to build a 4.4-tonne drawbar trailer that can carry 20 tonnes. It’s innovations like this that keep our customers coming back. Our constantly evolving products are also becoming safer and easier to use, with improved working at height systems, cameras and lighting being worked into the designs.

What aftersales services does Andover provide for customers?
We currently have two dedicated, full time service engineers, and are recruiting for a third, who provide UK-wide maintenance support to our customers. Our aftersales services also include altering customer trailers to fit new requirements or for different types of work, making the most of the durability and guaranteed long life of our products.

What have been the biggest challenges for Andover during the pandemic?
Of course, the entire industry has been hugely affected, but thankfully we have been able to maintain an extremely healthy order book throughout. The main issues we’ve faced are down to the supply chain – shortages of electrical components, extended delivery times for truck chassis and trailer axles, and the increase in the cost of steel have all been major factors. We’ve also had to deal with staffing issues owing to self-isolation and even some of the team catching the virus. Though some of the challenges remain, we’ve also been able to develop some alternative supply options, allowing us to continue to deliver the quality of product our customers have come to expect.

How important is SMMT membership to Andover Trailers?
Our membership of the SMMT is hugely important. They provided us with great support, particularly working with the DVSA to keep IVA inspections running throughout the pandemic. While the regular meetings and updates mean we can keep abreast of regulatory changes that will affect the company, allowing us to plan our business strategy moving forward which, with the challenges we’re all facing at the moment, is more vital than ever.

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