Commercial vehicles lead a hard life so functional and durable coatings
are essential for longevity

We were delighted to feature in PCE International recently, talking all things paint, commercial vehicle paint that is! Take a look below at what we had to say…

Come up behind a flat-bed trailer lorry on the road, and you’re probably trying to look past it, not at it.

Commercial trailers attract little attention from the average motorist, but they are everywhere. There’s a good chance the next one you see in the UK will be made by the leading name in the 
business, Dennison, an Irish family-owned firm with manufacturing centres in Naas, Dublin and Lancaster.

The company has 50 years and 50,000 units behind them. Dennison’s trailers come in the forms of skeletals, curtainsiders, tippers, platforms, machinery carriers, and a range of specialist trailers including an innovative sliding bogie.

They supply over 80% of the container chassis market in the UK as well as a healthy export market. Underpinning every one is the Dennison Chassis; the culmination of five decades of design, manufacturing expertise and experience.

The company’s products can expect a hard life from the majority of users, so functional and durable coatings are essential. But sheer pride means they leave the factory looking as sharp as a showroom car.

Dennison operates paint shops at both their factories and have had a long relationship with PPG. Managing Director James Dennison has worked in the family business since 1986, and in 1992, managed the opening of the UK production site in Lancaster where the coating process has been refined over the years.

“All painting is done in house in our spray booths in Lancaster and Naas” he explains. “We used to bake the primer, but now we only bake for 20-25 minutes after the topcoat – the primer and topcoat then cure together. We use a 2-pack epoxy primer and then topcoat. Done this way, we get a five-year warranty from PPG.

“Preparation is by shot blasting with a steel abrasive called chilled iron, and we seal the joints with a special silicone. We bake them and then flash off at 35 deg, and then let it cool down. The Primer is 2K Epoxy Beige Primer followed by a top coat of 2-pack Ready Mixed Finish, all supplied by PPG. If applied properly, with correct thickness, the coatings are good for a minimum of 10 years. We offer a refurbishment or maintenance service, but the same coatings can be used if required.

”There are sometimes calls for special finishes and Dennison says that both single and 2-pack metallic colors can be used: “We have to use a very costly base coat and lacquer system for the 2-pack – not very efficient for production, and they are therefore mainly used on bodies for tipping trailers. Quite some time ago we tried water-based paint as opposed to solvent-based, but that wasn’t very successful.

“We have a colour mixing machine for the topcoat in both our UK and Irish factories that gives us the ability to mix any RAL colour for small batches if required.

A team of around nine people in Lancaster is currently shot blasting and painting 11 finished trailers. Each model is manufactured to meet the specific needs of the operator, from owner drivers to blue-chip companies. The trailers are sold, or sold on lease or HP, with a lot of users renting from rental companies.

Big thanks again to PCE International. For the full article visit: