October 17, 2014

Cold Plate to Versatility


Thomas Brothers Foods Update Technology, Gain Efficiency

For nearly 60 years, Thomas Brothers Foods has been committed to providing its customers with premium quality Country ham, pork and other meat products. This mission-driven company based in Asheboro, North Carolina, aims to establish and maintain the standards of excellence for meat retailers in product efficiency, cleanliness and safety, and has a long-standing reputation for quality and personal delivery service. Up until a few years ago, the family-owned company chose cold plate technology for its transport refrigeration needs but now Thermo King vehicle-powered refrigeration units make up the majority of the company’s fleet.

The company began transforming its 9-truck fleet in 2012 with the help of local dealer Thermo King Central Carolinas. It didn’t take long to realize that the benefits of going to a smaller distribution vehicle and lighter refrigeration system far ‘out-weighed’ the heavier, gas-burning cold plate technology and larger host vehicle.

“Moving to the Thermo King V-520RT unit and the Mercedes Sprinter van has saved us in many ways,” said Ricky Thomas, partner and owner. “The smaller vehicle and lighter, vehicle-powered (VP) unit offers better fuel mileage and greater versatility and maneuverability when parking and making deliveries. It also saves us other operational expenses that came with running a large truck fleet. This includes the required Class B licensing and drug testing, as well as fuel taxes and higher maintenance costs.

“The Sprinter vans and VP units are easy to operate and far more economical. While most of our deliveries are day trips that average 300 miles, we do have one over-night route. The driver simply plugs into the hotel and the product stays cold. All of our drivers like the new fleet and enjoy saying that they drive a Mercedes!”

Today, Thomas Brothers Foods operates three Sprinter vans with Thermo King V-520 small truck units and two with the V-300 model; only one truck is left in its fleet. “The vans and units have been operating great for us, and we hope to add another vehicle next year as one is closing in on 100K miles,” said Thomas.

Thomas Brothers Foods delivers throughout North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Originally founded by the Thomas brothers, the company was transitioned to a new generation of Thomas’ in 2010. Debbie, Frank, Ricky, and Samuel, the children of the late H.F. Thomas, are building upon the their family’s honored traditions and ensuring continued growth and success with updated technologies and innovations while retaining a quality, southern family business.


Learn more about Thomas Brother Foods at www.thomasbrothersham.com.

Customer: Thomas Brothers Ham | www.thomasbrothersham.com

Dealer: Thermo King Central Carolinas | http://www.tkcentralcarolinas.com/