Steve’s MWL appointment brings a 30-year FRIGOBLOCK journey full circle

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Michael Ward Limited (MWL) is delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Maile as its new FRIGOBLOCK Consultant, bringing his 30-year admiration for the all-electric transport refrigeration technology full circle.

Steve joins the Bolton-based business this month to bolster MWL’s FRIGOBLOCK sales and service offer having first worked for FRIGOBLOCK more than 30 year ago, including a five-year stint at the company’s base in Germany.

Malvern-based Steve, whose experience of transport refrigeration spans 40 years, says: “FRIGOBLOCK is the best product in the market place, there is no doubt about it. I’ve spent more than 20 years working tirelessly with some great people to develop and bring to market an alternative product that could run a diesel TRU on electric whilst on the road, just like a FRIGOBLOCK.

“I’ve done that now, and provided a stepping stone to electric refrigeration, but for me it all comes down to FRIGOBLOCK, so to come to MWL and sell FRIGOBLOCK again is great, and very exciting. The time is right to be selling these market-leading products made by the company that had a clear vision over 40 years ago to create an all-electric transport refrigeration future.

“With the world now waking up to the damage that the emissions from diesel have created, it is time for us all to do our bit to reduce emissions and ensure we leave a planet better placed for the future than it is today.”

MWL has been a sales and service provider for FRIGOBLOCK systems for more than 30 years. It fits and maintains FRIGOBLOCK units and offers an industry-leading three-year warranty. As well as its Bolton base, MWL also has premises in Willenhall in the Midlands.

MWL Managing Director Graham Galloway says: “We are really excited to welcome Steve. His experience and knowledge of the TRU industry is vast and we have known him, and worked with him, in many ways over the years, dating right back to his first association with FRIGOBLOCK.

“We know him well and Steve knows MWL and FRIGOBLOCK, so this is a perfect partnership to take our presence in the FRIGOBLOCK market to the next level.”

FRIGOBLOCK technology can be fitted to any vehicle, with three variations:

– The FK – which fits above the driver’s cab on heavy trucks;
– The HK – for drawbar systems and semi trailers;
– The EK/DK – undermount systems for split refrigeration machines;
– These systems can be combined with remote evaporators the RE – which provides different levels of cooling for multi compartment trucks.

They can run with a traditional diesel fuelled vehicle, with hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

Steve adds: “FRIGOBLOCK has predominantly been a rigid truck market based product. But the trailer market across Europe, and especially in the UK, is at least six times bigger than the rigid truck market. I believe we are now at the stage where we need to convince people to take electric trailer units, and being the only company offering a solely electric trailer unit, I think we have some huge opportunities ahead of us.”

And Steve also believes the imminent ending of red diesel rebates in April, which effectively makes diesel-powered RTUs more expensive to run, is another huge opportunity for FRIGOBLOCK.

He says: “A lot of people were resistant to electric refrigeration in the past because of the capital price premium over diesel powered systems. However, with savings in fuel, greater reliability and longer life FRIGOBLOCK systems have lower whole life costs that more than compensate for the additional purchase price over a diesel fridge.

‘Now, from April, all of a sudden, FRIGOBLOCK over a 4- to 10-year period will be considerably cheaper. It might not change the minds of those who want to run diesel fridges for some time, but eventually the accountants and environmental champions within those companies will start to question the costs and emissions and demand alternative solutions, which is FRIGOBLOCK.”

Away from work, Steve, who has been married to wife Linda for 40 years, has three grown up children and three grandchildren. He is a grasstrack motorcycle fanatic, having raced for 40 years, reaching international status and now supports his sons in the sport of motocross. He also ran a 250cc go-kart team, finishing third in the British championships.

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