Mellor’s Mobile Library for Shropshire Council
Minibus converter, Mellor Coachcraft, has provided a mobile library for Shropshire Council. The company the local authority usually used to supply these vehicles had gone out of business. A chance conversation between Mellor’s Geoff Hudson and the council’s Commercial Vehicle Manager, Andy Maiden, set minds to work, not just on replacing the original vehicle but building a more innovative and modern equivalent. The council had other mobile libraries over ten-tonnes but did not want the replacements to be heavier than 7.5 tonnes so that HGV driving licences did not become a problem. Mellor and Shropshire Council tackled the design as a partnership. The authority was keen to use a DAF chassis to take advantage of a good local dealership and Mellor worked with them to design the new mobile library from scratch, ensuring it is wheelchair accessible and suits the librarians and its users. It has heating that works independently of the engine and does not require a mains connection, an air conditioning system, a colour coded LED lighting system, an office for the librarian and a children’s section.
Geoff Hudson, said, ‘It was quite a technical challenge which drew on our expertise of creating bespoke glass fibre [GRP] mouldings, some of which replaced panels which would traditionally have been made from wood laminate. We believe this is a great example of how we work closely with our customers to ensure they get what they require. Much of the specification came during the build from Andrew Maiden, but some of the lighting ideas came from one of our shopfloor workers, which I think says a lot about the skill of our staff and their creativity. We are, of course, pleased that we have further orders but taking an idea and making it real is what we do. We have built everything from mobile health units to banks and relish a challenge.’
Mellor Coachcraft can be contacted on 01706 860610.