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Trailer Wise

Jun 11, 2018
Deputy Editor David Jordan visits Ekeri Trailer’s agent Bob Wise to find out what makes them so special.

The name Ekeri is probably not the fist that comes to mind when it comes to building trailers and truck bodies. Alongside major European manufactures, like Krone and Schmitz, the family-owned company is a comparative minnow, but what Ekeri lacks in size is more than made up for in innovative design and legendary Scandinavian quality.

The Finnish-based company, originally known as Eklunds Snickeri, was founded in 1945 by Bror Eklund and at that time, built furniture and horse-drawn carts. By the 1950s the company had moved into producing truck bodies and high-quality trailers and since the 1970s has concentrated solely on manufacturing side-opening units. Today, Ekeri has a workforce of 200 and produces around 700 units for customers throughout most of Europe and Scandinavia.

I visited Bob Wise, Director of Burntwood Services Ltd, Ekeri’s agent for the UK and Ireland, to find out what makes them so special. Bob has been in the truck business for over forty years and an agent for Ekeri since 2005. “The big difference between Ekeri trailers and bodies is the side opening doors, or rather the way they have been designed,” said Bob. “Unlike conventional doors, they are able to be opened the full length of the truck and there is no mid-post to get in the way when they are being loaded. Also, because of Ekeri’s patented design they don’t drop, even after years of service.”

Ekeri’s product range includes Ekeri trailers and truck bodies are thermally insulated and have reinforced floors making them suitable for a large range of applications. “Removal companies are increasingly diversifying and taking on contracts to transport palletised loads and heavy equipment that a conventional removals lorry would struggle to carry,” said Bob. “The side opening doors – which can be on both sides by the way – means goods can be easily loaded by a fork truck - as with a curtainsider - and transported safely in a locked, secure environment.”

Bob told me that although Ekeri trailers are initially more expensive than most conventional removal vehicles, their increased versatility and build quality make them a sound investment over the longer term.

When it comes to sales, Bob is definitely ‘old school’. “When I get an enquiry, I initially discuss the application on the phone and agree an initial specification to enable the factory to quote,” said Bob. “When the quotation arrives, I always visit the customer, wherever they are, to discuss the case face-to-face and finalise the deal. I prefer that to doing everything by e-mail, I think it’s the way business should be done.”

Bob’s phone is on 24-hours a day and he is happy to take calls from customers and potential customers at just about any time. “I even had a call on Good Friday this year, but I don’t mind at all, we aim to be an easy company to deal with and that’s just part of the service.”

Ekeri doesn’t have a showroom in the UK but that doesn’t mean customers don’t get to see their vehicles before they are delivered.

Bob explained, “After the order is placed, I arrange for the customer to visit the factory in Finland and if possible see their vehicle actually being built. It’s always an enjoyable experience and it gives them a chance to meet the people on the shop floor and see at first-hand how they work. It’s a happy ship and there is none of the ‘them and us’ mentality you get in a lot of factories.”

Visitors to The Movers & Storers Show last November will have seen the Ekeri truck recently delivered to Alexanders in Park Royal. “We had a lot of interest in the Alexanders truck at the show and we’re hoping to meet more people from the removals industry at the 2018 event in Manchester next November,” said Bob.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to find out more about Ekeri trailers can call Bob on +44 7966 203640. There is also a series of videos demonstrating Ekeri’s unique side-opening door system on the Ekeri website,, as well as contact details of agents across Europe.

Photos:  Top; the Ekeri Team:  Top right: Bob with wife Andrea at The Movers & Storers Show; middle: “The big difference between Ekeri trailers and bodies is the side opening doors, or rather the way they have been designed.” Bottom left: the Ekeri service centre.

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