Vodafone’s new Mobile Showroom is cleverly contained within the ‘Mack daddy’ of Trucks.
The 8.5 tonne Mack truck, nicknamed “Optimus Prime,” has a hydraulic system onboard which doubles the floor space of the 19.5 tonne trailer at the push of a button – converting it to a mobile showroom containing a fully operational retail store and mobile cell site with the ability to increase coverage at large events over Vodafone's 2G and 3G networks.
From the initial concepts to the final build, the Vodafone Mobile Showroom took eight months to complete. The Mobile Showroom’s total weight of 28 tonnes is the equivalent of seven elephants.
The custom built trailer project was a collaboration between Vodafone, Toll NZ, who project managed the build and manage the on-road logistics of the truck and trailer, and Intertruck Distributors of Whangarei who were tasked with figuring out how to build the transforming trailer.
“The build of this truck has certainly been the largest customised project that I’ve worked on in my 27 years in the industry. It’s been a labour of love for the 8 InterTruck staff involved,” says Paul Christie head engineer for Intertruck.
Paul Christie describes the convertible mobile showroom as the most elaborate hydraulic truck in New Zealand. The whole unit is ‘transformed’ from truck to showroom in just 30 minutes.
The trailer is 4m wide in transit and 8.5m wide when converted. The floor area expands from a compact s 31m² to 85m² when open.
Operated by Toll Logistics for Vodafone the Mack’s Vehicle GPS tracking is provided by Visfleet's product vTrack and EROAD's eRUC solution provides automated purchasing and management of road user charges.
Vodafone's Sales Director, Grant Hopkins, says “our vision when designing this innovative mobile store environment was to allow our customers the ability to experience the very latest technology and services from Vodafone at the same time allowing our staff to service our customers leveraging the same processes and systems as in our retail stores,” says Vodafone sales director Grant Hopkins.
“For the same cost as a fixed store refit we are able to take our products and services to all New Zealanders in an engaging and consistent way. The truck while very innovative is a cost efficient solution to increasing our retail footprint. It is a completely new way of doing business, it’s a customer focussed way of doing business."
The truck had its first outing at the V8 Supercars in Hamilton and will be hitting the road over the coming months attending events from Whangarei to Invercargill.