A top trailer maker from Flintshire has created a mobile command centre for the world’s biggest car salvage company.
The office-on-wheels has been made by Ifor Williams Trailers for American-owned Copart who recover and sell on 500,000 damaged cars a year in the UK alone.
The $18 billion company’s base in North Wales is across the road from the trailer firm’s factory in Sandycroft on Deeside.
Copart has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and provides online vehicle auction and remarketing services in the US, Canada and the UK.
It has also opened operations in Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and Finland.
The bespoke catastrophe response centre is based on the Welsh firm’s versatile business-in-a-box trailer which can be adapted for a huge range of commercial uses.
The Copart command centre includes a reception area, work stations and comfy seating, as well as its own generator which means it doesn’t need a power supply.
It is destined for use in Germany which is one of Copart’s newer markets where they started up in 2017, a decade after they arrived in Britain.
Joe O’Leary, Copart’s senior director of equipment, safety and environmental compliance, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, came to North Wales to run the rule over the new command centre and declared it fitted the bill perfectly.
Copart works closely with insurance companies when vehicles are damaged in accidents or by natural disasters like flooding or storms.
Joe said: “We had flooding in Houston, Texas, which was caused by a big rain event and we had about 8,000 cars.
“But that’s small for us in the United States. As a result of Hurricane Harvey two years ago we pulled in 92,000 cars.
“We’ve been in the UK since 2007 and we entered the German market a couple of years ago.
“The purpose of this trailer is to go remotely away from one of our sites, and provide a command centre for the customer service representatives who will be interfaced with our computer system.
“This counter could be either for the tow truck drivers to get their assignments or for the insurance companies to come out and give us an address where we believe a car is, and then we would go get it.
“We’re in the middle of a major growth phase and Europe is big for us. The European market from what I understand is about the size of the United States as far as salvage and right now we’re the only player in the space.
“This is my first command centre from Ifor Williams Trailers and it’s magnificent.
“It was everything I thought that it would be, it really is. It’s got a lot of room in it.
“I think if we’re at an event and we stick three or four customer service representatives in in here for a couple of weeks at a time I think they’re going to love the environment.
“They have a lot of room, there is a lot of storage capacity, the couches and the table. I love it.”
Andrew Reece-Jones, the design engineering manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “it was wonderful to see joe’s reaction today.
“I’ve designed probably a 100 bespoke units now but it’s always great to get involved with the customers and see them face to face.
“The fantastically positive response shows the business-in-a-box concept has a great deal of potential.
“The beauty of this trailer is its versatility which is making it popular with a new type of customer, the entrepreneur who needs their business to be mobile.
“We also have a couple of other variants, a catering unit and a motor sport trailer – the possibilities are endless – and limited only by people’s imagination.”