AAH Pharmaceuticals, the UK’s leading distributer of medicines to high street chemists, has unveiled a new fleet of temperature-controlled Ford Transit vans.

Branded the PharmaVan11, the vans are Transit 350 L3H3 models and will replace the previous generation Transit 300 vans on the fleet.

AAH’s fleet consists of 896 Transit vans, it will introduce 340 PharmaVan 11 models within six months and aims to complete the rollout of the new vehicles by the end of 2017.

Tony Percival, AAH’s head of Distribution and Supply Chain, said the fleet makes 26,500 deliveries to its network of Lloyds and independent pharmacies two times every day. The refrigeration conversions on the PharmaVans are being undertaken by Eberspacher and Cool Kit and the vans are also fitted with a Seven telematics transcan unit, which allows drivers to monitor the temperature of the fridge and cargo area.

“Degradation of the medicine is the danger,” said Percival. “We want to give confidence to the medicine manufacturing chain.”

The telematics system also tracks the van’s progress and reports delivery times back to the AAH branch. Drivers work to a 15 minute window for customer deliveries and Percival claimed they achieve a 99.85% on-time service.

All the vans are equipped with inside, rear, forward and side cameras for security and to provide evidence in the event of insurance claims resulting from accidents. They also get reversing sensors and a front mirror camera to assist manoeuvering.

AAH has become the first organisation to start putting its drivers through the FTA Van Excellence Certificate of Driver Competence as part of its Excellence in Pharmaceutical Distribution driver training programme.

The FTA accredited Commercial Driver Training Programme consists of eight topics, from vehicle security to safe and eco driving.

Martine Smith, AAH’s Distribution Services manager, said: “The FTA puts it all together with our own programmes.”

The FTA is conducting the training at AAH’s 15 accredited centres.