Sparshatt Truck & Van, The Mercedes-Benz Trucks Dealer for Kent and South-East London will be unveiling its new body shop facilities at an open day in Sittingbourne on Wednesday 3 April.

The two Titan CV booths were supplied and installed at a cost of some £330,000, by Todd Engineering, of Rugeley, Staffordshire. At 18 metres, one is long enough to accommodate an articulated tractor unit and 13.6-metre semi-trailer combination, while the second, which is nine metres in length, is being used for vans and smaller rigid trucks.

Both booths are equipped with LED lighting required for the automotive refinishing sector, efficient extraction systems, and fully insulated roller shutter doors.

They also incorporate cutting-edge, robotic-gas catalytic dryers by the Italian manufacturer, Greentech. Automatically controlled, natural gas-powered panels in the form of an arch pass directly over the vehicle, transmitting safe, flameless, low-intensity infrared heat.

Surface temperatures of 420ºC on the heaters translate into ultra-fast curing times ' paint is fully and uniformly dry within five minutes of exposure, so the vehicle can then be buffed. Meanwhile, because the system negates the need to heat hundreds of square feet of air, it is also environmentally-friendly, and highly cost-effective to operate.

Sparshatt Truck & Van was acquired by a new ownership team in March 2018. As well as selling Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks, it provides aftersales support for commercial vehicles of all sizes and brands.

The Dealer recently established a dedicated unit for van servicing at its headquarters on Sittingbourne's Eurolink Industrial Estate. This entailed the relocation of its successful body shop operation to a new site, a short distance away on Bonham Drive; it anticipates securing Mercedes-Benz approval for this facility imminently.

Dealer Principal Steve Rooney explained: 'It was our firm intention on purchasing this business just under a year ago, to focus on providing quality solutions, and on adding value at every opportunity.

'The new body shop demonstrates our commitment to this strategy and represents a substantial capital investment. We have spent a lot more than we need have done for a conventional system, but Greentech's eco-friendly drying technology holds out the promise of payback over time, through reductions in energy usage.

'More importantly, it also means we can offer an industry-leading level of service to customers for whom vehicle availability is a top priority ' in the right circumstances, we can now paint their truck, van or trailer to an exceptionally high standard and get it back to them on the same day'

Bodyshop Manager Andy Macrae added: 'This is the first time we've been able to offer a paint service covering trailers, while in terms of throughput we've taken a massive step forward. Previously, we would have to wait up to 12 hours for the paint to cure. But we know of home delivery companies whose vans need refurbishing prior to return to their leasing providers, and who want to get them in and out in a day ' that's a service we can now provide'

 Operators wishing to attend the Dealer's body shop open day on 3rd April should register their interest by emailing