The tanner’s trade is an ancient one indeed: the sum of traditional knowledge and the age-old need for warmth in winter. Yet even today the same process is followed to turn animal hides into warm, hard-wearing clothing and accessories. The tanner needs patience and passion for his work, as well the ability to work with different kinds of hide, which have to be processed in exactly the right way and with exactly the right raw materials. Today, the tanning process is carried out almost exclusively in large tanneries, using industrial machines and mineral tanning solutions. Tanneries take the animal hides left over as by-products of the food industry and transform them into shoes, bags, jackets and upholstery. The various phases of the process, from the curing of raw hides to the tanning phase itself, the dying and the finishing consume vast quantities of water and require a large number of machines and mineral or animal derived chemical solutions. Tanneries therefore need continuous and highly qualified technical assistance. If engineers have a van upfitted to provide the service the industry needs, they can move easily from one tannery to another, maintaining or repairing machines as needed.
Tanning is a “dirty” job: hides have to be treated with a large number of chemical agents to turn them into the soft, shiny garments displayed in the windows of fashion clothing and footwear chains, or into the supple leather on our three-piece suites. Inevitably the machines and equipment involved in the tanning process are often covered in mineral oils and other substances that could leave indelible stains on the inside of a van when servicing work has to be done on site. That is why it was indispensable to cover the walls and floor of this Master with panels strong enough to provide protection during service operations and easy to clean afterwards. As these photos show, the floor is covered in a sheet of resinated plywood that resists humidity and provides a non-slip surface. The bulkhead wall is covered with aluminium tread plate, and the side walls and rear doors are also fully protected by aluminium panels. This not only eliminates the risk of the van body being dented during loading and unloading operations, but also allows the van interior to be wiped down and cleaned with a minimum of effort.
The interior of this Master tannery service vehicle has been upfitted to match the customer’s needs. Let’s have a look around.
Left side. On this side, two distinct units have been installed on a base formed by two wheel arch covers, only partly closed with a door, and the other fitted with a lashing strap and hooks. The section nearest the rear door provides storage space for small items, tools and spare parts. The two drawers are fitted with anti-slip mats and contain 16 small removable containers. There is also a shelf with a fully opening slide-and-rotate door. The central section is dedicated to shelving and provides a total of four large shelves, divided into different sections by practical metal dividers. The space at the top houses a tray for long items.
Right side. This side of the van serves as a mobile workshop for the tannery service engineer. It consists of a workbench with a resinated plywood top, fitted over a four element drawer unit, itself supported by a wheel arch cover with a slide-and-rotate door. The workbench is illuminated by a LED light unit. Above it, multi-box drawer units with transparent containers provide clear and easy access to the hardware and spare parts stored inside. The Master has also been fitted with a number of electrical power sockets, a fold-away vice, and, of course, an essential paper roll holder.
This vehicle is fitted with various Syncro System lashing accessories to secure equipment and materials.