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Commercial Motor

Editorial Content Category: 
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Scania T730 Topline 6x2
Summary: 

Today’s deal of the week is this brand new unregistered Scania T730 Topline 6x2, from A&M Commercials in Warrington

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Today’s deal of the week is this brand new unregistered Scania T730 Topline 6x2, from A&M Commercials in Warrington.

Converted by Vlastuin in the Netherlands, this stunning left-hand-drive bonneted truck, will certainly help your business stand out on UK roads.

It’s well equipped too, and is spec’d with air suspension all-round, a roof light bar, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloys, air horns, premium leather seats and even a coffee maker. The twin 6in exhaust stack also increases the wow factor.

The 2-pedal Opticruise transmission will make long-haul operations a relaxing experience for the driver. The price is available upon application.

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Author: Callum Poole
Posted: September 20, 2019, 1:52 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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Andrew Gilligan
Summary: 

Sheffield-based Magtec has appointed Andrew Gilligan as UK MD following increased global demand for the electric vehicle manufacturer’s products

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Sheffield-based Magtec has appointed Andrew Gilligan as UK MD following increased global demand for the electric vehicle manufacturer’s products.
Commenting on his new appointment Gilligan said: “I am delighted to be appointed as MD of Magtec at a critical and exciting time for our business and the industry. We are witnessing an uncompromising swing from fossil fuel-powered drive systems to electric.”
Gilligan has a lot of experience within the automotive sector having started his career at Rolls-Royce, working within control systems, transmissions and commercial areas for 10 years. 
He then went on to become general manager within David Brown Santasalo, developing gear system solutions for global defence, oil and gas, rail and industrial markets.
Magtec has been working on a series of projects such as the trials of electric refuse collection vehicles within London and Sheffield, as well as producing the UK’s first electric 7.5-tonne commercial vehicles.
Gilligan added: “This is an exciting time to grow this technology business into a global player.”
Founder and owner of the companyMarcus Jenkins concluded, “We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the team. He will play an important leadership role as Magtec moves from small production batches to large production volumes.” 

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Author: Callum Poole
Posted: September 20, 2019, 1:40 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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daf-cf
Summary: 

Our ride for the day is a 16-plate DAF CF220 18-tonne curtain-sided rigid with tail-lift, pulled straight in from the rental fleet of Dawsongroup.

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Jump to: Selling from a range of manufacturers, Road test, Vehicle specifications, A family business.

Click here to view the full range of used DAF CF rigids we have in stock.

Used truck sales are just one part of what Dawsongroup offers. CM takes the wheel of an 18-tonne DAF CF at its Milton Keynes HQ

Say the name ‘Dawsons’ to most people and the first thing they think of is rentals, which would be a reasonable assumption as it was originally named Dawsonrentals. However, in March this year, during a comprehensive rebrand, the company was renamed Dawsongroup to reflect the fact it does a whole lot more.

Used truck sales have been part of Dawsons’ business model for almost as long as the company has existed, and can be arranged through any of its 23 nationwide Dawsongroup branches, but we chose the Milton Keynes HQ to visit to find out more.

“As a business, one of our unique selling points is to have one of the freshest fleets on the market.” Mark Middleton, head of sales, Dawsongroup

“The way to do that is to ensure we’ve got good churn, so in 2017 our used assets sold figure was around 2,000 units and we’re budgeting to do the same this year.” head of sales Mark Middleton tells us.

That includes trucks and trailers, with around a 65/35 split in favour of the latter, and means there are an awful lot of vehicles up for grabs at any one time – in fact, the entire existing rental fleet is for sale.

“We can almost pre-sell,” he explains. “If someone comes looking for a particular vehicle, we can identify whether we have one on our fleet – and because we have new vehicles coming in throughout the year, we can then replace a rental customer’s existing truck, giving their previous vehicle to the customer who wants to buy it.”

This, of course, means the existing customer wins as well, so it all works out rather neatly.

daf-cf

Selling from a range of manufacturers

The other advantage Dawsongroup has is variety. Instead of just one brand, sales staff can provide vehicles from a range of manufacturers. That doesn’t, however, mean customers miss out on the kind of bolt-ons main dealers provide, nor is there a lack of specialist knowledge.

“Every vehicle we sell, we know exactly where it’s been,” Middleton points out. “We know the background and we’ve managed all the servicing and MoTs.”

Dawsons also uses the CitNOW video app popular in the used-car world that allows customers to perform a virtual walk-around check to ascertain the condition of the vehicle they are being offered. Cosmetic damage is dealt with at the same time as mechanical servicing before delivery, which can be arranged directly to the customer’s own yard.

The group can also offer service maintenance packages nationwide, just like main dealers – in fact, some of the work may well be carried out by main dealers on its behalf.

“We’ve got a great engineering team here who work 24/7/365.” Mark Middleton, head of sales, Dawsongroup

“Then we have our authorised repairer network that is a mixture of independents as well as manufacturers.” says Middleton.

But if it all goes wrong and a contracted vehicle breaks down, there’s a helpline to call, where the people dealing with incidents actually know one end of the truck from another and can arrange recovery or roadside repair accordingly.

“Basically, we can sell the vehicle, we can finance it – you can take it on HP or an operating lease – and we can then provide the service, maintenance and repair and a driveline warranty,” Middleton sums up. “We give the flexibility to choose anything off our fleet and we can manage it to your timelines.”

All very impressive, but we can’t help wondering if having all these specialist teams available to deliver your every whim doesn’t all get a bit impersonal, with operators effectively being put through a very slick production line. Apparently not. At Milton Keynes you’ll deal with Colin Lee for sales, and if you call the breakdown line it’ll be engineering director Peter Snowden and his team. Whichever branch you go to, there’ll always be a familiar name who can facilitate whatever you need. “We want to build a relationship because for us that’s what it’s all about,” Middleton says. “It’s not a case of just getting the deal done, this is about dealing with people for the next 15, 20, 25 years – we have customers who’ve been with us that long and more – and building trust in our brand, our reputation and, in turn, our business.”

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Road test

Our ride for the day is a 16-plate DAF CF220 18-tonne curtain-sided rigid with tail-lift, pulled straight in from the rental fleet, just as it could be for a customer. A sleeper-cabbed vehicle, it boasts the 7-litre engine giving us 220hp, which should be ample for the full 9-tonne-plus load we’ve piled on to the back. It’s therefore something of a surprise that our first thought as we pull away is, “wow, this is hard work”. Our second thought is “whoa, that corner’s a bit rock and roll for turning at 2mph in a yard”, closely followed by “what on earth…?” as just about every warning light on the dash comes on.

Long story short, it seems that if you misunderstand the labelling on your borrowed test ballast and drastically overload your DAF CF, it will initially pull hard enough for you not to cotton on before basically refusing to go any further so you don’t get as far as a public road. Handy to know, that.

Needless to say, once the situation has been corrected and our blushes have faded, we set off again in what is actually more like a leaping gazelle, this time questioning whether we haven’t now gone too far the other way and underloaded it (we haven’t). Milton Keynes is, as many will know, laid out on a grid system held together by roundabouts, making it the perfect place to test an 18-tonner. This particular truck has some handy extras as well, most notably lane departure warning and a nearside proximity sensor keeping an eye on our blindspot, the latter proving quite comforting once we’ve got used to it.

Vehicle specifications

  • Make/model: DAF CF220 FA 4x2 rigid
  • Engine: Paccar PX-7 Euro-6
  • Transmission: ZF AS-Tronic 6AS1000 6-speed
  • automated manual
  • Chassis: 6,900mm wheelbase 4x2, rear overhang
  • 3,700mm, air suspension on rear bogie
  • Tyres: 315/70 R22.5
  • Fuel/AdBlue tank: 120 litres/25 litres
  • Cab: Sleeper, 2,300mm width

 

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The gearbox is the ZF AS-Tronic 6-speed automated manual and copes well with our clumsy approach to the first few junctions. As we start to become accustomed to the vehicle – and remember to turn the Hill Hold on so we don’t need to use the park brake so much – under a trained right foot it shows itself to be every bit as good as its 12-speed big brother, in that we then completely forget all about it, exactly as intended.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a vehicle for multi-drop work is manoeuvrability – it’s no good being able to get into tight places if you can’t then get out again without a struggle. This we put to the test twice, the first time in a car-clogged turning head outside a garden centre, where we didn’t even need to use full lock to make a rather cautious three-point turn.

One common complaint about ZF’s AS-Tronic gearboxes is that they are difficult to control in reverse, something we have always put down to the fact many drivers don’t know how to accurately find clutch bite through their right foot. Once again we have no trouble keeping to the speed we intend, and no members of the public – or their vehicles – come anywhere near being harmed. Our second crack at creeping around comes on our return when, for a final shot, the photographer asks us to squeeze down the front of Dawsongroup’s office building – a much tighter proposition – which again we accomplish with only one extra shunt.

To sum up, this 18-tonne DAF CF is gutsy, well balanced, comfortable to drive and it can get in and out of a drainpipe. Combine that with the commitment shown by Dawsondirect, the new name for the national truck and trailer sales arm, to getting its used customers precisely what they want – it has boosted its staff by another four since our visit – and it really couldn’t get much easier.

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A family business

With more than 10,000 tractor units, rigids and trailers on the road nationwide, a network of 23 branches spread from Glasgow down to Exeter, and a customer list that includes some of the biggest names in the industry, it’s easy to forget that Dawsongroup is still a family business at heart. It started life as a one-man-band haulier called AEH Dawson in 1935, and the original founder’s son, Peter Dawson, is still executive chairman to this day. The next generation is firmly on board now as well, ensuring this is a theme that will continue long into the future. Freya Dawson, Peter’s daughter, has been property director since 2011, while her younger brother Charles works on the van side. As well as trucks and trailers, the company also supplies vans, buses and coaches, materials-handling equipment, portable cold rooms and temporary kitchens across the UK, and has now spread its wings into Europe too, with offices in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

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Author: Lucy Radley
Posted: September 20, 2019, 8:00 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Environment Agency
Summary: 

The Environment Agency (EA) has reminded waste drivers that they must carry with them the correct paperwork after spot checks in Hertfordshire uncovered a series of breaches.

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The Environment Agency (EA) has reminded waste drivers that they must carry with them the correct paperwork after spot checks in Hertfordshire uncovered a series of breaches.

The checks took place in Borehamwood with environment officers joined by the police, DVSA and council officers.

It said 90% of the vehicles it stopped had to be reminded of the law on carrying waste.

The EA said it pulled over 33 van and HGV drivers and asked them to show they were carrying the right documents, while vehicle inspections were also carried out.

Half a dozen drivers had missing or incomplete paperwork and will now be subject to an EA investigation, while follow-up letters will be sent to another 23 as a general reminder to register if they want to transport waste.

Any lorry or van moving waste for commercial reasons must be registered by law to ensure it is disposed of correctly, or else be subject to further action by the agency.

Hannah Wooldridge, EA senior technical officer said: “The results from our latest checks on lorries and vans in Hertfordshire prove the worth of finding out if drivers and operators are working within the law when carrying waste on board.

DVSA traffic enforcement manager Mick Cheeseman said: “There’s no excuse for driving with mechanical defects or with an overweight or insecure load.”

Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: September 19, 2019, 11:00 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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O-licence
Summary: 

A Welsh operator with a history of poor compliance has had its O-licence revoked after failing to reply to correspondence from the traffic commissioner’s office.

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A Welsh operator with a history of poor compliance has had its O-licence revoked after failing to reply to correspondence from the traffic commissioner’s office.

Despite EJ Lewis & Sons eventually emailing TC Nick Jones’ office to inform him that it had ceased trading and intended to surrender its O-licence, the TC decided revocation was necessary as its failure to correspond was “unacceptable”.

In a written decision, Jones said the company had appeared at a PI in 2013 due to maintenance concerns and then again in August 2018 because of maintenance and drivers’ hours concerns.

After the second PI the number of discs authorised on the Clynderwen O-licence was reduced to two, its repute was gauged to have been tarnished and there was also an undertaking that the mechanic employed by the company would attend a course to improve his skills.

When EJ Lewis failed to provide evidence of the mechanic having taken the course, ‘propose to revoke’ letters were issued.

The operator responded claiming it no longer used its own mechanic and had instead contracted out the maintenance.

However, it had failed to notify the TC of this change.

It later contacted the TC’s office saying the operator intended to sell the business and was therefore wanted to surrender the O-licence.

In his decision, TC Jones said: “This is an operator that does not have a good compliant history and despite repute being tarnished a year ago, it has failed in its responsibilities.”

Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: September 19, 2019, 8:00 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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man-tgx-infographic
Summary: 

10 issues used truck buyers should check.

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Click here to view the full range of used MAN TGX tractor units we have in stock.

Last time we looked at a TGX tractor, the Euro-5 model was still very much available for purchase, so even putting the well-publicised issues with EGR versions to one side, most of the reported faults were found on these older vehicles. One year on and Euro-5 is distinctly thin on the ground in the UK market, and Euro-6 has had more time to age and show its weak points. As is usually the way with modern trucks, there genuinely isn’t a lot that goes wrong with them. In fact, operator after operator we approached simply replied that the Euro-6 TGX is bulletproof – but here are the few niggles we did manage to ferret out of them.

Hover over and click on any of the points on the photo to find out more...



1. Air tanks:

Some examples of rear air tanks fouling on trailer legs if the fifth wheel position isn’t checked before reversing under those with a deep pin. This is due to their positioning which extends beyond the rear of the chassis and light clusters, and should be avoidable through driver education at handover.(Back to image)

2. AdBlue pump:

Reports of multiple AdBlue pump failures. Again, check the vehicle history.(Back to image)

3. AdBlue system:

Evidence of various other AdBlue gremlins causing dashboard lights and “30hrs to limp mode” warnings with no obvious cause on investigation.(Back to image)

4. Emissions:

Some instances of emissions issues where vehicles won’t regenerate, instead going into de-rate mode. An easy fix for dealer workshops.(Back to image)

5. Fuel filter:

While the exterior-mounted fuel filter has been relocated since previous models, and is no longer vulnerable to being caught by drivers’ boots as they climb on the catwalk, it is now prone to having the tap knocked by forklift trucks during loading at the trailer headboard if not guarded.(Back to image)

6. Radar box:

Issues with the radar box mounted on the front of the truck being knocked off when the vehicle is cleaned using an automatic wash. Check it has been mounted firmly if there is evidence this has happened in the past.(Back to image)

7. Wing mirrors:

Wing mirror backs on these trucks seem to be particularly vulnerable to shattering or dropping off at the slightest tap – keep spares in stock.(Back to image)

8. Hinges:

Door hinges bend easily causing doors to drop. Particularly likely to occur when the driver’s door is opened in windy conditions and allowed to bang back against the stoppers. Easily avoided if care is taken.(Back to image)

9. Oil:

No means for drivers to easily check oil levels beyond reading the electronic gauge within the dashboard computer because the dipstick is located under the cab. While we’re assured these are now far more trustworthy than earlier versions, it’s well worth manually dipping during service to confirm all is functioning correctly.(Back to image)

10. Brakes:

Some operators report uneven braking which favours the unit, causing trailer brakes to wear out excessively quickly.(Back to image)

Click here to view the full range of used MAN TGX tractor units we have in stock.

man-tgx

MAN TGX: used buying guide

At CM we scour the classified pages to find your ideal vehicle. Today we’re on the hunt for a decent quality used MAN TGX.
Author: Lucy Radley
Posted: September 19, 2019, 8:00 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Summary: 

Today’s used deal is this 2014 Renault Premium 460.25 from Allports in Lichfield

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Today’s used deal is this 2014 Renault Premium 460.25 from Allports in Lichfield. It features as part of a collection of 10 Premiums ranging between £7,000 and £14,000 with varied km.

This 6x2 tractor unit’s sleeper cab has been specified with the French manufacturer’s Excellence pack, which includes a comfort driver’s seat, fridge, sun visor and double bunk.

Priced at £13,995 this Premium has accumulated 600,803km with one previous owner, and has an valid MoT.

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Author: Callum Poole
Posted: September 18, 2019, 3:54 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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Summary: 

We came across 12 issues it’s worth used buyers being aware of.

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Click here to view the full range of used Scania R-Series tractor units we have in stock.

Scania’s R-series Topliners are, in the main, indestructible. Call the vast majority of those operating and/or maintaining these vehicles to ask what problems they’ve had and the answer you will get is mainly: “None at all. They’re bulletproof.” They really do all use that same word. Bulletproof. The R-series had such a good reputation, in fact, that we can point you in the direction of multiple hauliers who lined up to order the last few of these trucks before the next generation came in, because they were gutted production of the model was coming to an end. With this in mind, while we did come across some issues it’s worth used buyers being aware of, they’re all pretty minor and some apply only to the very earliest trucks.

Hover over and click on any of the points on the photo to find out more...



1. Wiring:

Wiring between the door and mirror corrodes and wears where it passes through the door mirror.(Back to image)

2. Seats:

Leather drivers’ seats, especially the squab, suffer premature wear to both stitching and interior foam, despite being well cared for. Replacement is then needed.(Back to image)

3. Stereo:

Problems where the stereo freezes when a phone is connected to the system. Unit shows three to four bars of volume, but no sound comes out. Check by connecting your own phone before buying.(Back to image)

4. Temperature gauge:

Exterior temperature gauges on dashboard sometimes fail for no obvious reason.(Back to image)

5. AdBlue system:

Any other generalised faults with the AdBlue system.(Back to image)

6. Clutch:

Some reports of clutches needing replacement around 250,000km where vehicle is routinely used over harsh terrain.(Back to image)

7. Gearbox:

Gearboxes can suddenly “go slow” on up-changes. Check history.(Back to image)

8. Bell-housing:

Check for small oil leaks around the bell-housing area on older models – can come slack and cause major time and effort to resolve.(Back to image)

9. NOx sensor:

Issues reported with repeated NOx sensor faults, triggering limp-home mode. Check whether this has been an ongoing occurrence on any vehicle being considered.(Back to image)

10. Battery:

Some cases where battery replacement has been required after sudden failure.(Back to image)

11. Shifter:

On 3-pedal Opticruise versions, reports that the shifter/ selector within the gearbox wears, causing a failure to select. This happens with very little warning, the tell-tale sign being that the box is slightly slower to change in manual mode, doing so with a very subtle “clunk”.(Back to image)

12. Theft:

Parts on these trucks frequently get stolen, both in the UK and abroad. Headlights, side skirts and wingtops most often involved. Examine if these parts have already been more firmly secured by previous owner and, if not, do so before dispatching away from base.(Back to image)

Click here to view the full range of used Scania R-Series tractor units we have in stock.

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Author: Lucy Radley
Posted: September 18, 2019, 2:21 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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O-licence
Summary: 

A waste operator has had its licence revoked and its director disqualified for four years after a traffic commissioner found that it had been acting as a front for another company that had lost its O-licence.

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A waste operator has had its licence revoked and its director disqualified for four years after a traffic commissioner found that it had been acting as a front for another company that had lost its O-licence.

London and South East TC Sarah Bell said the evidence before her “overwhelmingly supports the conclusion” that director John O’Rourke lent his licence for Malbay Waste Disposal to director Roy Goodman and/or Quick Skips London Recycling.

At an Eastbourne public inquiry, called due to concerns raised by the Environment Agency and the Metropolitan police, the director claimed he was paying for wages, fuel and vehicle hire at Malbay and therefore fronting was not taking place.

Sole trader Goodman had lost his O-licence in May 2019 and his limited business Quick Skips surrendered its O-licence in September 2018 and yet when Malbay’s drivers were stopped by police in May, June and July this year they claimed to be working for Goodman and Quick Skips.

O’Rourke’s solicitor told the TC his client was “honest and unsophisticated” and had simply taken his eye off the ball, but in a written decision TC Bell disagreed, saying that the director spent most of the time trying not to get caught out:

“Mr O’Rourke’s evidence was punctuated by long silences when considering the most straightforward questions,” she said.

“On the evidence before me, he simply cannot be trusted.

“It should be noted that professional drivers’ vocational entitlements have been put in jeopardy by the conduct of Mr Goodman and Mr O’Rourke.

“There are three separate police prosecution referrals for no insurance, two to the same driver.”

She added: “It follows that I formally find there has been ‘fronting’ in its truest sense.

“I had removed Roy Goodman from the O-licensing regime from 3 May 2019 for good reason – unlawful operation and an unacceptable maintenance regime.

“Mr O’Rourke permitted that unlawful operation to continue virtually uninterrupted.

“Disqualification is necessary to deter those foolish enough to work in ways that prevent transparent regulation. Accordingly, I disqualify Malbay and Mr O’Rourke for a period commensurate with their wrongdoing.

“Fronting itself and the inherent risks caused by it are serious but the self-serving approach by Mr O’Rourke to his evidence at the hearing is an aggravating feature.”

Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: September 18, 2019, 11:00 am
Editorial Content Category: 
Headline image: 
Calor Actros
Summary: 

Calor has taken delivery of 20 new Euro-6 step D Mercedes-Benz Actros 2446 tractor units, after being impressed by the German manufacturer’s Active Brake Assist 4 safety technology

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Calor has taken delivery of 20 new Euro-6 step D Mercedes-Benz Actros 2446 tractor units, after being impressed by the German manufacturer’s Active Brake Assist 4 safety technology.

Alan Harrison, Calor’s national vehicle engineering manager, oversaw a demonstration of the safety system at Mercedes’ Wentworth Park site.

“Seeing the system in action and the speed with which it can bring a truck safely to a halt with no driver input, was a real eye-opener. Safety was a crucial consideration when we sat down to evaluate the bids we’d received, and its leadership in the field was instrumental in enabling Mercedes-Benz to win our business,” explained Harrison.

Calor opted for 17.5in wheel mid-lift axles, which have a 300kg payload advantage over full-sized mid-lift Actros axles. Harrison said: “Given that the trend in recent years has been for trucks to become heavier as they are loaded with more technology, this is a very impressive figure, and one that will increase payload potential.”

They have been specified with 2.3m wide ClassicSpace cabs, which contribute towards Calor’s efforts to ensure that its new trucks are no heavier than their Euro-5 predecessors.

Spread across nine of the firm’s depots, the trucks have been well received by Calor’s drivers, as confirmed by Immingham site manager Andy Allan. “They’re enthusiastic about the truck’s pulling power and its very comfortable cab, while the fuel-saving Predictive Powertrain Control is exceptionally user-friendly.” 

Calor will also add 10 26-tonne Antos 2535 rigids with Lakeland Tankers bodywork to its 200-strong rigid tanker fleet. They will be used to deliver LPG and BioLPG to domestic and commercial customers.  All have been supplied by Ciceley Commercials, and have five-year ExtendPlus warranties.

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Author: Callum Poole
Posted: September 18, 2019, 8:17 am