The trucks are working out of the company’s flagship Heywood Ambient National Distribution Centre in Lancashire.
Fowler Welch Managing Director Nick Hay reports that the company will be replacing 100 trucks in 2014 as part of its fleet renewal programme. He believes that gaining early experience of Euro-6 compliant trucks in advance of the main purchasing round next year is an important part of the decision making process.
“We need to get to know and understand Euro-6 technology. We’re delighted that Volvo is the first manufacturer to put Euro-6 trucks into service with Fowler Welch in advance of next year’s fleet replacement programme.”
Nick Hay describes the company’s 400 strong truck fleet as one of three ‘crucial’ controllable, operational cost elements for the business.
“Although drivers constitute one of those elements,” he says, “we focus very hard on ensuring they are happy with the kit. It’s vital we provide trucks that are safe and comfortable.”
The other key operational costs – according to Nick Hay – are fuel and the trucks themselves. As a result, he emphasises, driver training is essential to controlling costs, saying: “We are heavily focused on mpg together with reducing the environmental impact of the fleet. Early adoption of Euro-6 is an important step towards that. We provide training to ensure that our trucks are driven as efficiently and economically as possible. In the last twelve months, we’ve seen a 4% improvement in mpg. Our investment in driver training and management systems, together with telematics means that the improvement is self-funding.”
Thomas Hardie Commercials are supporting the five Euro-6 FHs with a Gold Contract that includes Volvo’s unique Uptime Assurance promise.
Nick Hay reports that he is ‘delighted’ with Thomas Hardie Commercials’ flexibility. “They are brilliant at understanding what we are trying to achieve. Together with Volvo Financial Services, they are very, very supportive regarding renewal phasing to suit the peaks in our business. Thomas Hardie Commercials are very creative and are working hard to add value to the relationship,” he concludes.