Iveco has won a significant order to deliver 21 new Iveco Stralis Hi-Road (AT440S46TX/P) high-roof 6×2 twin-steer tractor units to the Widdowson Group, financed through Iveco Capital.
The Widdowson Group took delivery of the first 10 Stralis Hi-Roads from local Iveco dealer Guest Truck and Van in May. The Leicester-based haulier will take delivery of a further 11 Stralis tractors over the next six months, which will all be used for general haulage throughout the UK.
Harry Hawksworth, Chairman and Technical Director of the Widdowson Group, says: “I spoke to David Burke (Key Account Manager at Iveco) late last year and was impressed with his enthusiasm and Iveco’s confidence in this new vehicle generation. It was their absolute commitment to the product and the aftersales support they offer that really sold it to me.
“Prior to the first vehicles entering service an Iveco driver trainer provided specific training and driver familiarisation to show our team how to get the best out of the vehicles. It’s still early days, but the feedback has been very positive so far.”
Iveco’s Driving Style Evaluation tool is fitted in all of the new vehicles, enabling the driver to improve their driving performance in real time and as a result to improve their fuel efficiency – a tool which Iveco says can generate fuel savings of between 5 per cent and 12 per cent.
Mr Hawksworth adds: “We are very keen on training our staff and constantly evaluating the performance of each type of vehicle we operate. We keep detailed fuel consumption records for the whole fleet, which is why the Driving Style Evaluation tool was a very important feature for us. Its potential to lower our vehicle operating costs is significant.”
Commenting on the input of Iveco’s in-house finance arm, he explains: “Iveco Capital worked closely with us from the start, producing a series of flexible and competitive finance options covering our full funding requirement. The joined up approach of sourcing the vehicles and funding from the same organisation ensured things have run very smoothly.”
The new vehicles are fitted with Iveco’s Eco Pack, which incorporates many of the fuel-saving functions introduced in the previous generation EcoStralis range. These include: EcoSwitch, which uses vehicle weight information to minimise fuel consumption; EcoFleet mode, which automatically adjusts to vehicle loading to help fine-tune fuel economy; fitment of low-rolling resistance tyres and optimised drive axle ratios.
All vehicles are fitted with Hatcher air-deflector kits for maximum aerodynamic efficiency and come with a Masternaut fleet management system, which is standard across the Widdowson Group’s 125-strong fleet. They also feature digital axle load indicators, to ensure the fleet operates within legal limits at all times.
The Widdowson Group keeps its vehicles on the road for at least five years, sometimes electing to extend that by two years. The first five Stralis Active Space Super³ tractors supplied by Iveco in November 2008 are still all in service.
Each of the fleet’s heavy trucks travel an average of 120,000 km to 140,000 km per annum, and are on the road between five and six days per week, with some units being double-shifted for night work.
The new Iveco tractors are powered by EEV-rated FPT Industrial 10.3 litre Cursor 10 engines, which are capable of producing up to 460 hp between 1,550 and 2,100 rev/min, plus 2,100 Nm of torque between 1,050 and 1,550 rev/min and are fitted with EuroTronic automated transmissions as standard.