Bradfords Building Supplies has a signed a new arrangement with Ryder, with the first trucks from a 28-vehicle order having just gone into service. The lorries comprise a mixture of DAF LF and CF dropsides, ranging from 12 tonnes to 26 tonnes, all with radio remote control Atlas cranes (the majority being rear-mounted).
Martin Caddick, the independent merchant’s Head of Transport, said: “Given that we needed to place such a large order, I took the opportunity to review our entire truck fleet specification. We started with a clean sheet of paper and asked ourselves what does a good builders’ merchant vehicle look like? We canvassed our 43-branch network for their suggestions on vehicle specs and I am pleased to say many ideas made it to the final cut.
“Ryder got involved in that process. We needed longevity from the trucks, they needed to be fit for purpose, and maintenance/downtime had to be kept to a minimum. We had a preferred bodybuilder and crane supplier that we wanted to work with (Wessex Vehicle Services and Atlas respectively), and Ryder was happy to accommodate that.”
The cranes’ LOLER tests take place during normal crane servicing to minimise downtime, whilst the vehicles are also fitted with V-Rave side-rails on the body, and these are also set with an anti-slip surface. With each of its 43 branches listed as operating centres, Bradfords uses Ryder’s fleet management tool — FleetCare Online — to keep track of MoT certificates and service/inspection sheets.
Rebrand and name change
Racking and storage specialist, Filplastic, has undergone the first major rebrand in its 25-year history. The company, based near Howden in East Yorkshire, has changed its name to Fil to reflect the expanded product and service range it has brought to market since launching in the 1990s. Along with the name change, the company has updated its visual presence to match, with a bold new corporate colour scheme of mint green and blue.
Speaking at its recent annual company conference, MD Paul Taylor explained that the original name came about because the business started life selling Italian-imported Filplastic baskets, but it had gone on to vastly diversify the products and services it now supplies.
He said: “In the early days, the business was built upon supplying plastic-coated wire baskets to the builders’ merchant industry and we still do that to this day. As the years passed, we found ourselves adding all sorts of different products, and of course moving into racking which we’re really well known for now.
“Design services followed, so now we sell everything from small parts such as van and workshop storage, shop shelving and display equipment, to mezzanine flooring, and full design and fit out projects for national businesses with huge storage requirements.”
In addition to the new name and branding, the company is launching a new ecommerce website.
Electric trucks for Lawsons
Lawsons Timber has been using Combilift’s multidirectional forklifts for more than 20 years and now operates around 35 of the versatile, space-saving machines. Its latest deliveries from the Irish manufacturer are electric trucks, in line with a general move towards electric power in a number of sectors.
Group Transport Manager David Harvey said: “Most of our branches are in built up areas such as Camden, Acton and Wandsworth, where expansion of sites is nigh on impossible — due to cost issues or the density of surrounding buildings. We can only ‘go up not out’ with our storage, so packing as much stock into any given area is crucial. Being able to configure aisles widths according to the depth of the Combilifts and going up to racking heights of 7.5m means we can optimise space and cope with growth.”
Lawsons’ Combilifts, most of which are 4t C4000 models, handle long products such as 6m packs of timber weighing up to around 3t, and are also universal trucks for handling plasterboard, blocks, bricks and palletised loads, within the racking as well as outside. The most recent additions are two C4000Es at the Merton branch and numerous STEs at Whetstone and Camden.
“We are keen to keep emissions as low as we can for the good of the environment, and also to keep noise levels to a minimum for our neighbours in residential areas, and these electric models tick all the boxes on both counts. Electric power is definitely the way forward for us and our drivers also like the quiet operation they offer,” added David.
CRS Building Supplies
Payload and productivity gains were among the top priorities when CRS Building Supplies needed four new trucks to offer improved delivery services to its customers. The company operates a chain of 10 builders’ merchant branches in and around Somerset — including its latest site in Bridgwater —andopted for 7.5-tonne FUSO Canter 7C15 models from City West Commercials.
The Mercedes-Benz dealer celebrates its 10thanniversary in business this year and, like other members of the manufacturer’s franchised network in Great Britain, it is also responsible for sales and support of the popular FUSO light truck range.
The Canters have Comfort day cabs and economical3.0-litre common-rail diesel engines which offer impressive torque — 370 Nm is available over a broad engine speed range — and generate 110 kW (150 hp). Their robust steel tipping bodies, meanwhile, are by Brit-Tipp, of Warrington.
Paul Gibbard, the merchant’s Transport Manager, said: “Our smallest vehicles are 3.5-tonne tippers which offer payloads of 900 kg. The Canters are barely any bigger in terms of their external dimensions, but can carry an impressive 3.8 tonnes.
“Their compact footprint and excellent turning circle mean they’re also every bit as manoeuvrable, so they can easily get on and off domestic driveways, and small building sites where access can be tight. We can therefore deliver significantly more product on a single journey. The resulting reduction in total vehicle miles is helping to cut our fuel bill while also reducing the impact of our operations on local air quality and traffic levels.”