Lawsons has taken delivery of its first IVECO Daily Hi-Matic 3.5-tonne chassis cabs. The order for four vehicles was placed on the back of the IVECO dealer network’s stated ability to provide “truck-levels of aftersales care for light commercial fleets” – including servicing and maintaining the new fleet overnight.
Supplied by Northern Commercials in Dunstable, the new arrivals benefit from a 100kg payload advantage over the competitor models they replace and will operate alongside a 26-tonne Stralis Natural Power rigid, which runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) and became the company’s first IVECO in 2018.
They join Lawson’s 25-strong light commercial fleet, with three Dailys operating from Lawsons’ Camden depot and one from its branch in Belvedere – delivering supplies to customers across London and the South East.
Mike Kelly, Group Transport Assistant Manager at Lawsons, says: “We considered IVECO for our light commercials as we’ve previously struggled to get the aftersales support we really needed. If we had a problem with a 3.5-tonner, we’d drop it off at the nearest dealer, but a technician might not be able look at it for days!
“Acorn Trucks is the closest dealership to our London branches and can’t do enough in looking after our Stralis NP; and they have assured us our new Dailys will be treated in the same manner. This means a driver can drop a vehicle off in the evening and pick it up early the next morning, so we never miss a day’s work.
“It has highlighted the gap between a predominantly car-focused network and one used to supporting transport companies which can’t afford non-productive downtime. We’ve got full trust in Acorn Trucks to look after our new vehicles and that’s why we’ve put the Dailys in their care.”
Powered by a 2.3-litre diesel engine delivering up to 136hp and 350 Nm of torque, each Daily 35C14 is mounted with an Ingimex dropside body and equipped with a five camera system, to increase driver visibility of cyclists and pedestrians on London’s busy roads. Similar to the Stralis NP truck, all four vehicles are compliant with the city’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which came into force in April 2019.
Finished in the customer’s distinctive green livery, the Dailys will remain in service until at least 2026 and will clock up around 30,000 miles per year. They will be on the road up to five days a week, with all maintenance carried out by Acorn Trucks, split between its sites in Waltham Cross and Crayford.
“Driver feedback on the Dailys has been excellent,” adds Mike. “The Hi-Matic gearbox makes them very easy to drive and being able to carry an extra 100kg of payload is a real bonus.
“We plan to introduce our first CNG-powered Dailys into the fleet later this year – building on the very positive experiences we’ve had with our first Stralis NP, which has performed seamlessly.”
The company expects to order its first Daily Hi-Matic Blue Power NP vehicles once the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Department for Transport finalise a training syllabus for the five hours’ training its Category B drivers will need to complete before they can drive 4.2-tonne alternative-fuelled vehicles on a standard 3.5-tonne licence. This new legislation means operators can transition to alternative fuel vehicles without any loss of payload versus a traditional 3.5-tonner.