Big or small, Daimler’s trucks have all the answers for DJ Davies Fuels

‘Little and large’ are taking centre stage at DJ Davies Fuels, in the shape of new arrivals from opposite ends of the Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks range. Both brands are owned by the Daimler Group, and are sold and supported by Mercedes-Benz Dealers in Britain. Ammanford-based DJ Davies Fuels acquired its Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit and 3.5-tonne FUSO Canter from Euro Commercials, the manufacturer’s representative in South Wales.

They have joined a fleet of 15 trucks, which includes a 26-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor and two 7.5-tonne Canters. All five of the operator’s vans also wear three-pointed stars. Family-owned DJ Davies Fuels is a leading supplier of domestic heating oil, and of industrial, commercial and agricultural fuel oils.

It also retails and wholesales an extensive range of premium solid fuels, including smokeless coal, multi-fuel briquettes and firewood logs. The company operates from a strategically located network of depots throughout South Wales – the Canter undertakes local deliveries from a branch in Lampeter – and offers a nationwide solid fuel delivery service to retail customers via fuels4u.com. The decision to acquire its first tractor unit, however, follows a major extension to the work DJ Davies undertakes for the Fuel Express consortium, which specialises in the distribution of a pre-packed domestic fuel, barbecue charcoal, gas and ancillary products to national and independent forecourts and convenience stores.

Having previously covered Wales for Fuel Express, the firm has now been awarded additional responsibility for the South-West of England. The Actros has a range-topping GigaSpace cab and is powered by an advanced and fuel-efficient 12.8-litre straight-six engine which produces 375 kW (510 hp). The subject of a contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, it is being inspected and serviced at Euro Commercials’ Swansea workshop.

The truck is currently pulling a rented urban curtainside trailer while DJ Davies Fuels awaits delivery of its own, new trailer, and delivering primarily to filling stations and stores in Devon and Cornwall. DJ Davies’ new Canter 3C13 has a 96 kW (130 hp) 3.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine, and came pre-fitted with a dropside body by highly-regarded Italian specialist Scattolini – the factory-built body programme allows customers to put their new vehicles to work a lot more quickly than would be the case if chassis were sent to third-party bodybuilders. Commercial Director Jonathan Davies, whose grandfather Denzil founded the business in 1971, said: “We ordered these impressive new trucks from Euro Commercials because their predecessors have been so good – the 16-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego we stood down recently was a fantastic lorry, and still reliable after 15 years on the road.”

He explained: “The Actros represents a new venture for us. Given that the drivers are spending nights away in the truck we wanted to provide them with the best possible environment in which to work and relax. The truck has plenty of power and the cab is exceptionally comfortable, very spacious and with plenty of storage space.

It’s no surprise that the lads are delighted with their tractor unit. “The Canter, meanwhile, is ideally suited to work in a very rural area that often takes it along narrow lanes and onto rough farm tracks. It’s highly manoeuvrable and clearly very well-built, a proper little truck unlike most 3.5-tonners, which tend to be van-based.”

Mr Davies continued: “Truck Sales Executive Steve Bastin and the rest of the team at Euro Commercials provide a great service, and this was also a major factor in our decision to award them this order.” Both new trucks are named after former employees of DJ Davies Fuels. The Actros is ‘Glyndwr’, in honour of Glyndwr Williams, a lorry enthusiast who worked for the company as a driver’s helper for more than 30 years, before retiring due to ill health in 2017.

The Canter is named after Dai Collins, who passed away in 2014 after losing his battle with cancer – Mr Collins had spent his working life at the Swansea branch which DJ Davies acquired 10 years ago.

“Glyndwr and Dai were both very popular with colleagues and these expressions of recognition for former members of staff have been very well received by those with whom they worked,” said Mr Davies. “Glyndwr is delighted to see his name on the Actros, and Dai’s family have thanked us for the gesture.”

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