Plastic Coatings upgrades fleet with three new DAFs

West Midlands-based coating application specialist Plastic Coatings has upgraded its fleet with the purchase of three new 18-tonne DAF CF230 rigid trucks. The new DAFs, which replace three older DAF models, have been acquired on a contract hire agreement from independent commercial vehicle contract hire, rental and maintenance services provider Ryder. "Our delivery and collection service is a key part of our business," said Carl Allison, commercial manager at Plastic Coatings. "Our customers range from manufacturers of small items, like screws and washers, to motor parts and engines, right through to rail and construction beams.

Many of our customers don't have the transportation to bring the items to us for the finishing application, so our delivery vehicles play a vital role in our customer offering." To allow for any overnight trunking work, Plastic Coatings specified sleeper cabs for the new vehicles. "Around 50% of our customers are within a 30-mile radius of our site in Kingswinford, West Midlands, so the majority of our runs are local.

However, we do have customers in Kent, South Wales, and Aberdeen, so our drivers can cover the length and breadth of the country and therefore require an overnight stay in the truck from time to time," said Allison. Another important part of the fleet upgrade was the body dimensions for one of the new trucks. "Our biggest contract involves transporting four-foot long tubular assemblies that are a complicated shape and have to be stacked inside each other on custom-made stillages. We have to transport 2,500 of these tubular assemblies a day within three runs, so we need a specific truck body size to accommodate the volume and meet this daily quota," explained Allison.

"Our Ryder account manager Fiona Rennie worked closely with us to ensure the correct body dimensions were specified for this truck." Plastic Coatings has worked with Ryder for its fleet upgrades for the past 20 years. Ryder has also helped Plastic Coatings overcome a problem with vandalism to its trucks recently.

"During our Christmas shutdown period, we had several incidents of break-ins to our yard with vandals punching holes in the bottom of the trucks to steal the diesel. It caused GBP3-GBP4,000 of damage to the truck each time. Ryder now stores our vehicles securely for us at one of its own manned sites over the shutdown period, which is a fantastic service and shows how accommodating Ryder is," said Allison.

Ryder also manages the vehicle maintenance and servicing for Plastic Coatings' fleet, which Allison said enables the transport manager to focus on running the vehicles, drivers and planning deliveries. "We have around 3,500 customers and at any one time 300 of them will have a live order with us. Having the vehicle maintenance and servicing schedule handled by Ryder gives us peace of mind that that side of things is taken care of," he said.

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