Its compact external dimensions mean the 7.5-tonne Fuso Canter is the best thing since sliced bread for Morris Quality Bakers.
The Lancashire firm has added two more Canters to its fleet of around 50 vehicles, which deliver bread and confectionery to schools, catering suppliers and other outlets across the North-West.
Both were supplied by Blackburn Mercedes-Benz dealer Ciceley Commercials – the German manufacturer’s UK network also sells and supports the popular Fuso Canter light truck range.
Morris Quality Bakers now runs six Canters; having previously chosen the 3.5-tonne model, the new arrivals are its first at 7.5 tonnes gvw.
Senior Partner Henry Morris said: "The Canter is winning an increasing slice of our fleet, as it offers an ideal blend of attributes for our application. We’ve stepped up to the 7.5-tonne weight bracket this time so we can fit a bigger body to cope with increasing demand for larger deliveries, while still retaining excellent manoeuvrability."
The 7.5-tonne Canter is renowned for its market-leading payload. For Morris Quality Bakers, though, the vehicle’s biggest attribute is its compact size, which owes much to its cab-over-engine design.
"A lot of the yards and other locations to which we deliver are fairly tight," explained Mr Morris. "So the Canter’s narrow ‘footprint’ is a distinct advantage when it comes to gaining access. It also has a robust chassis and has proved extremely reliable, as well as very fuel-efficient."
Morris’s latest Canters are powered by 180hp, 3.0-litre engines which meet not only the latest Euro 5 emissions limits, but also the tougher EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) voluntary standard. They are fitted with aerodynamic box bodies built by Fosters Commercials, of Preston.
"The bodies cost a little bit more than a standard box but we stand to recoup the additional investment through even better fuel economy, and to reduce our exhaust emissions still further," Mr Morris added.
Chorley-based Morris Quality Bakers delivers around 10,000 orders a week to customers, from Staffordshire to Cumbria, with the first vehicles leaving on their morning runs as early as 1am. The backbone of its fleet are 30 box-bodied 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, which were also supplied by Ciceley Commercials.
"We receive excellent service from the dealer," said Mr Morris. "The workshop is open 24 hours a day, which means we can always plan around our own schedules so downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. And it’s good to know the safety net of Mercedes-Benz Service24h round-the-clock breakdown cover is there, should we ever need it."