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3 years on and Isuzu is the pride of Cornwall

With three years of service under their belt, the overall performance of the 54 Isuzu rigid trucks that are working in the Cory Environmental fleet, operating on a contract on behalf of Cornwall Council, has ticked all the right boxes in terms of reliability, payload and operational support.

When asked about the initial experience of their first ever Isuzus in the Cornwall fleet, Mark Hamblin, Senior Workshop Manager at Cory Environmental, was quick to comment that; “We cannot fault the Isuzu trucks that we have here in Cornwall, the original build quality of the trucks was first-class and so far we have found them not only to be reliable kit but in practice they have also given us excellent payload. Furthermore, and most importantly, the support that we have had from local dealer T Harvey & Sons has been really superb. It goes without saying that we have now built up a very strong working relationship with Harvey’s during the three years.”

Between December 2011 and April 2012, Cory Environmental replaced 54 incumbent vehicles with brand-new 3.5t and 7.5t Isuzu rigid trucks. These were fitted with a mixture of refuse collection bodies, skip loaders and caged tippers, some of which featured column tail lifts. The Isuzu rigid vehicles were acquired as part of an 8-year contract between Cory Environmental and Cornwall Council that runs until 2020. The Isuzus also have an 8-year working life on this contract, providing street cleaning services, compaction and garden waste collection, as well as black bag refuse and wheelie-bin cleansing.

Going back to 2011, Cory Environmental needed to purchase new vehicles for its municipal fleet in Cornwall. Following a detailed and intensive tender programme, Isuzu together with its local dealer T Harvey & Sons Ltd in Redruth, was successful in winning the contract for an initial 42 vehicles. This was then followed-up with an order for additional 10 trucks – making a total of 52 new Isuzus into the fleet. Two additional Isuzus were also transferred to this operation from another contract.

“As part of the original evaluation exercise, we operated a demo truck around the Cornish lanes, as well as talking to many other operators about the Isuzu marque. The general feedback we got was that Isuzu trucks would give us tremendous payload and reliability, and are backed up by excellent local dealer service. In our ongoing discussions, we talked at length with T Harvey, with whom we had had no previous history, and they really impressed us with their attention to detail. Three years on, as you often find with established family companies, their subsequent hands-on involvement has been second to none,” said Mark Hamblin.

“Vehicle downtime is critical to our business operation and we are pleased to report that, since we have had the Isuzus in the fleet, our overall VOR time has been minimised. During the initial three-year warranty period that you get with Isuzu trucks, we have found that the response we get from T Harvey has been truly excellent, with no quibbles at all and the vehicles are back on the road in literally no time at all,” explains Mark Hamblin.

Another significant factor behind Isuzu being successful for the Cornwall Council contract is the overall footprint of the Isuzu trucks, at both 3.5t and 7.5t. The slim cabs make them ideal for the narrow accessibility of customer’s premises experienced within many of the small villages across Cornwall. In the three years of operation, Cory Environmental has never had an issue of vehicle access to premises with its Isuzu trucks.

The 54 Isuzu trucks are now spread all around the county, based at locations in St Erth, Truro, St Austell, Bodmin, Liskeard and Bude. In general, each Isuzu is covering approximately 20,000 miles per annum; however, there are exceptions to this figure. One of the 3.5t caged Isuzu N35.150 tippers has already covered over 100,000 miles in its first three years, whilst one of the 7.5t Isuzu N75.190 skip loaders has now travelled in excess of 120,000 miles since first going into service in 2012.

“Without doubt, the Isuzu trucks are ideally suited to our operation here in Cornwall. The stop/start operations, in small villages with limited or narrow access, have been handled with ease by the Isuzus, that have proved, without exception, to be a most valuable addition to our municipal fleet,” concluded Mark Hamblin.

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