When highly respected football referee Trevor Pollard needs a light truck that’s a great match for his building and contracting firm, he always chooses the 3.5-tonne FUSO Canter.
Latest additions to the fleet of Bury St Edmunds-based Pollard & Co are a pair of Canter 3C13s with advanced 96 kW (130 hp) engines driving through DUONIC automated transmissions.
The new vehicles were supplied by Mercedes-Benz Dealer Orwell Truck & Van – the German manufacturer’s franchised network is also responsible for sales and support of the popular Canter range. Their alloy tipping bodies, meanwhile, are the work of Priden Engineering, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, which also fabricated the large, locking toolboxes fitted behind the cabs.
Mr Pollard is a skilled carpenter by trade. He founded his building and contracting company in 1997, since when it has earned an enviable reputation for the high quality of its construction work and customer service.
A former Football League linesman – he officiated at the 1999 Worthington Cup Final, when Tottenham Hotspur defeated Leicester City in front of 77,000 fans at Wembley – Mr Pollard is now Head Coach for the Suffolk FA Youth Referees Academy, which is based at Ipswich Town’s training ground.
Pollard & Co purchased its latest two Canters with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. It is the first time the company has specified the DUONIC system, the world’s first fully automated dual clutch transmission for trucks, which offers smooth shifts and fuel-efficient performance.
“Before placing the order I discussed the auto ’box with my drivers and they were dead against it,” recalled Mr Pollard. “They do a bit of shunting and were concerned that unlike the manuals they were used to, it would not give them the fine control they need when towing and tipping. But Orwell Truck & Van’s Sales Executive Ray Braybrook brought a demonstrator over for them to try and both were very quickly won over – they love the transmission now.”
He continued: “These vehicles are our main site workhorses and we use them to carry building materials, aggregates and rubble, as well as pull trailers occasionally. It’s a tough job but the Canter is well-built and robust enough to take the punishment – unlike other, van-based 3.5-tonners, it’s a proper little truck.”
The latest arrivals have lined-up alongside one other Canter, and replaced two older examples which the company has sold. “We’ve been running Canters since 2007 and like to change them every three years,” said Mr Pollard. “That proved impossible when the recession hit but they never let us down.
“The lads like driving the Canters too, while they’re also economical to run and great value for money, with an excellent three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty. We invariably get good money for them too, when we move them on.”
Pollard & Co offers a comprehensive portfolio of services, including new builds and extensions, barn conversions, renovation, landscaping and decorating. The company team includes Mr Pollard’s 31-year-old son Chris, a bricklayer and plasterer, who is also a Football League assistant referee and harbours ambitions to officiate in the Premier League.