AO.com has taken delivery of 80 new rigid trucks featuring Tiger Trailers bodywork, replacing older vehicles operating in the AO.com delivery fleet. The deal represents the first rigid bodies Tiger has built for the company, having supplied double deck trailers for its trunking fleet since 2014.
Mounted to 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis, supplied to AO.com by Ciceley Commercials, the Tiger Trailers design team were tasked with the challenge of making the fleet more efficient and cost effective, namely by improving the truck’s aerodynamics and by making them as light as possible, without compromising on strength.
Jon Makin, National Fleet Manager for AO.com, says: “We have been working with Tiger since 2014 and knew their design team would be up to the task. They look at things differently to other manufacturers, placing the efficiency of the design at the forefront of the process.”
Tiger’s intelligent design and choice of materials was key to it meeting AO.com’s strict weight requirements. Aluminium was used in the bearers, chassis runners and in the panels of the rear roller-door – replacing the more standard approach of using wood – while ultra-thin Ecofont side panels kept the weight down without any loss of rigidity or strength.
Significant weight saving was also achieved through the inclusion of a tuck-under tail-lift, a change from the heavier column lifts used previously. Without having to lower the tail-lift to access the load space, the tuck-under design also helps to increase the speed and efficiency of the loading and unloading process.
To improve the aerodynamic performance, the new rigid bodies are the first to feature Tiger’s new aerofoil design – specially moulded to create smoother airflow around the vehicle, improving fuel efficiency to offer a significant reduction in running costs.
“These trucks operate everywhere in the UK, from country roads to city streets,” continues Makin. “The delivery routes we run require the vehicles to be flexible enough to access any destination. Each truck will clock up between 80,000 and 100,000km a year so the new aerodynamics Tiger has incorporated will make a significant difference to their fuel efficiency.”
Each vehicle is on the road seven days a week and is expected to make between 30 and 40 drops per day, primarily delivering large volume white goods. This multi-drop schedule requires a dependable load security system, so Tiger included ‘slam locks’ on the rear roller-door that are quickly and easily secured with a key – removing the need for any additional locking system.
The new vehicles have been specified on three and five-year leases from Ciceley Commercials, giving AO.com more flexibility when it comes to refreshing the fleet down the line.
Mike Lewis, Dealer Principal at Ciceley Commercials, says: “We value the longstanding relationship we have with AO.com, and in turn totally respect the relationship they have built with Tiger Trailers. It was clear from the outset that each company shares a similar approach, with the decision makers in the business involved at every step – that’s something that really struck a chord with us.”
Started more than 17 years ago, AO.com is a specialist two-man delivery company that operates a mixed commercial vehicle fleet; it delivers goods nationwide through its van, rigid truck and double deck trailer fleet, with the latter two vehicle types now being built by Tiger Trailers.