Plastic goods manufacturer Thumbs Up Bury Limited has put a top of the range DAF XF105 Super Space cab drawbar outfit on the road to make deliveries throughout the British Isles.
The DAF will deliver the wide range of garden and houseware products made by Thumbs Up at its factory in Bury to supermarket chain RDCs and direct to large retail outlets. It will also be used for backloads carrying goods at the request of one of its supermarket customers and the company has changed its O licence to cover this.
The prime mover is a 4.6 metre wheelbase DAF FAR XF105 6 x 2 with a single-wheel lifting rearmost axle. It runs with a close-coupled tri-axle trailer on which the front axle lifts. Both the DAF and its trailer have curtainsider bodies by Cartwrights of Altrincham, with the prime mover designed to carry 14 pallets and the trailer up to16. Flush doors are fitted to maximise internal length and pull-up load lashing rings help ensure load security.
The XF105 and its trailer are connected by a VBG coupling with power actuator and an auto-coupling capability. Because the outfit will run outside of the UK, it has been fitted with ferry lashing rings and the front bulkhead of the trailer body has been recessed to maximise the angle of approach onto ferry ramps. Two alloy fuel tanks of 640 and 430 litres capacity enable advantage to be taken of cheaper fuel costs outside the UK and help to reduce time spent in refuelling.
Power is from the 12.9 litre DAF MX engine rated at 510 bhp, which is ample for a truck that although plated at 44 tonnes will normally run well below that weight. The engine is matched to a 12-speed gearbox with a good spread of ratios to cover all road and load conditions. The truck is expected to cover up to 200,000 kilometres a year and will be replaced after three years in line with the Thumbs Up policy to maintain a low age profile across its 13 vehicle fleet.
Logistics Director Darren McGuinness says that the truck is a real head turner. "We’ve adopted a stunning new livery for the DAF, which along with dual air horns, ‘skylights’ recessed into the cab roofline and a full width sun visor, results in a very impressive vehicle that creates a good image for our business.
"I’m also impressed by the support we got from the DAF dealer, North West Trucks of Huyton, who worked closely with Cartwrights to deliver a vehicle that exactly meets our needs. The fact that we can have servicing carried out overnight or at weekends by Woodwards Truck & Van in Wigan is a major plus point, allowing us to keep the truck out there working to the optimum level."
Darren Price, who drives the DAF is equally fulsome in his praise of the truck and particularly the Super Space cab. "It takes truck driving to another level for ride, comfort, performance," he says. "When you’re living in a truck five nights a week you really appreciate the amount of space and the ample storage that you get in this big cab. It means that I don’t have to keep moving things about just to start my day’s work.
"You can’t beat the bunk in this DAF," he adds. "It’s big and very comfortable. Air conditioning and a good night heater, along with a superb six-speaker stereo system, result in a great environment in which to work and to live. I think it’s a brilliantly set-up truck!"
Along with the FAR drawbar, Thumbs Up has also put a trio of FT XF105 two-axle tractors into service, also supplied by North West Trucks.