One of the UK’s leading textile rental providers is cleaning up with a new 7.5-tonne Fuso Canter that’s being double-shifted and doing the work of two previous vehicles.
Fenland Laundries, of Skegness, Lincolnshire, is using the Canter 7C18 to make trunking runs to and from Sunderland at night, and local deliveries and collections during the day.
The truck works for the company’s Micronclean division, which provides ‘cleanroom’ garments to clients in the pharmaceutical and micro-electronics industries.
The Canter was supplied by Liverpool Mercedes-Benz dealer Road Range Commercials – the German manufacturer’s franchised UK network is also responsible for sales and support of the popular Fuso light truck range.
Fitted with a GRP box body with side door by Lincoln Commercial Bodies, and a 1,000kg capacity DEL tail-lift, the Canter is the subject of a contract hire agreement with Road Range’s in-house finance arm Premier Vehicle Rentals. Fenland Laundries is so impressed with its latest vehicle that it has already placed an order for a further three identical units.
Group Transport & Logistics Manager James Bell explains: "We make a regular night-time trunk from our main pharmaceutical-grade laundry plant in Skegness to a depot in Birtley, near Sunderland.
"This work was previously undertaken by another 7.5-tonner, but it was bigger than we needed. The Canter, by contrast, is perfect for this job. It’s relatively compact for a vehicle in this weight category, and this means that as well as being highly manoeuvrable it’s also very cost-effective to operate.
"The Canter offers a very impressive payload of close to four tonnes too. We don’t often reach the limit but it’s nice to know that the capacity is there, should we need it."
Although Fenland Laundries commissioned the Canter for this trunking role, the operator quickly spotted an opportunity to gain extra productivity from its latest acquisition.
"The fact that it’s not too big meant we could also use it during the day to do the work of one of our vans," continues Mr Bell. "A traditional 7.5-tonner would struggle to access some of the tight locations to which we deliver, but the Canter has no such problems.
"We’ve therefore been able to remove a rented van that was working at full capacity and struggling somewhat anyway, and instead assign its work to the Canter as well. The result is a more efficient use of our fleet assets."
Fenland Laundries specified its Canter with a DUONIC gearbox. The first twin-plate, dual-clutch automated transmission to be fitted to a light truck, DUONIC provides smooth shifting and economical performance with none of the frictional losses found in traditional automatic gearboxes. Features include an Eco Mode for even more fuel-efficient cruising, as well as parking and ‘creep’ functions for low-speed manoeuvring.
Founded over 100 years ago, Fenland Laundries also has operations in Manchester, Letchworth and Perth.