First, trailers. The estimated fuel savings from refrigeration using the new Thermo King Advancer systems has led to Turners ordering 71 new single-compartment reefer trailers fitted with Advancer A400 systems, all of which are being supplied, installed and maintained by Thermo King’s long standing UK dealer, Marshall Fleet Solutions.
Initially, 31 Gray & Adams single compartment trailers with TK Advancer units are joining the Turners (Soham) fleet over a 10-week cycle during the summer period, with a further 40 similar specification G&A trailers going into service with Turners from October onwards.
Group fleet engineer Tim King said: “The increase in fuel price as a result of the rebate on red diesel being withdrawn will have a major impact on our overall fleet running costs. However, we believe that the introduction of new modern trailers into our fleet, all of which will benefit from Advancer’s proven fuel saving performance, will continue our push to operate the most economic temperature-controlled trailer fleet as possible.”
All 71 of the new G&A trailers with Advancers are expected to operate in the Turners (Soham) fleet for at least 10 years, mainly working from the company’s Newmarket and Spalding facilities.
“We are a long-term major fleet user of Thermo King refrigeration systems in conjunction with Marshall Fleet Solutions, with whom we have a really close working relationship. As soon as Advancer was launched, MFS worked hard to ensure that we could introduce this innovative trailer fridge system into our fleet as soon as it was available,” commented Tim King.
As part of the relationship with Turners (Soham), Marshall Fleet Solutions also runs a dedicated service and maintenance facility at the Turners site in Newmarket, handling the large number of Thermo King refrigeration systems in their fleet.
King continues: “Such is the synergy between the companies that this close relationship allows us to achieve far greater efficiencies and productivity with regards to our temperature-controlled trailer fleet. With the inbuilt telematics in the new Advancers, MFS and ourselves will be able to monitor closely the up-to-date fuel usage to identify the progress that we are making with regards to generating even greater fuel savings within the fleet.”
Second, Turners has taken delivery of a New Generation DAF XF 450 FTG 6x2 tractor unit as one of 50 vehicles undergoing a pre-production field trials for the OEM. Close vehicle monitoring, performance reporting and driver feedback from field trials, alongside in-house testing, will play a crucial role in the new truck introduction programme.
The New Generation DAF is being used on Turners’ chilled distribution operations and piloted by long-standing Turners driver Cliffe Gwilliam. Turners’ New Generation DAF XF joins a fleet of 1,200 vehicles, of which 750 are DAF-branded. The current Turners DAF tractor fleet comprises FTG 6x2 twin-steer and FTP lightweight mid-lift configurations. In fact, Turners will soon take delivery of its 1,000th DAF FTP, making it the largest user of this model-type world-wide.
Turners’ New Generation DAF XF 450 FTG 6x2 tractor is powered by the 10.8-litre PACCAR MX-11 rated at 444bhp, producing up to 2,350Nm of torque. It is equipped with twin fuel tanks (490- and 220-litres) to give a total capacity of 710 litres.
“We know what the DAF marque is all about,” said Tim King, group fleet engineer at Turners (Soham) Ltd. “our knowledge of the DAF 6x2 fleet tractor unit in particular is, I would argue, more complete than any other operator in Europe.”
Full production of the New Generation DAF will commence in October with right-hand-drive trucks for the UK market being built in Britain at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire.