Howdens modernises fleet for safety

UK-based fitted kitchen manufacturer, Howdens Joinery, has taken delivery of eight DAF prime movers, with additional trailing equipment on order, from US commercial fleet management company, Ryder.

The eight DAF CF480 6×2 44-tonne prime movers are operating from Howdens’ base in Howden, East Yorkshire, and have replaced similar 64-plated units.

The units benefit from added safety features not present on those that they replace, including a two-stage Fontaine secure coupling warning system that provides both in-cab and exterior warnings if the trailer is not properly secured to the prime mover. They also feature slow-speed left-turn audio alarms for vulnerable road-users and two additional Microlise cameras (two side-facing rearward in addition to the front-facing specified on the old units), which link to the Microlise telematics system.

“We’re committed to having the safest trucks on the road – anything we can do to look after our people and other road-users is a must,” said Howdens National Transport Manager, Charlie Nissen.

“These new trucks feature the second generation Euro-6 engines; DAF are claiming significant fuel consumption improvements – if that proves to be the case, I’ll be very pleased.

“Furthermore, two of the new tractors have been fitted with predictive cruise control in order for us to assess the technology’s impact on fuel performance,” he said.

Howdens trades from 664 depots; three new depots have opened this year with another 30 planned depot openings in the remainder of 2018.

Ryder is Howdens’ transport partner, providing 570 trucks and trailers on lease and peak rental support. Ryder also runs Howdens’ vehicle maintenance units.

“Our relationship with Ryder continues to go from strength to strength,” said  Nissen. “We’ve got an exemplary MoT record with Ryder. There are another 33 tractor units on order, and 10 tall boy trailers and more urban trailers due to arrive soon.”

“It’s great working with a partner that’s expanding, has health and safety at the heart of its operation and focuses on continuous improvement in efficiency,” said Ryder Account Director, Simon Bird. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship and helping to ensure Howdens’ transport operation is among the most innovative, efficient and sustainable in the industry.”

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