“We had already had operating experience of Scania through Scania Truck Rental,” explains RDL Distribution’s Fleet Engineer Ralph Bell. “We were impressed not only with their quality and fuel economy but also the distributor back-up offered by East Midland Commercials.
“But just as importantly it was operationally where Scania offered us a big advantage: Our move to 44 tonnes gross vehicle weight operation saw us utilising six-axle articulated combinations with longer trailers, giving much greater load space. This had the potential to cause us access problems when delivering into restricted areas, which is why we needed to move to rear-steer vehicles. The manoeuvrability of the Scania 6×2*4 is such that access is now greatly improved, much better than both the conventional six-axle articulated combination and the more common eight-wheeled rigid vehicle and, more importantly, much better than the shorter five-axle 40 tonnes drawbars from which it is derived.”
RDL Distribution is anticipating a seven year in-service life for its new trucks during which time each will cover an average of 85,000 miles per annum. Five of the new vehicles are working on a new dedicated contract for a client in the West Country while the other three are operating within the company’s existing customer base around the country.
RDL Distribution was formed following a management buy-out two years ago. Prior to this the company was owned by Lafarge SA, having previously been part of the Redland Group.
Today, the company operates 500 vehicles a day – carried out by a mix of its own trucks and those of sub-contractors, many of whom are dedicated to the firm – and operates from 24 locations around the United Kingdom.