Lafarge Cement UK has invested more than £7M in a brand new fleet, increasing its vehicle payload and helping the cement manufacturer to reduce its road traffic impact by 17%. Over two years Lafarge is completely replacing its old fleet with 109 state-of-the-art Daf FTG CF 85 mid-lift axle 6×2 tractor units, and 43 Feldbinder bulk tank trailers, leading to quieter, safer, more environmentally-friendly transport of its Blue Circle products from eight manufacturing sites and 12 depots nationwide.
And increasing the payload to 30.5 tonnes in a 44 tonne gross weight vehicle means the company can deliver more cement using less vehicles, significantly reducing the company’s impact on road traffic. Once the replacement programme is completed (early next year), the company will have the most up-to-date cement distribution fleet in the country.
Alaister White, Lafarge’s national logistics manager, comments: “On today’s congested highways a driver needs to be in total control of his vehicle in all traffic conditions. The automatic transmission enables him to do that more efficiently and the comfortable working environment helps reduce stress and make for a more relaxed and therefore safer driver.”
Lafarge will also achieve lower maintenance costs and less downtime through the more efficient ZF intarder auxiliary braking system – an added safety benefit for drivers who cover hilly terrain such as the area around Lafarge’s manufacturing plant in Derbyshire.
The Feldbinder tank trailers, which hold more than 30 tonnes of cement, have a tri-axle running gear, which includes a lifting front axle and a self-tracking rear axle. This also helps minimise wear and tear on the tyres and therefore reduces operating costs.
The Daf units are being leased on a five-year contract through Warrington-based Contract Vehicles.