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New Volvo FM eight-wheelers aid efficiency at HST Feeds

13th June 2011 Print
Volvo FM trucks

A constant drive for efficiency and optimising vehicle uptime are central tenets of the intensive transport operation run by HST Feeds. To help maintain high levels of vehicle availability and overall transport efficiency, the company has recently added two new Volvo FM-420 8X4 rigids to its immaculately turned out in-house fleet of eight trucks – seven of which are Volvos.
In order to fix servicing costs, all HST Feeds Volvos are on long-term Repair and Maintenance (R&M) contracts with supplying dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials, whose Middlewich depot look after all their servicing needs. The latest FMs are on 6-year R&M contracts.
“Efficiency is part of our mantra,” says Associate Director Operations Steve Rogers, adding: “We need to make sure that farmers do not pay for our inefficiencies. That’s why we are constantly battling against rising costs on behalf of our customers. Monitoring our transport costs and reducing fuel and unscheduled maintenance bills is vital to maintain our competitive position.”
The Cheshire-based animal feeds specialist manufactures a comprehensive selection of feeds for livestock from poultry to cattle and sheep at its mill in Crewe and has been operating Volvo trucks since 2006.
The mill operates round the clock and the trucks are loaded overnight. The new Priden bulk animal feed bodied 8-wheelers are expected to cover around 100,000 kms per annum making deliveries to farms six days a week.
The company values the continuity of service it receives from Volvo dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials, who has supplied all the vehicle purchases since 2006. “Our drivers are all long service and know our loyal customer base well. Continuity is important to us and our customers. That’s why we don’t use agency drivers,” says Steve Rogers, “It’s also one of the reasons why we continue to deal with Thomas Hardie. For example, their Sales Representative, Mark Lingard has provided this element of continuity as he has been our contact for new vehicles since 2006. We also value the continuity of service they provide generally in terms of the people we deal with at their Middlewich depot which is open 24/7. Thomas Hardie service and MOT our vehicles when it’s convenient for us. It’s an arrangement which works well to date.”
The latest FMs are equipped with the D13 engines and I-Shift automated transmissions. Steve Rogers says that the company is satisfied with the performance of the overall Volvo specification package. “It’s worked well,” he says, “In particular; I-Shift, which we’ve been running with since July 2010, has helped provide an improvement in fuel economy.”
The last word has to go to Steve Rogers who sums up the company’s continued partnership with Thomas Hardie Commercials and Volvo with the following words: “Although we operate an in-house transport fleet, we’re not haulage contractors. Our focus has to be on our customers. Thomas Hardie and Volvo take care of our maintenance in a way which allows us to achieve that.”

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Volvo FM trucks