DAF carrying the drinks for HB Clark

Drinks wholesaler HB Clark has bought a round of DAF LFs to kick off a fleet modernisation programme for 2018.

The company has already taken delivery of six of DAF’s New LF 16-tonne rigid curtainsiders, with the last two vehicles set to join the fleet shortly. Supplied by North West Trucks at Huyton on Merseyside, they are all 4×2 day cab models with six-speed AS Tronic semi-automated gearboxes, rear air suspension, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.

Seven of the new trucks will all be painted blue, except for one with a black cab, to suit the company’s ‘Infamous Soft Drinks’ livery. The trucks are being taken with six-year DAF MultiSupport R&M packages and, at the end of that first life, the company will handle its own disposals.

HB Clark will use a variety of curtain liveries to reflect the company’s drinks products that, including brands such as Coors, Carling, Carlsberg Export, Corona, Whitley Neill and its own ‘Infamous Soft Drinks’ range.

Darren Williams, operations manager for HB Clark, said, “We are embarking on a major investment to modernise our fleet of about 90 vehicles from 7.2- to 32-tonnes. It is beginning to age in certain areas, so we want to introduce new vehicles that will enhance our performance, please our drivers and deliver a good fuel return.

“It’s hard, local work, with lots of stopping, starting and difficult manoeuvring on High Streets and other urban areas. I know from my discussions with other operators that the current range of LFs perform well, so we anticipate even better results on fuel with these New LFs.”

Bodying and liveries for the new trucks have been handled by Scottish bodybuilder Tekbo. The bodies include a new safety loading system that Williams has been working on with the Scottish bodybuilder. He said, “In some ways you could say we are returning to some influences of the old ‘roping and sheeting’ habits from years back.

“Basically, we are using a bungee system, hooked onto rollers at the front and back of the body, that meet to hold the loads firmly in place even as they diminish during the course of the dray’s round of deliveries. Simple, effective and easy for our drivers to operate.”

For the rest of HB Clark’s 90-strong fleet, Williams is planning to move away from 7.5-tonne trucks up to the more flexible load potential of 15- to 16-tonne vehicles. He said, “We have nine depots right now, and that means a lot of different operating demands. What has been important is finding a truck which genuinely suits this type of work.

“The New LF is a light chassis cab, very simple for bodying, and with the right body we can maximise the load they carry more effectively. The turning circle is very good for the dray work they do, which makes our drivers’ jobs just that little bit easier.”

DAF LF curtainsiders for HB Clark

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://thetruckexpert.co.uk
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites, The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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