When the Tool Hire division of the Travis Perkins Group looked at alternative vehicle specifications for certain delivery schedules, it was Isuzu Truck came up with using the Isuzu Forward N50.150 4x2 chassis cab, fitted with a purpose-designed aluminium beavertail body, to replace some of the company’s existing 3.5-tonne rigids.
The new 5-tonne Isuzus, provide extra capacity, extra payload and thus better productivity for Travis Perkins vehicle fleet, while also reducing the actual mileage covered by its trucks for delivering hire equipment to customers.
Payload is 2000kg compared to the 900Kg on the smaller old trucks. The five-tonners can also tow a platform trailer with an additional 2800kg of payload.
Travis Perkins has so far taken delivery of 15 of these new specification Isuzus in the past 12 months from its local Isuzu dealer, Westons Car & Commercials, as the Tool Hire division increases the adoption of these trucks into its national fleet.
On average, the new Isuzus are covering 22,000 miles a year, although the first one that was supplied has now done close to 60,000 miles.
Travis Perkins estimates that each five-tonner will have a vehicle life of approximately eight years and the initial batch of 15 vehicles is working predominantly in the southwest, where they are particularly well suited for the road networks of Devon and Cornwall.
Group fleet manager Andy Ray said: “Historically, we have run 3.5-tonne trucks on this operation, although we sometimes use 7.5- or 12-tonners at some of our larger centres. With the 3.5-tonnr trucks, we have to make four journeys to deliver and collect a digger and a dumper on a one-day hire. The larger trucks obviously make fewer journeys but they run and operate at considerably higher costs. The new 5-tonne Isuzu plugs the gap perfectly. It enables us to achieve a 2-tonne payload on the chassis cab with the ability to tow a trailer with another 2.8 tonnes of payload, effectively reducing the number of journeys we need to make by half. For many of our operations this specification is ideal because the Isuzu 5-tonner can undertake some of the jobs a 7.5- or 12-tonne truck can do, but at a fraction of the cost.”
The Travis Perkins Group currently operates more than 176 Isuzus at 3.5-tonnes and 7.5-tonnes. Isuzu Truck UK marketing director Keith Child said: “Having supplied in excess of 300 assorted truck chassis in total to the group over the years, we have a very good understanding of the needs of their transport operation. This has enabled us to tailor our vehicle specifications to assist with their demanding and diverse operational requirements. The 5-tonne Isuzu models provide an innovative and extremely productive alternative to traditional 3.5-tonners with minimal difference in operating costs.”