Smiths Bletchington has taken delivery of a Renault Trucks C440 P8x4*4 Tridem off-road and two C440 P8x4 off-road tippers. The vehicles join a fleet of 38 tippers run by the Oxfordshire-based supplier and producer of aggregates. Supplied by Sparks Commercial Services, the new arrivals mean the fleet is now all Euro-6 compliant.
Paul Needle, fleet manager at Smiths Bletchington, said: “We keep our vehicles for a long time, typically 8-10 years, and we do a lot of research to ensure optimal suitability for our operational needs. We also undertake most of our own maintenance and residual value takes a back seat in our considerations. Our evaluation revolves mainly around capital outlay versus running costs, factoring in mpg and overall performance on an annual basis. Our 2019 Renault trucks are achieving 8-8.5mpg and we are anticipating reaching 9mpg with the latest vehicles, demonstrating a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. This, combined with Renault trucks being competitively priced, made them first choice for our latest fleet additions.”
The Tridem will be based out of the company’s Oxford headquarters and comes equipped with a lifting and steering rear axle. The other two vehicles will work out of Smiths Bletchington’s Ardley Dewars Farm quarry. The tippers are fitted with Charlton Superlite aggregate bodies with automatic tailgates and a Dawbarn Wraptor sheeting system.
The C440s are paired with a 13-litre engine with a maximum torque of 2200 Nm and feature a 12-speed Optidriver ATO 2612 gearbox with automatic clutch. Inside, the drivers get heated and ventilated seats, leather steering wheel and electric sun blinds.
Needle continued: “We have a wide selection of tippers that are used for different clients, but the 4-wheeler is limited to carrying 10-tonnes, sometimes the 8-wheelers won’t fit, and the 6-wheeler might. We weighed the Tridem and give or take a few kilos, it’s got the same carrying capacity as the 8x4s. The Tridem configuration offers our fleet real flexibility as it provides the manoeuvrability of a 6-wheeler combined with a load capacity that is closer to that of the 8-wheeler, which helps with the profitability of our business.”
Additional safety equipment installed includes a Brigade Back Eye camera system. This uses four camera angles to give the driver a view of the perimeter of the vehicle. As a FORS silver accredited operator, sufficient safety equipment is essential.
Needle added: “We deliver to some weird and wonderful places where the Tridem comes into its own as it gives us better manoeuvrability and allows us to confidently access narrow roads and entrances without compromising on payload, and where a traditional 8-wheeler with its conventional length wheelbase can struggle. The “off road” versions of the vehicles allow us to cope with different types of challenging terrain including landfill tips and farms in remote locations. The addition of all the new Renault trucks is an exciting step in our company’s development.”