Commercial Motor Awards 2017: Finance Provider of the Year shortlist profiled

Close Brothers

Finance Provider of the Year at the Commercial Motor Awards 2017 recognises businesses that have delivered outstanding levels of customer service over the past 12 months to commercial vehicle customers.

Our independent panel of judges looked for evidence of financial providers providing a bespoke service to the commercial vehicle market; a strong understanding of the needs of the customer and the ability of the provider to meet the individual needs of customers.

Last year Close Brothers Asset Finance won the award and was commended for “showing outstanding commitment to training the next generation of commercial vehicle finance specialists”.

This year's Financial Provider of the Year award is sponsored by Protruck Auctions.

The rental, leasing and contract hire divisions of the group - that includes Asset Alliance, ATE Truck and Trailer Sales, Forest Asset Finance and Total Reefer - reported a total turnover of £15.5m for 2016, an increase of almost 48% on 2015.

The group supplies multi-brand commercial vehicles on any combination of contract hire, operating lease, finance lease or hire purchase and staff have complete flexibility to recommend and supply any make or model. Asset Alliance offers a free, no-obligation fleet audit and last year it launched its new Flexi-Hire truck and trailer rental division.

Its managed fleet also grew to just under 2,000 units in July - a 35% increase during 2017. Judges were impressed with the company’s flexible approach and “impressive growth figures coupled with excellent customer testimonials.”

Close Brothers Asset Finance employees go out of their way to understand clients and to work with and alongside them. The company aims to develop personal, deep-meaning, long-term relationships with transport companies through face-to-face meetings to support long-term growth. For Close Brothers the potential of a client’s business is regarded as important, if not more so, than its current performance.

In the past 12 months Close Brothers Asset Finance has helped create or safeguard 8,800 jobs across over 2,500 projects for 1,850 SMEs. The company currently has a direct sales force of 141 together with an extensive panel of brokers. Judges described the entry as “very strong”.

They were impressed with the firm’s commitment to the transport market, continued focus on customer service, the bespoke service it offers and partnership relationships with clients.

Volvo FH 540 8x4 tag axle tridem for AR Demolition

Volvo FH

Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia has supplied Carlton, Leicestershire-based AR Demolition with a Volvo FH 540 8x4 tag axle tridem.

The truck features a D13K engine that produces 540hp, I-Shift gearbox and single reduction tandem 23-tonne drive axles with differential and cross locks. It is fitted with a cabin specification platform body and a Fassi 545 truck-mounted crane with five extending boom sections.

AR Demolition also specified extra tool lockers for the 5.2 metre wheelbase truck, which comes with a VBG drawbar coupling for the two axle Chieftain drawbar trailer it hauls.

Andrew Thompson, company director at AR Demolition said: "I'm impressed by the vehicle and crane capabilities of our new Volvo FH 540 tridem drawbar combination.

"The platform bodies on the Volvo and trailer will be ideal for shifting our welfare cabins, storage containers and fuel bowsers around various work sites. Additionally, we have a wide range of machine attachments and dust suppression equipment that the truck will also be able to move, whilst the combination's versatility will undoubtedly make it attractive for third party, hire and reward work."

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