K Steels converts to DAF after it learns of cost benefits

DAF K Steels

K Steels is in the midst of a DAF fleet replacement programme, which has seen the firm take delivery of six new rigids, comprising of five 18-tonne LF 260s and one 26-tonne CF 320 rear-steer. All are fitted with reinforced flatbed bodies from Richard Wilkinson & Sons.

The programme began after the Yorkshire-based company carried out a fleet whole-life evaluation process, which revealed that the DAFs were more cost-effective than its current fleet of MANs.

K Steels MD, Richard Howarth, said that efficiency had been hard to assess, but after monitoring mpg figures of a DAF rigid bought in 2017, against those of a 2015 MAN rigid, the DAF came up trumps despite completing more arduous operations.

“The DAF covers a more local area, with a higher number of drops and a greater level of stop-start type journeys, with fewer long runs,” explained Howarth. “We monitored the mpg of each over a six-month period, and despite the shorter journeys of the DAF, there was some improvement over the MAN’s figures.”  

Its new trucks have also given a 3% to 5% reduction in fuel consumption across the company’s fleet, and they were cheaper at the point of purchase than the equivalent MANs, too. K Steels is taking delivery of two more DAFs early next year, and has ambitions to replace the rest of them with the marque by 2022.

All the new units were supplied by Lancashire DAF, and operate out of the company’s bases in Rossendale, Lancashire and Huddersfield, distributing flat steel products, box-sections and beams.

Outsourcing HGV maintenance is industry’s top choice, according to latest parts and repair survey

parts-repair-and-maintenance

Outsourcing of vehicle repairs is now industry’s preferred choice when it comes to maintaining their HGVs, according to the latest CM Special survey produced in collaboration with Motor Transport.

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of operators surveyed chose to send vehicles off-site for repair, with one-third of those picking main dealerships as their preferred option.

The research also highlighted that larger operators would be more likely to opt for a main dealership, while smaller businesses would be more likely to pick a third-party maintenance firm.

There is a big variation in the way operators choose to pay for outsourced R&M. More than half (54%) prefer a price-per-truck based contract. The next most popular method is a price-per-month (34%). Only 7% prefer a price-per-km based contract.

Larger fleets tended to prefer a price-per-month model, while smaller fleets tended to prefer a price per truck.

Not surprisingly, the reasons operators made their choices were varied, but one factor stands out – the ability to budget with a fixed-cost solution.

Other factors commonly cited included keeping costs consistent over a fixed term and the fact that there is a clear cost structure.