UK first for Rory J.Holbrook with new DAF FAWs


Aggregate supply specialist Rory J.Holbrook has taken delivery of two DAF CF 410 FAWs, rendering it the first operator in the UK to adopt the manufacturer’s latest 8x4 rear-steer tridem chassis. 

The firm has four more units on order and all six are kitted out with rear-steer capability, sleeper cabs, air-suspension, lightweight highway chassis and Fruehauf’s Aggri-Roll Mk III non-tipping V body, which dispenses aggregate via a conveyor floor to distribute loads directly to the road surfacing machine.

The trucks are being supplied by Ford & Slater of Norwich and the inaugural pair has been deployed for the operator’s contract with road construction company, Kier Highways.

DAF claims the fixed V-shaped body is safter than traditional tippers when the vehicle is close to power lines, trees and other overhead road furniture, while the 16 cubic-metre hopper can allegedly pump out almost 20-tonnes of aggregate in less than two minutes.

The FAW is the latest of the manufacturer’s multi-axle models, has a 10-tonne front axle and is said to mix four-axle payload potential with 6x4 manoeuvrability.

“After my contact at Kier saw a conveyor floor on one of our trailers, he asked if the methodology would transfer onto an eight-wheel rigid,” said managing director, Rory Holbrook, “we sat down with DAF, Ford & Slater and Fruehauf and the answer was ‘yes’… Apart from the health and safety and productivity benefits, the new truck is a massive hit with the drivers – especially the [TraXon] auto-box and the high-spec CF sleeper cab.”

“The introduction of the non-tipping DAF with the conveyor floor body for our surface dressing operation has delivered a significantly safer working environment,” said Kier Highways general manager Andy Mayos, “we no longer contend with overhead cables and the associated risks of cable strikes. Also, our clients no longer need to undertake time-consuming overhead cable surveys, and there’s no requirement for us to implement ‘no tipping zones’.”

Amazon to add Merc eSprinter to UK van fleet


Home delivery giant Amazon is to add 800 electric vans from Mercedes-Benz to its UK fleet as part of a deal for more than 1,800 electric Mercedes-Benz vans across its European fleets.

More than 1,200 of the electric vans on order will be the new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, with the eVito making up the remaining vehicles. The UK allocation, however, will all be for the larger electric Sprinter van.

In addition to the large new fleet deal, Mercedes has also signed up to The Climate Pledge – an Amazon instigated initiative – where companies commit to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement goal of 2050.

Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners will use the new fleet of zero-emission vehicles to make deliveries to customers in Europe this year, cutting out a minimum of 185g/km of CO2 emitted by a combustion engine Sprinter van.

“We welcome the bold leadership demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz by signing up to The Climate Pledge and committing to ambitious action to address climate change. We need continued innovation and partnership from auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to decarbonise the transportation sector and tackle the climate crisis,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

"I am delighted that we are further intensifying our long-standing partnership with Amazon and working together on the battery-electric future of transportation," said Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “With the eVito and the eSprinter, we have electric vehicles in our portfolio, which are ideally suited for the requirements of the courier-, express- and parcel-service industry for goods delivery on the so-called ‘last mile’ in terms of their equipment and range."

As part of the green fleet investment, Amazon has also committed to powering its electric fleet with renewable engery. Its aim is to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, and has 91 renewable energy projects currently in place across the world with the capacity to generate over 2,900 MW and produce more than 7.5 million MWh of energy annually.