DAF takes centre stage at entertainment industry haulier04 July 2019

Fly By Nite, international haulier for the entertainment and events industry, has added five more DAF XF 480 FT low-deck tractor units to its fleet, citing the marque’s reliability.

Supplied by dealer Imperial Commercials, the 4x2 trucks are all fleet additions, joining 160 tractors and rigids, of which more than 75% are now DAF. They are based at Fly By Nite’s operations centre in Redditch, which is also home to a fleet of 150 flat-floor Megacube box and curtainside trailers.

Richard Brown, the operator’s transport manager, says: “This business is all about reliability. We can’t phone up a major star’s production manager and say, ‘We’re terribly sorry, we’re running a day or two late’. It’s a business where failure simply isn’t an option.”

The Super Space cabs are a hit with drivers, says Brown: “They can be gone for weeks at a time, so we give them the best cabs and all the best in-cab equipment we can.”

Safety features include forward and nearside cameras, as well as audible turning warnings.

The vehicles are specified with manual gearboxes, to cope with conditions on festival sites. “We’ve run very successfully like this for years, though we are experimenting with a couple of 530 DAF XFs on hire, and the drivers are very happy with latest TraXon automated box in those, so we might just change our minds going forward. We’ll see,” says Brown.

Routine servicing, maintenance and repair is carried out in-house at the operator’s Redditch site, which has workshops and a body shop.

The trucks rarely clock up high mileages, so most are in service for eight years before being sold on. “We even have a couple of ‘09 plate DAFs still going strong,” says Brown.

“We trust them to perform, so we’ll undoubtedly hang on to them until next year now. Our reputation across the industry means the business keeps expanding, so despite these new trucks coming on to swell the fleet, we want to be sure we have all the trucks we are likely to need.”

Laura Cork

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