TNT runs most of its DAF tractors on overnight trunking between hubs, averaging 160,000km a year; its 7.5 tonne delivery vehicles averages 30,000km per year.
“We’re aiming for 50 to 60 drops from each [local delivery] vehicle every working day,” explains TNT UK national engineering manager Steve Davis.
“That makes for a very demanding low mileage, high intensity operating profile, and that means we need trucks that can be relied on to perform day in, day out.”
As for why 7.5 tonners, given the fast disappearing ‘grandfather rights’, Davis says: “The loss of grandfather driving rights has been significant, but only up to a point.
“Yes, it has focussed us all on the optimum vehicle weights for the more recently qualified drivers coming through, but there is another issue.
“There are still a huge number of weight and access restrictions around the UK above 7.5 tonne, so my personal view is that 7.5 tonne vehicle operations still have a good future.”
Commenting on the choice of DAF trucks, however, Davis says: “There are always a number of reasons why we select any vehicles, and typically these will include their day-to-day and overall operational performance levels, fuel consumption, reliability and driver acceptance.
“With DAF, though, a further factor is added on top of all those considerations, which is that the trucks are simply a very good fit for our duty cycles.”
TNT manages the bulk of its service, maintenance and repair in-house, through its own on-site workshops. However, Davis says that local DAF branch support is still valued for warranty work and prompt parts support.