Acumen to expand longer semi trailer fleet to 18 vehicles 17 December 2013

Acumen Distribution has taken advantage of the DfT's (Department for Transport) new permit availability to expand its fleet of longer semi-trailers (LSTs) from an initial four eventually to 18 units, which will make it one of largest users of LSTs in the UK.

The company obtained its additional licenses through two sources. Following the changes, Acumen obtained a further eight licenses from the DfT, while the RHA (Road Haulage Association) put the company in touch with another operator that had two licenses to spare.

"For our customers with high load volumes, such as automotive parts, there is a strong argument for the use of LSTs as they offer approximately15% extra load capacity," states Chris Doughty, managing director of Acumen Distribution.

"It means we can reduce road miles and therefore carbon emissions, improve fuel consumption and make fewer deliveries," he adds.

Looking at the detail, Doughty explains that Acumen's original four LSTs are all Cartwrights fitted with Tridec rear-steer bogies. All were built to the EN XL standard with additional Omega flooring, flush doors, front and rear roof aerodynamics and Cartwright's Cheetah side skirts.

"The curtains are from Leech with additional wear bands top and bottom, [and] we have stipulated Goodyear tyres, with the breakdown back up through Truckforce," he says.

And he adds: "Maintenance is carried out by ourselves through our own network of vendors, with breakdown back up by Fleet support."

As for the new LSTs, Acumen has already ordered another two LST's – both 15.65m long and with SDC as the supplier. "They're the same specification, but with more enhanced wear bands top and bottom. Delivery is expected 1st week in Jan 2014," says Doughty.

"We were issued with another 12 licences, which we intend to take up in the early part of 2014," he adds.

Doughty reckons Acumen now runs nine fewer trips per week for Johnson Controls – one of its major Tier One automotive suppliers – on a regular Midlands to the North East round trip, he explains.

This equates to 189,000 road miles per annum – reducing fuel consumption and traffic congestion while improving operational efficiency and the firm's green credentials.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
DAF Trucks Ltd
Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Ltd
SDC Trailers Ltd
The Cartwright Group
Tridec BV
WJ Leech & Sons Ltd

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