- First ever DAF 8x4s for busy Widnes-based excavations and recycling operator
- Low kerb weight allows heavy-duty bodies without loss of payload
- Low fuel consumption astonishes operator and drivers
- Drivers enjoy cab comfort and ‘improved performance’
Bulk-excavations contractor and specialist recycling company, Grundy & Co Excavations Ltd., has taken delivery of its first DAF 8x4 tippers. The CF 450 ‘FAD’ eight-wheelers join the operator’s mixed heavy-duty tipper fleet runing out of Widnes alongside the firm’s own washing and recycling plant. Grundy also has a Transfer Station, Skip Hire operation, Waste Disposal facilities and a Landfill site.
The decision to take the DAF 8x4 chassis for the first time was the result of a demonstration vehicle provided by local DAF Dealer, North West Trucks. The firm’s owner, Kevin Grundy, said, “We’ve never had a DAF 8x4 before, but it’s fair to say we were very, very impressed. Impressed enough to order two of them, and we certainly haven’t been disappointed – far from it!”
One of the key factors in choosing the DAFs over simply adding more of the other marques in the fleet was the low weight of the chassis. This allowed Grundy to specify a heavy-duty steel body from Marshalls Truck Bodies without any loss of payload. This in itself made the choice of DAF a sound one as far as the operator is concerned, but fuel performance proved to be the icing on the cake. “We’re all finding it hard to believe,” says a clearly impressed Kevin Grundy. “Even the drivers are talking about it. We have never had heavy tippers that didn’t need refuelling for two and a half days like these two. We keep a very close eye on fuel,” he said, “and rely on our own exact figures, and when you know you’re getting around 11mpg on motorway stretches from vehicles doing this type of work, and they’re still bedding-in, you know you’re on a winner. We’re very happy!”
The drivers of the two new trucks, along with their less frequent refuelling needs, are also delighted with the cab comfort and overall performance. Says Kevin Grundy, “You don’t need me to tell you that this is tough work – both for drivers and trucks. The two drivers on these DAFs had both had similar trucks, but previous DAF models in their work before they joined us, and they can’t believe the massive improvement in overall performance and cab comfort. It makes a big difference to a driver to have a truck that really can do the job without strain, because that allows them to focus on the rest of their work – driving safely, meeting schedules and getting the best performance out of the vehicle.”
Grundy Excavations bought the two DAFs with their standard two-year Warranty, but no R&M packages. The operator has its our own workshops and fitters that undertake all routine servicing, maintenance and repairs, and relies on North West Trucks for Warranty work and speedy parts supply.
Though the first 8x4 DAFs in the business, the operator has run a good part of its Skip Hire fleet using the market-leader’s 18-tonne LF trucks. “They’re a very different animal to the 8x4,” says Kevin Grundy, “but we knew they had been doing a great job on the skip fleet. The decision to take the 8x4s though was all based on the demonstrator we trialled. We didn’t even ask other operators about their DAF experiences. I’ve been in business long enough to know that you have to make your own decisions and learn to live with them. Fortunately, we’re living very happily with this decision.”