Dolphin Transport has added three new DAF CF 310 FA 18-tonne rigids to its fleet in Nottingham, making it an all-DAF operation.
The trucks were all delivered ready-bodied, through the DAF factory-build programme, with eight-metre curtain-side bodies and Tuckaway tail-lifts.
Jeff McGhee, who founded the business 14 years ago, said: " saved us a good 8-10 weeks compared to having to take delivery of chassis cabs and then getting them bodied locally – and, because it is a sort of ‘one-stop-shop’ procedure, the overall DAF package also saved us some decent money.”
Dolphin Transport operates 7.5-and 18-tonne rigids across the UK, specialising in bespoke work for customers with high quality or high value goods, including shop-fittings, designer wear, electronics and glassware.
Every vehicle operated by the company is now a DAF, and McGhee has the majority fitted with sleeper cabs.
The latest 18-tonne additions also benefit from lane departure warning system and advanced emergency braking technology.
For the future, McGhee expects no immediate changes to the way Dolphin Transport operates.
He sees 7.5-tonne vehicles as coming under some threat perhaps, arguing that the advent of Euro 6 the average 7.5-tonne truck now makes them some 300kgs heavier.
McGhee feared payload was becoming an issue: a few years ago Dolphin was getting around 2.7-tonnes, with the latest sleeper cab trucks and Euro 6 increases that has dropped far closer to two tonnes.
Asked if he would consider moving up to 10- or 12-tonne trucks to ease the problem, he expressed real doubts that it would be possible to get the rates required to make economic sense of the move right now.
"Never say ‘never’ though because the industry is changing every day," added McGhee. "Fuel prices are unlikely to stay this low for ever, and there’s not an operator in the business who can afford to shut their eyes to any possible changes in the future.”