Ryder has supplied 12 new Mercedes-Benz Actros 1843 4x2 tractor units to bed manufacturer, and long-standing customer, Relyon, under a five-year contract hire deal.
The new units - specified with 2.5m-wide StreamSpace sleeper cabs - are fleet replacements, and will be used to deliver Relyon’s mattresses, divans, and headboards across the country.
Laurie Farley, logistics manager at Relyon, says: "We deliver to two types of customers - the big high street retailers, delivering direct to their distribution centres, and then the small independents, where we deliver direct to stores."
On average, Farley says the total fleet clocks up around 2.5 million kilometres a year, so fuel efficiency was a key priority when selecting the new vehicles.
"We ran some trials and the Actros performed better on fuel consumption than the other two manufacturers we tested - by almost two more miles to the gallon," said Farley.
The bed manufacturer has been a contract hire customer of Ryder since 1971.
Asked why Relyon has remained loyal to Ryder for its contract hire needs, Farley said: "Ryder is competitively priced and we have an excellent working relationship with our Ryder account manager, David Bunniss.
"We also have the added bonus of our own on-site garage being operated by Ryder. It only services Relyon vehicles: the benefit of having all our vehicle maintenance needs handled on-site, by our leasing provider, is second to none. It reduces vehicle down-time and saves fuel by not having to drive vehicles to an off-site garage.”
With its fleet trunking up and down the country, Relyon has kitted out the new sleeper cabs with bespoke Relyon-made mattresses to provide its drivers with a more comfortable night’s sleep.
"Usually truck cabs come with about two inches of foam, but we like to look after our drivers and provide our top-end mattresses made from hand-teased lambs wool," Farley added. "We just make them a little smaller so that they fit the sleeper cabs."
It’s clearly a winning touch as Farley reports that driver retention is high at Relyon, with a number of drivers clocking up more than 30 years’ service.