One of the UK’s leading transport giants, Leeds-based Clipper Logistics plc has continued its long-standing partnership with IVECO and dealer group, Northern Commercials, adding 89 new trucks to its 500-strong fleet, over 95% of which are IVECO.
26 of these are the new IVECO S-WAY (AS440S46TX/P) 6×2 tractor units with the AS sleeper cab and painted white with Clipper’s trademark bright green livery. The 11.1-litre CURSOR 11 provides 460hp and 2,150Nm of torque via the 12-speed HI-TRONIX automatic transmission.
The vehicles will run out of any of Clipper’s 16 transport operation centres nationally, mainly taking line-haul trunking responsibilities for supermarket, cosmetics and fashion retail customers. Additionally, they may be called upon for some radial store replenishment and delivery of click & collect orders.
Careful consideration goes into the specification of the vehicles, with a 7” touchscreen infotainment system with TomTom LIVE navigation plus Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibility fitted, while the Aero Plus package and connectivity features* make the most of IVECO S-WAY’s up to 12% drag coefficient reduction and up to 4% uplift in fuel economy.
“We had brilliant feedback from the demonstrators we trialled and those drivers already in the new trucks absolutely love them. They say it’s the first time that they feel a vehicle has properly been designed having taken them into account. That is key for us, in a world where there is a shortage of drivers. We need to do everything we can to look after this valuable team resource & maximise their efficiency,” commented Clipper’s Transport Operations Director, Mick Doe.
As some operations run double-manned teams through the night, the trucks have been ordered with an air suspended passenger seat, independent night heater and fridge to ensure the highest levels of on-board comfort for those working together in a single vehicle.
While the drivers don’t necessarily sleep overnight in them often, a Smart top bunk is available for additional storage while the 3-piece folding lower bunk with flip-down table is fitted, giving a dedicated seating and dining area for the driver and driver’s mate or co-driver to relax in during breaks.
As we are a major fashion logistics player, we cube out the trailers long before we run into weight limit issues, so we can afford to introduce high level of specification within the cabs to provide a great workspace for our driving teams.”
The remaining 63 vehicles are 18t (ML180E25S) Eurocargo 4×2 MLL sleeper cabs, bodied with a 28ft GRP (Glass-reinforced Plastic) box and 1.5t capacity tuck-under tail lift. These, also in white and green feature additional branding dependent on the contract for which they are used. Many of the firms Eurocargo are split between contracts with several fashion and high-value retailers as well as the public sector.
The Eurocargo has been chosen to maximise cargo space while retaining important manoeuvrability qualities for restrictive and busy urban environments. All of the latest batch of are 1-star London Direct Vision Standards (LDVS) compliant to ensure that they are all clear to enter London, with windows fitted to lower sections of the nearside doors on the production line at the Brescia factory in Italy. The vehicles which operate in and around London tend to cover less miles than those travelling around Scotland or throughout the southwest, so by ensuring a standardised specification the business is able rotate the vehicles periodically within the fleet.
Power is provided by the 250hp 6-cylinder 6.7-litre TECTOR 7 via an automated gearbox and includes IVECO’s innovative and exclusively patented HI-SCR exhaust after-treatment system. Passive and automatically managed, it eliminates the need for parts-stressing high-temperature operations and time-wasting stops.
Again, there is a focus on driver comfort with a spacious cab fitted with night heater, bunk and double passenger bench to give both drivers ample space to enjoy a rest during a long shift.
Safety is another paramount concern, with all vehicles fitted with panic alarms and sequential procedure immobilisers to protect drivers and valuable loads. Front, side, and driver-facing CCTV cameras also feature with the in-cab monitor enlarging the nearside camera view when the corresponding directional indicator is activated for maximum visibility over a common blind spot. A 4G connection allows any incidents to be reviewed from base immediately and includes time-saving tacho download functionality that safeguards compliance with licencing and working time regulations.
Believing that clear visibility of a vehicles running status and maintenance requirements is crucial to maximisation of vehicle TCO and uninterrupted onwards service where customer expectations are high, Clipper runs the vehicles on an operating lease with IVECO’s comprehensive and connected 3XL R&M for the duration of their contract. For the IVECO S-WAY, this is expected to follow the current trend for its tractors of three years, covering 170,000 miles annually while the Eurocargo tend to travel 130,000 miles a year on a five-year term.
“We have a long-term relationship with Northern Commercials, a great mutual understanding for what each other need,” adds Doe.
“What we’ve done over time is curate a standard Clipper specification for different variants. As we’ve developed our safety requirements, they’ve updated our prerequisites with the associated bodybuilders so I know that I can call Roger Peel and ask (for example) for ‘12 18-tonne Eurocargo in standard Clipper spec’ and he’ll know exactly what to order us in terms of vehicle and body. The vehicles are always maintained by an IVECO authorised repairer with Northern Commercials managing the aftersales relationships with local dealerships for each vehicle operating base”.
At present, 10% of Clipper’s existing vehicles run on alternative fuels, operating both Liquified and Compressed Natural Gas-powered IVECO Natural Power trucks. LNG Stralis NP 4x2s run certain trunking routes while a high-street fashion retailer contract utilises CNG Eurocargo Drawbar units, combined, saving around 1,500 tonnes of CO2 annually. While keen to try and reduce the number of miles covered by employing huge Don-Bur double-deck Longer-Semi trailers, the business’s ongoing fleet strategy is to clean up those they must cover by growing the number of alternative-fuelled vehicles where possible and are expecting to replace older vehicles with new IVECO S-WAY NP going forward.
“It’s fantastic to see IVECO S-WAY appealing to large fleets and ‘flagship’ owner-driver operations too. Especially gratifying is how the design and cab interior specifications can meet broadly differing demands so comprehensively,” said IVECO UK Heavy Business-line Director, Gareth Lumsdaine.
“The comments from Clipper’s drivers are testament to the efforts applied by the engineers and designers to produce a vehicle that appeals to all operators through bold styling and competitive TCO while ensuring that the driver is always the top priority. Eurocargo remains a robust choice for a huge variety of missions, and we’re proud to see the important work they do to keep the retail sector and healthcare in operation.”
For more information on the IVECO S-WAY and Eurocargo or to find your nearest IVECO dealer, visit www.iveco-dealership.co.uk
* First two years connectivity and 3XL R&M packages are included on all diesel-powered IVECO S-WAY models, or the first three for Natural Power variants