Press release

It's Access All Areas for Smiths Bletchington's First Renault Trucks Tridem

It's Access All Areas for Smiths Bletchington's First Renault Trucks Tridem
Oxfordshire's leading supplier and producer of aggregates, Smiths Bletchington, has added the first Tridem to its fleet, a Renault Trucks C440 P8x4*4 Tridem Off Road. Quoting the Tridem’s ability to offer exceptional flexibility to the company’s operations, the vehicle was also selected for the overall performance offered by Renault Trucks.

Also joining the new Tridem are two new C440 P8x4 Off Road tippers, emphasising Smith Bletchington’s commitment to enhancing its fleet capabilities and meeting evolving customer needs.  

Purchased from Sparks Commercial Services, the new Renault trucks join the 38-strong tipper fleet and mark a significant milestone in Smiths Bletchington’s vehicle replacement programme. With all vehicles in the fleet now Euro 6 compliant, the move enhances the company’s operational efficiency whilst aligning with its sustainability goals.  

The Tridem, equipped with a lifting and steering rear axle, will operate from Smiths Bletchington’s Head Office in Oxford, delivering to customers with tight access locations, while the C440s will be stationed at the company’s Ardley Dewars Farm quarry. The new vehicles will all play a crucial role in transporting a variety of aggregates including stone, limestone, sand and gravel throughout Oxfordshire and the surrounding home counties.  

Paul Needle, Fleet Manager at Smiths Bletchington, highlighted the significance of prioritising vehicle longevity and fuel efficiency in their selection process, stating: “We keep our vehicles for a long time, typically 8-10 years, and we do a lot of research to ensure optimal suitability for our operational needs. We also undertake most of our own maintenance and residual value takes a back seat in our considerations. Our evaluation revolves mainly around capital outlay versus running costs, factoring in mpg and overall performance on an annual basis. Our 2019 Renault trucks are achieving 8-8.5mpg and we are anticipating reaching 9mpg with the latest vehicles, demonstrating a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. This, combined with Renault trucks being competitively priced, made them first choice for our latest fleet additions.” 

The new C440 tippers are all equipped with a Charlton Superlite aggregate body featuring automatic tailgate and equipped with a Dawbarn Wraptor sheeting system designed to keep the materials safe and dry from the elements. Powered by a 13-litre engine, delivering a maximum torque of 2200 Nm from 925 rpm to 1400 rpm, the new vehicles are coupled to Renault Trucks’ revered 12-speed Optidriver ATO 2612 gearbox with automatic clutch. For driver comfort, the vehicles’ day cabs have been enhanced with adjustable, heated and ventilated “luxury” driver’s seat, air conditioning, leather steering wheel with cruise and telephone control, multi-compartment storage and electric windscreen sun blinds. 

As a FORS silver accredited operator, Smiths Bletchington has opted for an aftermarket-fitted, Brigade Back Eye camera system that welds 4 different camera images into one drone-like image, providing the driver with full visibility around the perimeter of the vehicle. 

The C440 8x4*4 Tridem Off Road is one of the most manoeuvrable vehicles on the market. Paul explains why it can be used on client jobs where access is difficult. “We have a wide selection of tippers that are used for different clients, but the 4-wheeler is limited to carrying 10-tonnes, sometimes the 8-wheelers won’t fit, and the 6-wheeler “might”.  We weighed the Tridem this morning and give or take a few kilos it’s got the same carrying capacity as the 8x4s. The tridem configuration offers our fleet real flexibility as it provides the manoeuvrability of a 6-wheeler combined with a load capacity that is closer to that of the 8- wheeler, which helps with the profitability of our business.” 

Paul added: “We deliver to some weird and wonderful places where the Tridem comes into its own as it gives us better manoeuvrability and allows us to confidently access narrow roads and entrances without compromising on payload, and where a traditional 8-wheeler with its conventional length wheelbase can struggle. The “off road” versions of the vehicles allow us to cope with different types of challenging terrain including landfill tips and farms in remote locations. The addition of all the new Renault trucks is an exciting step in our company’s development.” 

The new vehicles have been secured on a 2-year R&M contract with work carried out at Sparks Commercial Services in Swindon.

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