Exemplifying Renault Trucks’ advertising campaign, ‘Rethink what you think you know’, Ipswich-based Freightline Europe UK has transformed its perception of the brand and introduced the first Renault Range Ts into the fleet for its UK refrigerated transport drops.
Freightline Europe UK’s Director Robert Keus explains his recent conversion to Renault Trucks: “I wasn’t a fan initially, but then, by chance, I put a second-hand Renault Premium into the operation and that changed everything. Working day and night with numerous drivers, it did us proud, clocking up over 300,000km in 18 months and giving us a very reliable workhorse. Nothing major went wrong and it only ever had a few tiny repairs so, on the strength of this positive experience, I looked at Renault Trucks in a totally different light. I was really impressed by the new Range Ts – they are much improved and definitely good-looking trucks.”
The four Range T480 6×2 tractor units are fitted with eye-catching light bars, spot lights and colour coded light blue bumper, steps, grab handle and visor.
As Robert says, head-turning vehicles that perform to the highest level were a prerequisite for Freightline Europe UK: “It was pointless getting Renault Trucks on the fleet if the drivers don’t like them, so I got a demo vehicle for our ‘hardest to please’ guys to try for themselves. And they did like it. One of the drivers who is used to driving DAF, Mercs and Volvos even said, ‘I’d love to fault it, but I can’t!’”
The all-steel, cab even comes with a special cataphoretic paint treatment as it offers outstanding corrosion protection.
“I even invested extra on the paintwork as I felt money spent on keeping our drivers happy was money well spent,” he adds.
Delivering to fruit and vegetable suppliers up to the M62 and down to Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury areas, the Range T’s, with their three-step entry was just what Robert was looking for.
As he says: “One clear advantage of the Range T is the size of the cab which is ideal for the type of work we do in the UK. Our drivers are typically doing multi drops with 4 or 5 stops at different markets, each with 15 or 16 market stands. Unlike some of the competitor vehicles, the Range T cab is not too high up or too big, so it’s easier for our drivers to jump in and out.”
In a first for Freightline Europe UK, the Range Ts are all on full BRS contract hire, with full Renault Trucks repair and maintenance, including Road Fund Licence.
“We usually buy our trucks, so this was the first time we’ve used contract hire,” explains Robert. “But the deal on the table was substantially more attractive when you look at the costs over 3 years. Plus Mark and the team at BRS have been as good as gold, very responsive and I have no complaints whatsoever.”
Maintenance is through Norfolk Truck and Van in Ipswich, who are based on the same site as Freightline Europe UK.
“Together with the impressive vehicle, overall package and the dealer on our doorstep, it made perfect sense to choose Renault Trucks for our latest additions. As we’ve all been so impressed with Renault Trucks, I am also looking at the new Range T High for the future for some of our different work,” concludes Robert.