RG Bassett & Sons has added a pair of Iveco Stralis Hi-Way tractor units to its fleet, marking the first new trucks to enter service with its striking new livery concept. This retains the “Proud to be a British Haulier” slogan on both sides of the cab, introduced more than a decade ago.
The delivery of the Stralis Hi-Way AS440S46TX/P tractor units follows less than two years after the company purchased an EcoStralis – a vehicle which has consistently delivered an 8.75mpg fuel economy, well above the fleet’s average.
Joint Managing Director Ashley Bassett says: “With the launch of the new Stralis Hi-Way Iveco has refined the cab further and given the truck a whole new dimension. In my opinion it’s lifted the status of Iveco and the strong and efficient driveline is now matched with a very driver-friendly package.”
Bassett plans to run the new Ivecos until at least 2019, with a guaranteed manufacturer-backed residual value after five years in service – and an Iveco Elements repair & maintenance policy in place via supplying dealer Sherwood Truck & Van.
“It’s a new concept for us as we’d previously run vehicles for longer,” explains Bassett, “but we’re mindful that the typical industry ownership model is changing, and it’s becoming potentially more efficient and cost-effective for us to run a truck for five years and then sell it on for a second life.
“It’s forced a re-think in our livery, resulting in these being the first brand new trucks we’ve ever ordered in white and then had wrapped in vinyl. We’ve previously always had our trucks sprayed, but the residual value on a white truck will be that much better at five years,” he explains.
The nature of RG Bassett’s work means the Stralis Hi-Ways will operate primarily with curtainside trailers, carrying lighter weight loads on outbound journeys, and heavier goods on the return. It is here where the innovative EcoSwitch device in the original EcoStralis has proven so beneficial, using the vehicle weight information from the ECAS / EBS to limit engine torque according to the gross vehicle weight. This ensures overall performance is maintained in line with that of a fully laden vehicle, even when running light or empty, helping to return such competitive fuel economy.
The EcoSwitch is retained in these new generation Stralis Hi-Ways, which closely follow the EcoStralis specification and use the same version of the EEV-rated 460hp FPT Cursor 10 engine to deliver optimum fuel consumption. Also retained is the higher gearing for the EuroTronic transmission, which incorporates a special ECOfleet mode to automatically adjust to the loading of the tractor unit to help fine-tune fuel economy.
Both new vehicles benefit from a comprehensive specification to ensure maximum driver comfort on-board. This includes full upper and lower ‘comfort’ bunks, air-suspended passenger seat with swivel function, drivers arm rest, door roller blinds, slide-out refrigerator with freezer. The trucks have also been supplied with air horns, daytime running lights and a roof-mounted beacon bar, for maximum visibility. A factory-fitted touch-screen display mounted on the dashboard also incorporates truck-specific European satellite navigation.
Stoke-on-Trent-based RG Bassett & Sons is one of the country’s longest established hauliers, having enjoyed a five-generation family heritage in road transport dating back to 1897. Today it operates a fleet of approximately 50 commercial vehicles, which also includes a pair of Iveco Stralis rigids and two Daily light commercials.