After a recent acquisition, independent distributor Greencroft Milk Supplies is relying on a new fleet of compact, 3.5-tonne FUSO Canters to spearhead its drive for growth beyond its North East heartland.
The Middlesbrough-based company, which delivers 370,000 litres of milk each week to wholesale and domestic customers in its home town as well as in other regional centres such as Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, Scarborough and Whitby, has been active in Cumbria after its recent acquisition of North Lakes Foods, of Penrith. It is now looking to expand its business in the county.
A proper little truck
Prior to its adoption of 26 FUSO Canter 3C13s with Comfort day cabs, Greencroft Milk Supplies was running a fleet of vehicles by another Japanese manufacturer. Greencroft decided to look around for an alternative option after the previous manufacturer announced it would not be building a Euro VI version of the model that Greencroft had been using.
“We quickly settled on the Canter,” recalled Greencroft Managing Director Mick Doyle. “It’s a proper little truck and definitely more substantial than the vehicles we were using previously. Yet it’s also compact and manoeuvrable enough for operation on residential estates, where our milkmen make many of their deliveries.”
Mick and Greencroft also favoured the Canter because of its links to the Mercedes-Benz marque. “This gave us the confidence to place our first order with (Dealer) Bell Truck and Van, and we haven’t looked back since.”
> Get the full picture: download a Canter 3.5t brochure.
Designed for delivery
Greencroft Milk Supplies’ new Canters are powered by fuel-efficient, 96 kW (130 hp) 3.0-litre engines which develop an impressive 300 Nm of torque at low revs. They are also equipped with the Idle Start/Stop function and an engine brake as standard in addition to a Dashboard-mounted gearstick for easy cross-cab access and a class-leading safety package.
"It's a proper little truck..."
Roughly half of its Canters have 3400 mm wheelbases and platform bodies onto which are fitted single-temperature refrigerated box bodies built by the operator itself. These vehicles, which have roller shutter doors on both sides, are used to deliver milk and other dairy products to convenience stores, bakeries, caterers, nursing homes and the like.
The remaining Canters have short, 2500 mm wheelbases and RTB dropside bodies and are rented by the operator to franchised, self-employed milkmen who make doorstep deliveries.
As the company continues to expand, Mick and Greencroft Milk Supplies know they can rely on their Canters to deliver. “We’re very happy with the product, which is well liked by our drivers and milkmen, and has proved every bit as reliable as we’d hoped,” said Mick.