The waste and recycling operation of the diverse Martin Group of Companies, based near Alfreton, Derbyshire, has taken one DAF CF 460 FAT six-wheel draw bar units and two CF 460 FAD eight-wheel hook-loader as completion of its 15-strong order for DAF trucks in 2017. The vehicles are partly for fleet replacement, but overall the HW Martin Waste fleet has grown by some 35% this year.
Speaking about the acquisitions, Geoff Kearsley, operations manager of the group’s vehicle and plant maintenance division, HW Martin (Plant) Ltd, which specifies, acquires and maintains the group fleet, said: “We have a very diverse fleet of over 300 vehicles, from vans to 44t tractor units. It means we have run a wide range of marques over the years, but I don’t think we have ever had a more successful fleet introduction of a new vehicle in terms of reliability and driveability than these new CF DAFs with their Harsh hook-lift equipment in all the years I have been here.”
HW Martin Waste Ltd handles and markets thousands of tonnes of recyclable materials every year. The company has long-term contracts with local authorities across the country, which include the management and operation of household waste recycling centres and the processing of mixed recyclable materials from street collections. Private sector contracts are also delivered through its subsidiary Premier Waste Recycling Ltd.
HW Martin Waste Ltd’s bulk haulage operations use articulated, draw-bar and hook-lift vehicles to meet the company’s varied requirements, and it is in this demanding sector the new DAFs and the earlier arrivals will work. The three new trucks are all Euro-6 460 models. Geoff Kearsley says they are ‘comfortable and quiet’, which he sees as important in terms of driver acceptance. “Driver behaviour is key to the success of your operations,” he adds, continuing, “We are very focused on road safety and compliance and these are all inter-linked.” Important as this is, he also takes a very keen interest in the other side of the
equation, overall operating costs. Happy drivers always contribute to fleet economy, but Geoff Kearsley confirms, “Behind all those concerns, you have to have two other elements – economy and reliability – and over the years our DAFs have delivered both. The latest Euro-6 trucks are already even more economical than the Euro-5 models, and have settled in with very few teething problems, so these factors have been a real bonus in terms of operating costs.”
The Martin Group, which has remained a privately-owned business since its start in 1976, has a consistent policy when it comes to vehicle acquisition. Geoff Kearsley explains, “We always buy our trucks and when we want to replace them we sell them, rather than get hung up in part-exchange negotiations. With our comprehensive HW Martin (Plant) Ltd maintenance records for each vehicle it enables us to achieve good residuals.”