USED VOLVO TRUCKS KEEP THE MILK MOVING FOR ULPHA DAIRY TRANSPORT
Operating from two depots - one in Cabus near Preston and another in Stranraer in SW Scotland, Ulpha Dairy Transport has a mixed fleet of 40 vehicles engaged in both farm collections and longer distance milk movements to Northern England’s large dairies.
It is this latter job where it principally uses Volvo trucks, which make up approximately half of the total and currently range in age from four to six years old.
“We buy used and there's no maximum age at which we take them off the road,” reports operations manager Alan Laverie. “The majority were bought through Volvo Truck & Bus Centre North & Scotland at Carlisle, as that's the depot nearest to where our Managing Director, Paul Coates, is based.”
“To be perfectly honest, Volvo is simply the better truck for our trunking work,” Alan continues. “We do have a few on farm collections, but it is on the longer runs where the majority work and there are two main reasons for this; driver comfort and fuel economy.”
“Some of the guys have to stay out every now and again and for that the Volvos are a better truck all round,” Alan explains. “I was a driver myself for many years, so I've been there and done that work in all makes of truck, but we've always pulled towards Volvos for nights out. The tractor units we have now are all FH13s with the Version 4 cab, two of which are 500hp and the rest 460hp versions.”
All the maintenance on vehicles based at the Cabus depot is done by Thomas Hardie Commercials at Preston whilst a local independent supplier, Hamilton Motor Engineering, looks after the vehicles kept at Stranraer.
The latter business enjoys the support of both the Carlisle and Ayr depots of Volvo Truck & Bus Centre North & Scotland for parts service.
“We have a good relationship with everybody in Carlisle and Ayr and getting parts is never a hassle,” Alan declares. “Even though we're in quite a remote part of Scotland, it's easy because we have trucks passing both dealerpoints every day for component collections.”
“Even if they don't have the parts there we can always get them the next day. They're very reliable that way,” he adds, “but then, so are the trucks !”