H.D. Ricketts Ltd of Sutton Coalfield, one of the largest hauliers and suppliers of sand and gravel in Midlands, has just boosted its fleet performance with the arrival of a New MAN TGS 35.420 8X4 BB.
Supplied by MAN Direct Truck Sales the new vehicle will work across the H.D. Ricketts Ltd sites moving quarried and recycled aggregates, sands and gravels, topsoils, road plainings and muck in to and from customers’ premises.
Across the region H.D. Ricketts operates a fleet of over 58 vehicles providing quarried produce to some of the UK’s biggest builders merchants. Their recently acquired 360 acre Weeford Quarry, situated on the A38 is the source of many of their quarried products, including 10 & 20mm gravel, building sand, concrete sand and mixed sands and gravels.
The new fleet addition, a MAN TGS 35.420 8X4 BB, is powered by the latest generation MAN D26 12.4 litre engine which delivers 420 hp (309 kW) and 2100 Nm. Mated to the MAN 12 speed automatic TipMatic® gearbox, featuring the MAN Offroad function and weight saving hypoid rear axles, the drivetrain offers an efficient, robust and responsive operation.
Tony Ricketts, H.D. Ricketts Director, said: “We’ve heard a lot of good things said about the latest MAN 8×4 product so to ensure that we take advantage of the efficiencies new vehicles offer we’ve added a TGS to our fleet. This is the first MAN 8×4 we’ve operated so it’s early days, but as the miles start to grow we are already seeing the efficiencies that MAN promised; it’s proving to be a good robust truck and a wise choice
Safety, a key focus area for both MAN Truck & Bus and H.D. Ricketts, is addressed in the form of MAN BrakeMatic (EBS) Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Electronic Stability Program (ESP) Lane Guard System (LGS) and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Using the compact and lightweight 2440 mm wide M cab driver comfort is assured with a high-comfort air suspended driver’s seat, the MAN Advanced Media radio with a seven-inch colour display and satellite navigation. Augmenting both comfort and safety is an intuitive multi-function steering wheel, hands-free functionality for two mobile phones and Bluetooth® connectivity.
Tony Ricketts continued, “We’ve known Tony Allenza, the MAN regional salesman, for a long time, so we feel that we have an established relationship, built on both trust and understanding. The local MAN dealership, Aquila Truck Centre Tamworth, has already demonstrated a clear awareness of our fleets demanding needs and during the six-weekly inspections they too have delivered on our expectations.”
Bodied by Thompsons of Blackburn, H.D. Ricketts’ new MAN features a UK manufactured Thompsons Steel Loadmaster Lite body. Fitted with Binotto front end tipping gear and made from tough, wear resistant Hardox 450 steel, 5 mm floor and 4 mm sides, it features an auto-lock tailgate and offers high payload potential, a rugged and modern design and low maintenance.
“We operate a one-man one-vehicle policy within the fleet as this allows the drivers to take ownership and responsibility of their vehicle and add a few personal touches,” added Tony Ricketts. “Our driver Rob Atkins, who’s been with us for five years has given us some valuable feedback which will help as we assess our needs and our fleet of the future.”
Rob Atkins H.D. Ricketts driver, commented: “This is the first MAN 8×4 I’ve driven and I must say I’m really impressed. It’s easily the most comfortable vehicle I’ve driven for a long time, all the controls are easy to reach and it’s a nice clean and bright working environment. Vision is superb, I feel safe and I can see pedestrians and third parties when driving in built up areas. I like it.”
All of the H.D. Ricketts vehicles comply with the latest FORS Silver (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) standards and their new MAN TGS is no exception. Fitted with an array of additional driver vision aids, including front facing cameras, nearside and offside cameras, rear camera, body camera, the New MAN also features a body raised warning light and alarm.
Helping to further drive down vehicle Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) the new H.D. Ricketts MAN TGS comes equipped with the revolutionary, and now standard across the MAN 8×4 range, MAN electronic steering brake. Designed to minimise and reduce the vehicle’s turning circle, reducing the amount of turning space needed, and at the same time reducing unnecessary tyre scrub, resulting in less tyre wear, the steering brake individually electronically brakes the inside rear wheels and in doing so reduces the turning circle by up to 1.4 meters.
Rob Atkins continues: “During the initial handover I was shown how to use the steering brake and I must admit the vehicle turns on a sixpence compared to other 8×4’s. It’s really simple, you just flick the button and turn and you notice that you visibly need less space for the manoeuvre; it’s so easy.”
In addition to their 58 plus vehicle fleet H.D. Ricketts operates a fully robotic and automated bagging plant in Rugeley, in Staffordshire, enabling them to deliver bagged loads, in curtainsider trailers, across the West Midlands.
H.D. Ricketts TGS 8×4, like all MAN 8×4 products since August 2018, comes equipped with MAN’s industry leading four year, 400,000 kilometre, comprehensive warranty*. MAN Financial Services provided funding for the vehicle on a Contract Hire agreement which includes a Gold R&M package and Road Fund License.
MAN 8×4 chassis, as with all MAN vehicles, are supported by a nationwide Commercial Vehicle Dealer network, with many operating extended hours, including round-the-clock servicing. The entire MAN range benefits from MAN’s Mobile24 24-hour breakdown service, which in the unlikely event of a breakdown, guarantees 24/7 emergency roadside assistance 365 days of the year.