LTS Distribution has put two of the first new DAF XF tractors on the road with its Birmingham based operation. Launched in the UK at the CV Show in April, the two XF530 FTG tractors are also about to be joined by three 7.5t and an 18t, all from the same manufacturer, as the 50-strong fleet expands to meet business demands from the operator’s growing customer base.
Dave Hands, managing director of LTS, said, “We are growing steadily as a business, in all areas; our recent international services and even our well-established pallet services through TPN have shown significant growth , as a result we need to be growing the fleet and keeping it as modern as we can to keep ahead of demand. These new DAFs add to our overall fleet numbers but also replace a couple of older trucks. DAF is becoming an increasingly important part of the fleet. We have some earlier XF510 models on the road and are keen to monitor the new model, with its 530bhp engine, to see if it is as economical as the 510s.”
The LTS Distribution operation was started in 1999 by Les Nunn, an old friend of Dave Hands who joined him in the business some five years ago, and he still takes a great interest in vehicle acquisitions. “Les is still very passionate about trucks,” says Dave Hands, “and always wants the best for our drivers. I agree with that, and we always try to get the best cabs we can, with decent engine power – and the 530 certainly offers that, we want our drivers to know they are important to us and that we look after their needs. Alongside that, we look at other key factors. We want trucks that perform well and are reliable, economical – then, if we are buying outright, give decent residual value. At the moment, however we ad those up and whatever we compare against, right now they are adding up to DAF.”
The latest DAF XF additions both have forward-facing cameras and near-side sensors, and are on three-year Contract Hire through Thomas’s Group in Birmingham, with full R&M, tyres, licences, and replacement vehicles to cover servicing and inspections. LTS Distribution is an RHA member and FORS Bronze accredited, and Dave Hands says, “We always look for safety enhancements wherever we can. In the same way, we look at the impact of our fleet in environmental terms which is another good reason for keeping the average age around 2-3 years and taking the latest technology such as these DAF XFs.”
The company has focussed on growth since the arrival five years ago of Dave Hands. In recent times, it has successfully launched an ambitious international side to its business, adding worldwide shipping imports, exports and cross-trade movements (FCL/LCL) as well air imports and exports. It’s an activity that is driving part of the LTS growth, alongside its booming 3PL and pallet activities. “We wanted to grow,” concludes Dave Hands, “and we knew we had the team in place to allow us to do it. You can’t rest on your laurels in any business, and in transport that is especially true. So it didn’t matter how good we had been to date, we needed to challenge ourselves and grow as a result. And we are doing just that.”
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