Charles Saunders moves on up to 11 tonne with Isuzu

To meet the challenge of its changing distribution patterns, whilst also increasing journey time productivity, South West company Charles Saunders Food Service Ltd recently made the switch from 7.5 tonne to 11 tonne delivery vehicles, with the addition of ten new Isuzu Forward 11 tonne rigids into its 35 strong refrigerated transport fleet.

Bristol-based Charles Saunders Food Service already operates two Isuzu 7.5 tonne N 75.190 rigids in its fleet and following a detailed truck evaluation exercise at 11/12tonne once again chose the Isuzu marque for this latest fleet expansion programme.

Explaining the switch to a higher GVW with Isuzu, Colin Bardsley, operations manager at Charles Saunders Food Service Ltd said, “We have seen a year-on-year increase in our customer base and an evolving product range. The move up in weight allows us to carry more goods on each vehicle and also offer our customers a truly ‘one-stop-shop’ service. With the new Isuzus, we can supply customers with a selection of frozen, chilled and ambient products all delivered on one vehicle, whereas previously we had to use multiple vehicles for the delivery of food and non-food products.”

The Isuzu Forward F110.210 4 x2 rigids are all identical specification, featuring the Easyshift automatic transmission and fitted with Solomon multi-compartment refrigerated bodies with front side loading door access, Carrier Supra MT refrigeration systems and rear underslung Dhollandia tail lifts. The Isuzus also features automatic cab lighting and a number of road safety features including an eight side – angle camera surround system with audible beep for enhanced awareness of cyclists and a lane detection system to increase driver safety on motorways.

After deciding that 11 tonne GVW trucks were the right solution for their delivery requirements and, after trialling vehicles from all the major truck manufacturers, Charles Saunders Food Service clearly felt that Isuzu stood out as the optimum choice for this fleet expansion.

“The new Isuzu 11 tonne rigids have a payload of over 4.2 tonnes, which is ideal for our multi-drop business as it allows us to deal with both large and small customers using the same delivery vehicle,” said Colin Bardsley.

Eight of the new Isuzu 11 tonne rigids have now gone into service with Charles Saunders Food Service operating throughout the south-west of England and the final two Isuzus are scheduled to go into service in May. All ten Isuzus have been supplied by local Isuzu Truck dealer AK Commercials Ltd and are supported by a flexible seven year R&M contract with Isuzu Truck.

“We have been dealing with AK Commercials on and off for over 20 years and they are ideally located close to us and give us superb service at all times,” said Colin Bardsley, “We have been extremely pleased with the decision to go down the Isuzu path for these new vehicles. Apart from the perfect balance of payload and power, the slim design of the Isuzu 11 tonne cab is particularly useful as we operate in rural environments where vehicle access can be quite restrictive. The comfort of the Isuzu’s cab is really appreciated by our drivers as too is the efficient performance of the Euro VI engine.”

Charles Saunders Food Service Ltd employs 126 people, operating from two depots in Bristol, with customers throughout south-west, Dorset and South Wales. The company is a member of Fairway Food Service, a buying group made up of 18 independent wholesalers.

Charles Saunders 11 tonne Isuzu Trucks