A farmer-owned creamery has invested £600,000 updating its transport fleet with four new state of the art trucks which are also kinder to the environment.
The DAF trucks will help South Caernarfon Creameries reduce their carbon footprint because they have lower carbon emissions and increased maneuverability on rural roads.
They have replaced older models in the company’s 13 vehicle fleet which operates on seven days a week, 52 weeks a year schedule.
They are helping the cooperative maintain its extensive milk collections during the Coronavirus pandemic to keep local shops and supermarkets stocked up and feed the nation
The 32-ton eight wheelers are fitted with tanks supplied by Sayers with reload trailers by Crossland tankers, enabling each to carry more than 19,000 litres of milk daily from the top cooperative’s 135 independent member farms stretching across North and Mid Wales.
Transport manager Dylan Owen said: “They couldn’t have come in at a better time – at the height of our year when our famers’ cows are out to grass and milk production levels are at their highest.”
With the SCC milk collection run covering an average 60,000 miles a year – a thousand miles a week – Dylan said they chose DAF because they are reliable, strong and robust.
He said: “We’ve partnered with DAF previously and always been impressed but they’ve undergone a design transformation in recent years. One of the big attractions to us of these latest DAF CF 450 models was their exceptional maneuverability.
“That’s hugely important to an operation like ours when you think of the type of roads our drivers travel on. You’re talking narrow rural lanes, rough terrain and compact muddy farmyards. We need vehicles which can negotiate these specialised conditions and the DAFs provide what we want.
“The carbon emissions of the new DAF trucks definitely guarantee lower carbon emissions, seven per cent less than the older models because they have the very latest engines which adhere to the stringent, highest standard, government backed Euro 6 engines emissions guidelines.
“They are also fitted with Adblue systems, which involve spraying emissions with a liquid solution of which transforms nitrogen oxides emissions into harmless substances.
The new trucks comprise three DAF CF 450 8×2 rigids and a CF 480 6×2 tractor-trailer unit.
They feature DAF’s industry acclaimed FAX axle configuration which provides the capability for a 10 per cent smaller turning circle than a conventional 8×4 double-drive chassis. On turning, the ingenious device reduces the chassis kerb to kerb distance by two metres.
Dylan said: “It means easier, smoother maneuvering in small spaces and the positively steered rear axle also reduces risk of damage to farmyard surfaces which is a plus point for our drivers and our farmer members. The drivers have already commented on what a big improvement they are.”
The investment continues a decade of expansion and improvements for South Caernarfon Creameries, which is Wales’s oldest dairy farming co-operative, having been based on the Llyn Peninsula in Chwilog near Pwllheli since 1938.
Last year saw it achieve a record £52.9m in sales for its range of award-winning dairy products, while total sales have increased by 60 per cent over two years. The sales growth follows a £13.5m investment updating and expanding production and packaging facilities.
The dairy produces 14,000 tons of cheese yearly using 100 per cent Welsh milk. With most of SCC’s 160-strong workforce living within 20 miles of the plant, it has continued to produce its Welsh cheeses and butter, including its distinctive Dragon brand, throughout the three-month lockdown.
It delivers to most UK supermarkets and has been determined to keep the nation’s milk and dairy supplies going at full pace throughout the pandemic.
Dylan said: “We are a key operator in the food sector and for everyone’s sakes we pulled out all the stops to keep the supply chain running normally. Our farmers’ cows cannot stop being milked because there is a pandemic on and we need to get those milk supplies to the point of retail as much as ever.
“There have been some hurdles to overcome to ensure safe social distancing, but we have managed to negotiate those and run pretty much as normal. We’re very proud of all our staff, including our tanker drivers for stepping up to the plate to get us through these extraordinary times.”
He said demand for dairy products has been high during the pandemic, and also because demand during summer tends to naturally go up. It has put the co-operative’s distribution network under greater pressure but the DAFs have coped admirably.
The gleaming trucks – also known in the industry for the outstanding comfort of their driver cabs – were bought through North Wales DAF dealer MOTUS Commercials in Wrexham.
Dylan said: “They have a terrific after sales service. We have our own depot here at the SCC site with a team of able mechanics to undertake general maintenance and repairs, but if unforeseen problems arise it’s good to know we can always turn to the guys at MOTUS or Holyhead Trucks to help us resolve any issues, engineering or otherwise.”