North Down Grain (ND Grain) has taken delivery of six Iveco S-WAY 6×2 tractor units (AS440S48TX/FP) that aim to keep Northern Irish farmers and cows moooooving.
This is the third round of Iveco tractor units that have joined the Newtownards-based haulier on contract with Lakeland Dairies, the farmer owned co-operative that has been in operation for over 100 years.
The vehicles are already playing a vital role in collecting milk from farms across 6 counties of Northern Ireland seven days a week, 365 days a year. Each year the Iveco S-WAYs will be responsible for collecting 1.8 billion litres of milk that are then turned into a variety of dairy products at Lakeland Dairies processing plant in County Tyrone.
From there, 170 different dairy foodservice and food ingredient products are produced for export to customers in 70 countries across the globe.
The S-Way Specification
Each Iveco S-WAY has been specified with full air suspension. The driver is also able to raise the ride-height when venturing away from solid ground. Another option here are the ‘hybrid’ front bumpers. Iveco S-WAY as standard features a 3-piece unit meaning operators need only change a damaged section, minimising repair costs. The hybrid bumpers fitted include bolt-on steel lower sections for added durability and strength for environments with a high potential for low-level obstacles.
The 480hp Cursor 11 diesel engine is mated to the automated 12-speed HI-TRONIX gearbox with a steering mid-lift axle to further improve manoeuvrability when accessing the tight Northern Irish country lanes.
Each Iveco S-WAY was ordered ready with Power Take Off (PTO) facilities and have since been equipped with a Hi-Power hydraulics system for pumping. The trucks often operate at full running weight, pulling tri-axle aluminium tankers with the capacity for carrying 30,000 litres of milk. Additionally, a Brigade camera system was fitted prior to delivery to maximise safety by eliminating any blind-spots while traversing busy farmyards and dairies.
ND Grain has contracted the new Iveco S-WAYs for four years in which time they are expected to cover around 360,000 kilometres each. Supplied by NI Trucks, the vehicles will be maintained under an Iveco ON 3XL R&M package. Connected to Ivecos European control room, drivers and the traffic office are afforded clear visibility and early warning of any servicing needs. The Iveco S-WAY also features over-the-air update compatibility which serves to eliminate potential workshop visits altogether.
Dealer Service Paramount
Product reliability and solid service back-up from Belfast Iveco dealer NI Trucks has been at the heart of ND Grain’s two-decade relationship with the brand.
“We have developed a strong relationship with NI Trucks who clearly understand the service needs of an operation that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year,” explained Philip Davidson, ND Grain’s managing director.
“After road-testing the Iveco S-WAY it was an easy decision to replace our current fleet. Driver feedback has been extremely positive and the trucks haven’t missed a beat since they went into operation.
“Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the Iveco S-WAY from the comfort and practicality of the interior to the product design. The trucks have certainly turned a few heads whilst out on the road,” he added.
Commenting on the handover, NI Trucks’ Heavy Truck Business Development Manager, Rod Hawkins commented, “We have worked with ND Grain for more than a decade and have a great relationship that focuses all of our efforts on keeping the trucks on the road around the clock. There are no breaks in service when it comes to milk collection and we provide a very flexible service for inspections and servicing to ensure they can seamlessly work seven days a week.”