Alltruck supports Wickes in road to Net Zero

Wickes and Alltruck have been working together since 2021 and the relationship continues to develop. A big part of this is the same can-do and winning spirit and very similar values of authenticity, humility and being your best. Hard work, of course, is also in the mix.

Over the past few years and ongoing, Alltruck has started supplying Wickes with:
• DAF CF 260 FA 18000kg Drop side cranes x 10
• DAF CF340 26000kg Drop side cranes x 6
• MAN 26.510 GX Cab 44T tractor units x 9
Net Zero and Project Tandem, though, has moved the relationship up a gear.

Project Tandem is part of the Wickes route to Net Zero. Alltruck was engaged to work with Wickes on reducing the carbon footprint of delivery from Northampton to Wickes Home Delivery outbases around the UK. The two businesses are very pleased to be working together on a solution to this challenge.

Project Tandem introduces a bespoke wagon and drag design into the Wickes / Wincanton operation for the first time.

The change from 16 tonne trucks to bespoke wagon and drag means two boxes can be moved in one go, taking over 1,700 journeys a year off the road and making a good saving on fuel costs and a carbon reduction of over 500 tonnes. The loading process can now be managed over 24 hours, rather than the previous eight hour period, so road journeys can be run day and night. Wickes have been working with existing night drivers to make sure that no jobs have been lost and also increasing outbase capacity as part of the strategy.

The bespoke design has a taller body and a double floor which helps to maintain capacity as coffin boxes have been removed from the lower chassis. This space is now available for batteries in the future transition to electric vehicles.

Worktop storage, previously in the coffin boxes, has been redesigned to minimise work-related injuries. It’s now incorporated in the demountable body which improves manual handling greatly by allowing the driver and porter to lift the worktop from shoulder height.

The re-design has also allowed for the AD-Blu tank and exhaust system to be placed back on the chassis where the coffin boxes were previously located allowing the body and prime mover to sit closer together reducing drag and improving fuel economy. To further protect this equipment tree guards have been fitted to the boxes to reduce the impact of branch strikes on the roofs of the bodies.

Project Tandem also has a bespoke design dolly trailer for yard operations. These are road-legal to provide contingency cover.

Project Tandem involves the supply of:
• Curtainside double deck demountable bodies x 41
• Drawbar trailer x 5
• LF230 16t Demounts with tail lift x 17
• LF320 18t Drawbar demounts with tail lift x 1
• LF320 18t Drawbar demounts without tail lift x 4
• Dolly trailers x 2

You have to get to know new vehicles and kit, of course, so we were very pleased to arrange a multi-contractor handover and familiarisation day for the team at Wickes, including everyone who will train the drivers of the new vehicles. It was good to see our partners Abel Systems, Bevans, DAF, TVG and Wincanton. Exploring new vehicles is essential, and also enjoyable!

Project Tandem is a big undertaking, involving a number of partners, and Wickes have been taking delivery of many more vehicles. Alex Hill, Wickes’ Fleet Manager for the Project, has been working with Alltruck to manage the project, making sure things are going according to plan within tough time constraints.

Mark Wheeler, Wickes’ National Transport and Compliance Manager, has been the main contact between Wickes and Alltruck since the partnership began in 2021. He looks for flexibility in a transport supplier, and wants a great backup service such as Alltrucks’ support centre for dealing with breakdowns etc. Mark finds the Alltruck team very supportive and would recommend Alltruck to others as a transport supplier. He comments:

For Wickes, having a really small team to manage a large fleet, we rely on relationships and our partners to help us meet our goals. With Alltruck we get a great relationship, service and aftercare and it’s been a pleasure to see the relationship with Alex and the Alltruck team grow to where we are currently.

As 2035 comes closer, Alltruck is committed to working with Wickes on supporting the journey to Net Zero.