A market-leading payload potential meant that when Durham Render Centre decided to stand down the 7.5-tonne FUSO Canter it purchased six years ago, the firm’s owners had no difficulty in deciding on a replacement – they chose another Canter.
Like its predecessor the new truck was supplied by Bell Truck and Van, which represents Mercedes-Benz in the North-East – the manufacturer’s franchised Dealer Network is also responsible for sales and support of the popular FUSO light truck range in Britain.
A 7.5-tonne Canter 7C15 model with Comfort day cab, it is fitted with a lightweight alloy dropside body by Robinson Truck Bodies, of Newcastle upon Tyne. The truck was weighed prior to delivery and, with a driver and half a tank of fuel on board, tipped the scales at 3,100 kg. No other vehicle in its weight segment can match the resulting 4,400 kg carrying capacity.
Only marginally less important for Durham Render Centre Directors Dean Grey and Trevor O’Neill are the Canter’s compact footprint and tight turning circle. Both translate into the exceptional manoeuvrability which is a boon when operating in residential streets.
Established more than 80 years as a family roofing business, the company’s primary focus for the last two decades has been on external rendering. It stocks over 10,000 bags of coloured render and 10 miles of render beads at any one time in its warehouse on Durham’s Belmont Industrial Estate, close to the A1.
Durham Render Centre has been running Canters for 15 years and currently operates three, which it relies upon to distribute its palletised products to customers located within a 100-mile radius of base. It also offers a next-day nationwide delivery service.
The company’s other two Canters are also 7C15 variants. This model is powered by an economical 3.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel which offers high torque – 370 Nm is available over a broad engine speed range – and produces 110 kW (150 hp). It also comes with an engine brake as standard.
Dean Grey commented: “Our products are heavy, so the Canter’s very high payload allowance is exactly what we need for our business. We have tried heavier trucks in the past but the benefits in terms of increased carrying capacity were negligible, and far outweighed by those vehicles’ larger external dimensions.
“We make the majority of our deliveries to urban areas, and our drivers particularly appreciate the impressive steering lock which helps to ensure that the Canter is able to get into places most trucks can’t.”
All FUSO Canter models from 3.5-8.55 tonnes GVW are built around a robust, ladder frame chassis. This means the vehicle is able to withstand the rigours of harsh operating conditions. “The Canter’s rugged construction is certainly impressive,” said Trevor O’Neill. “Our experience over the last 15 years has proved that it is well capable of regular work on rough building sites.”
Bell Truck and Van Canter Sales Executive Jeff Beat arranged the competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services which Durham Render Centre has used to acquire the new Canter. The Dealer was also able to offer a competitive part-exchange price on the previous truck. Coincidentally, Jeff Beat also sold that vehicle to the operator six years ago, shortly before leaving to take up a position in fork-lift sales. He re-joined Bell Truck and Van in April.
O’Neill added: “We were pleasantly surprised to learn of Jeff’s return. Like his colleagues he provides a first-class service and it’s good to see him back in the business.”
Jeff Beat said: “It’s great to be associated with successful local companies like Durham Render Centre. Dean and Trevor are a pleasure to deal with and their team work really hard to go the extra mile for their customers. For our part, we’ll do everything we can to ensure that our own customers enjoy a brilliant buying experience.”