As the managing director of a third generation, award-winning family business, Matthew Stiller knows that when it comes to remaining competitive and enjoying continued success, reinvestment is key.
That’s why Stiller, specialists in the storage and distribution of palletised goods, has made a significant investment in new trucks and trailers since February this year.
The investment of more than £3.3m in new equipment has seen Stiller take advantage of a change in the law, which means trailers can now be more than two metres longer than the standard long vehicles we’re used to seeing on our roads.
In addition, Stiller is also benefiting from the latest driveline technology from Swedish truck manufacturer Scania, which has improved the fuel efficiency of its trucks.
“We have bought 25 lorries and 13 trailers, costing more than £3.3m. This is a big investment for us,” said Matthew.
These include the longer semi-trailers that are more than two metres longer than a conventional heavy goods vehicle trailer, that were only regulated into UK law at the beginning of June.
Matthew says: “We ordered them nearly a year ago speculatively, knowing that the law might change this year.
“The trailers will help us to be more efficient and more competitive, as they allow you to carry an additional 15 per cent of cargo.
“They are able to achieve the same turning radiuses as conventional trailers, even though they are longer, by fitting a steering system to the rearmost axle.
“This steering system adds cost and maintenance complexity but that is vastly outweighed by the benefit of increased cargo volume they are able to carry.”
The recent orders to add to the firm’s fleet also include 20 new Scania trucks, with the latest driveline technology, which enables haulage companies using them to achieve up to an eight per cent fuel saving – a figure which is “pretty significant” for a business such as Stiller.
Matthew explains: “The full investment was conveniently timed and made in order to take advantage of the law change to allow for longer semi-trailers, which will allow us to transport at least 15 per cent more cargo when compared to the standard trailer, as well as benefiting from the savings in fuel that could be made using the new version of Scania’s trucks.
“It will allow us to benefit from operating efficiencies and increased productivity.”
Scania’s ‘Super’ branded range of trucks house its most advanced and efficient combustion engine and claim to “set a new standard” for sustainable transport operations.
They include the Super 13-litre engine, hich boasts its best performance in terms of combustion and aspiration, lubrication and cooling and turbocharging efficiency.
The engine, which is as robust as it is fuel efficient, reducing the number of maintenance stops required and giving the vehicle a much longer road life, also features a range of industry-leading engine technologies for superior performance under all conditions.
Meanwhile, the Scania opticruise gearbox is the industry’s leading gearbox choice for sustainable, fuel-efficient transport operations, as it is more robust, more efficient, and offers a wider gear ratio spread, to make light work of even the toughest terrains and heaviest payloads.
A new type of rear axle also supports the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, while Scania’s most “versatile and robust chassis yet” can significantly improve load distribution, payload potential and the operative range of each Scania truck.
“Anyone in the business of needing to move or store palletised goods can benefit from our services,” says Matthew.
“Our main aims are to provide a quality, cost-effective distribution service to our clients who are more than 300 in number – and a key part of that is reinvesting in our business in the latest vehicle technology and the latest trailer design standards.
“This will make sure we are efficient, so we can offer a price competitive service that is also top quality to our clients.”
Matthew implies that the recent investment will continue to improve working conditions, in a sector that has in the past struggled to maintain consistent standards of comfort and equipment standards for its workforce.
“It’s always nice to work in an environment where a business is continually reinvesting in itself,” says Matthew.
“That’s certainly an added benefit to working with us.”
Matthew adds that reinvestment is also a key strategy in counteracting rising inflation, by ensuring your fleet and the technology you use is as efficient as it can be.
“Prices and costs are going up for all businesses and consumers. One way businesses like ours in the private sector can deal with that is to reinvest in efficiency,” he says.
“Investing in the latest vehicles, equipment or technology and taking advantage of the new legal standards for trailers will make us more efficient and that will help us to counteract price inflation.”