Downton expands UK fleet with £4.5m tractor and trailer investment

C M Downton has purchased 50 new tractor units and 60 new curtain-sided trailers in a series of deals worth in excess of £4.5 million. 

The new tractor units are all Euro 6 models: 30 are 480bhp MAN TGX 26.480 6x2s, while the remaining 20 are DAF FTG XFs (460bhp). The units are being delivered this month and will immediately go into service in the Downton national fleet.

The trailers are from new-to-market trailer and body manufacturer Tiger; launched earlier this year by former Cartwright Group directors Steven and John Cartwright.  They feature an ‘over chassis beam’ floor and a special load restraint system that are suited to transportation of kegs, bottles and paper reels; designed to support Downton’s significant operations in the magazine distribution and alcoholic drinks sectors.

The fleet will be deployed across Downton’s national network, helping the Gloucestershire-based logistics firm to meet an increase in demand for haulage capacity in recent months.

Downton is also currently evaluating a major new vehicle order for the first quarter of 2015, with a further 120 Euro 6 vehicles likely to be purchased.

C M Downton finance director Richard Downton said: “The industry has faced some tough years, but we’re seeing significant improvements in the market and customers are looking for increased capacity across the board.

“Like many operators we’ve had to run lean during the recession, but demand has recently taken off at a surprising and remarkable rate. We are investing in this new fleet capacity to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Ray Ashworth, managing director, DAF Trucks Ltd said: “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with CM Downton and to be involved in their continued success. This significant fleet investment reflects a growing confidence in both the UK economy and the latest generation of Euro 6 compliant trucks, which are more fuel efficient than ever before.”

Roger Davies, owner of local MAN Dealer, WG Davies said: “WG Davies and MAN were delighted when we introduced the MAN marque into the Downton fleet in 2011, and this latest 30-truck Euro-6 fleet cements our relationship with Downton even further. MAN is delivering on its promise of supplying ultra-reliable, highly productive trucks with aftersales back-up as good as any in the commercial vehicle industry.”

Steven Cartwright, joint managing director, Tiger said: “It is a privilege to be supplying Downton with some of the first Tiger Trailers. Their business is a great success story and we hope the Tiger and Downton partnership will continue well into the future.”