As harvest gets into full swing, growers in Kent will notice some smart new additions to the region's roads as Grain Harvesters has added two new branded bulk trucks to its fleet.
"The lorries will bring additional capacity just at the right time, giving growers increased efficiency of movement at a pressurised time of year," says Tim Porter, a grain trader based in the company's Wingham office.
Grain Harvesters has traditionally sub-contracted its haulage, and will continue to do so; the new trucks will complement this, easing haulage logistics in the area.
"Everyone is hoping for a good sized crop this year, and the early indications back that up," explains Tim. "That, combined with the increase in movements to Tilbury, and the fact that we have doubled the number of farm traders in our office means that there was a need for additional vehicles in the region."
Frontier Agriculture became the exclusive strategic partner for The Port of Tilbury on 1st July, giving Grain Harvesters direct access to global markets. The largest panama vessels can be loaded at the deep water port, increasing the range of export opportunities for growers in the region.
The vehicles will cover on average 120,000 kilometres a year collecting from farms and delivering to a wide range of homes including Allied Mills, and the Port of Tilbury. "Allied Mills has long been our biggest consumer," says Tim, "and now we have the option of Tilbury too. That offers growers another marketing option with exports of all grades of wheat, barley and pulses. Having the new trucks makes the logistics of the whole operation more effective and we are sure that local farmers will see the benefits too."
The trucks are DAF XF with a Euro 6 460hp engine. This particular model has been carefully chosen to offer an excellent combination of fuel economy, reliability and safety and comfort for the driver. In terms of efficiency, one of the key features is the ability to control the trailer electronic weight readout and inclinometer from inside the cab, making it quicker and safer for the drivers to unload. There is also a camera mounted inside the trailer, allowing the loading and unloading of crops to be monitored.
The unit and trailer together will transport bulk loads of all combinable crops, and will be able to carry up to 29 tonnes.