In the East Midlands, Amber Valley Borough Council has taken delivery of its first-ever Isuzus, with two brand-new 3.5tonne Isuzu Grafter Green dropside rigids joining the fleet within the organisation’s landscape and ground maintenance services department.
Having just gone into service in January this year, the debutant Isuzu trucks are scheduled to have a maximum working life of five years at the council, covering general ground maintenance duties on sports grounds, parks and highway grass verges throughout an area spanning Belper, Alfreton, Ripley and Heanor in Derbyshire.
As part of its detailed procurement process, Amber Valley Borough Council undertook an extensive tender programme reviewing a range of vehicle marques. According to Dave Fisher, fleet officer at Amber Valley Borough Council, “Based on the scoring system within our tender document, Isuzu Truck UK came out on top, easily meeting all the stringent council criteria for overall vehicle specification, ancillary equipment, performance and ease of maintenance.”
Following a subsequent series of meetings with ITUK, and its local dealer T.I.M. Commercials in Ilkeston, Amber Valley Borough Council then ordered two Isuzu Grafter Green 3.5 tonne rigid chassis, both fitted with a secure toolbox and dropside bodies, with the specification designed for the efficient and safe towing of plant carrying trailers.
“The ability of the Isuzu Grafter to pull a plant trailer effortlessly, matched to its overall compact footprint, makes these new Isuzus much easier and safer for our staff to drive on the narrow streets within the council jurisdiction. All-round visibility from the cab is excellent and the trucks have many practical features that facilitate regular access in and out of the cab, both for the driver and operatives during their busy working days,” commented Dave Fisher.
Dave continues, “During their planned programmes, the drivers and operatives work long hours and really need to benefit from a driver-friendly truck. The initial reaction from our drivers to the new Isuzu Grafters has been extremely positive, with all of them commenting on how easy they are to drive and how effortless they are when towing plant trailers.”
In the summer months, the Isuzu Grafter Greens will be predominantly used as drawbar rigids, towing plant equipment throughout the borough. One Isuzu will be carrying a specialist digger, while the second truck will tow a trailer that will be solely used for transporting mowers for grass maintenance duties. In winter, however, both Isuzus will be mainly operating as solo trucks, providing general landscape and ground maintenance services.
“Since we launched the Isuzu Grafter Green just over 12 months ago, there has been a tremendous reaction to our new range of 3.5 tonners, from customers old and new alike. In particular, the Grafter Green has attracted the attention of many local authorities across the country and it is a pleasure to welcome Amber Valley Borough Council to the growing number of new organisations that are now benefiting from the superb operational performance and payload that is possible with the Grafter,” said Dave Slatcher, Municipal Fleet Sales Manager, Isuzu Truck UK.