Equipped to get wood pellets to you in difficult circumstances
When it's cold out, you don't need to hear excuses from your fuel supplier about how they couldn't get to you because of the weather.
We have invested to give us the best chance of getting to you, whatever the circumstances.
3-axle, rear-steer, pressurised tankers
Our standard truck is a "6-wheeler" with steering rear axle. This is the best combination of gentle handling, carrying capacity and manoeuvrability for most purposes. Larger trucks, like the 8-wheelers used by many of our competitors, will have more difficulty accessing sites. Smaller trucks are more expensive to run.
2-axle tankers for awkward locations
All the same, there are some sites that even our 6-wheelers can't reach. To give us the best chance of serving inaccessible locations, our fleet includes four 4-wheelers and a short-wheelbase 6-wheeler with lifting rear-axle. These are the only 4-wheeler pellet tankers in the country.
These small blower trucks are positioned at strategic locations. We can reach most of the country from these locations, giving most customers the option of delivery by a smaller truck if they need it. But the truck may have to travel further, as we can't justify 4-wheelers for every depot at this stage of the market, so delivery by 4-wheeler may be more expensive.
The limitations of tippers
The vast majority of our trucks are pressurised tankers, rather than the converted, 8-wheeler, animal-feed tipper-blowers used by many of our competitors. The main reason for using pressurised tankers is that they give a better quality of delivery. But an added benefit is that there is less issue with overhead obstacles and gradients.
Tippers have to raise their body to deliver, which means you will need overhead clearance of at least 7 metres. Pressurised tankers don't tip, so they only need clearance to 4.2 metres (the height of the truck). Tankers are probably more appropriate than tippers for urban settings, for instance. You can find the dimensions and turning circles of our trucks in our Design Guide.
When tippers' bodies are raised they are unstable. It is dangerous to raise their body on anything other than a relatively level, firm, paved surface. Tankers can accommodate a degree of slope and unevenness more safely.
This is all relative, and you should not expect tankers to deliver from a steep gradient. Apart from anything else, their weigh-loaders are not designed to give accurate readings if they are on too steep a gradient. Our Legal for Trade weigh-loaders are designed to give accurate readings upto a modest gradient (8°), and to give a warning if the slope is too steep to give an accurate reading. Standard weigh-loaders are not designed to cope with any degree of gradient and will become increasingly inaccurate the further off level they are positioned, but will probably not give any warning of their inaccuracy.
Getting heating fuel to you when it snows
From time to time, it snows in winter. You will probably be using your pellets heavily when it is snowy outside, and need top-ups more frequently than the rest of the year. Yet snow can make it more difficult for pellet-suppliers to deliver.
We recognise that a wood-pellet supplier that doesn't do its best to deliver in the snow is hardly fit to call itself a heating-fuel supplier. We have invested in snow tyres for a few of our trucks at strategic locations, to give us the best chance of making the most urgent deliveries in difficult conditions. So far as we know, we are the only pellet supplier to have done so.
In the snowy winter of 2010/11, we lost only one working day to the snow. Even in Nottinghamshire, which got some of the heaviest snowfalls in the country, Chris, our star driver for the region, managed to keep going for all but the one day.