First DAF Euro 6 Models Prove Successful Choice for Growth of Prohire’s Short Term Commercial Vehicle Rental Business

• DAF is a key supplier to commercial vehicle contract hire & fleet management specialist, Prohire PLC (www.prohire.plc.uk)
• New DAF Euro 6 trucks prove popular choice for expansion of Prohire’s short term commercial vehicle rental business (new DAF LF250 and new DAF CF290)
• Euro 6 models well received by Prohire’s commercial vehicle rental customers
• Prohire made conscious choice to buy Euro 6 models to offer customers the latest technology and superior environmental credentials
• Latest PACCAR engines for new DAF Euro 6 ranges offer lower running costs, extended service intervals, improved MPG and lower emissions

Having had the confidence to be one of the first to invest in Euro 6 technology for its growing short-term hire business, Prohire PLC (www.prohire.plc.uk), the commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet management specialist, is extremely satisfied with its choice of new DAF LF and CF Euro 6 trucks, which have been well received after their first six months in operation.

When procuring its new commercial vehicles last year, Prohire made a conscious decision to choose the improved efficiency and environmental credentials of Euro 6 compliant vehicles, as Dave Barlow, Commercial Director, Prohire PLC explained:

“At the time, we could easily have chosen well proven Euro 5 models, but that seemed like a backward step, and DAF gave us the confidence to invest in its new LF and CF Euro 6 models as we wanted to offer our customers the latest technology and best fuel economy, and we haven’t regretted it.

“After six months on our busy short term rental fleet, used by a wide variety of commercial operators, any worries about the new Euro 6 technology has been completely unfounded in our experience as we haven’t had any issues or negative comments, which is a really positive sign,” he continued.

DAF is a key supplier to Prohire’s contract hire and fleet management business, and represents around 50 per cent of the vehicles on its total HGV (>3.5t) fleet.

The new DAF LF250 18t trucks have the latest six cylinder, 6.7-litre, PACCAR PX-7, Euro 6 engine, while the CF290 FAR 6×2 trucks are 26t with a six cylinder. 10.8-litre, PACCAR MX-11 Euro 6 engine. Both engines are designed to maximise performance, yet be lighter, more fuel efficient and lower running costs with service intervals up to 60,000 km. They also has new, enhanced interiors to improve the daily work-life of the driver.

These vehicles are used exclusively for Prohire’s short term rental division and are based across the UK, sometimes driven by a different driver every day, and expected to cover around 500,000 km during their five year lifecycle. They were supplied via Lancashire DAF in Preston, and as the majority of Prohire’s customers operate in the haulage and distribution sectors, it chose rigid bodies fitted with curtainsides by approved specialist commercial vehicle bodybuilder, Martin Williams (Hull) Limited.
Phil Moon, Marketing Manager, DAF Trucks UK added: “With strong durability, positive driver feedback and low running costs, DAF trucks are a particularly popular choice for rental fleets for operators and end users alike, especially for distribution and multi-drop work.

“The new, enhanced interiors and lower running costs of our Euro 6 models will make them even more popular, with the same high standards of customer service from the DAF dealer network that our customers rely on,” he continued.

For more information on the new DAF Euro 6 models, designed for maximum efficiency, reliability and the highest driver comfort, please visit www.daf.eu/uk, call 01844 261111 or email reception@DAFTRUCKS.com.

Ends

Notes to editors:

• DAF Trucks UK is the market leader across all sectors in the UK, from 7.5 to 44 tonnes. The new Euro 6 LF, CF and XF Euro 6 trucks are designed to maximise profitability for operators and provide drivers with the best possible driving experience, supported by a nationwide network of 133 dealers across the UK (including two in the Channel Islands). DAF is a subsidiary of PACCAR – the global leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of light, medium and heavy trucks. www.daf.eu/uk

For further information please contact:

Martin Hayes/John Rawlings, Automotive PR
t: +44 (0)20 7952 1070
e: mhayes@automotivepr.com
jrawlings@automotivepr.com

BREAKING NEWS – Prohire Awarded Significant Contract!

Prohire Plc, the fast growing Commercial Vehicle hire and Fleet Management specialist has announced its biggest ever contract win.

Autobar Vending Services, Europe’s largest refreshment supplier, has appointed Prohire as its exclusive Fleet Management provider for the next four years covering Contract Hire, Daily Rentals and Accident Management.

Prohire will be responsible for fleet managing the entire Autobar fleet, including cars, vans and trucks.

The contract will be headed up by Mick Hirst, Prohire’s Key Accounts Manager.

Andrew Morley, Prohire’s Sales Director, commented: “This is a very significant achievement for our company and the decision to award Prohire exclusivity is testament to our all-embracing service capability.”

Autobar operates from 12 depots providing vending services, coffee and equipment to hotels, restaurants and cafés throughout all areas of the UK and Eire.

New Vehicles will Carry the Canisters

Energas Ltd, one of the largest distributors of cylinder gases in the UK, has added a DAF tractor unit and a 26 tonne DAF chassis to its fleet. Both vehicles were supplied on contract hire by commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialist, Prohire Plc.

Energas supplies an extensive range of industrial cylinder gases, LPG, refrigerant gases, food grade and drinks dispense gases to a diverse client base across the country and the 26 tonner has been specified by Prohire’s engineers through discussions with Energas and the bodybuilder to enable it to carry various types of gas and different cylinder sizes safely and efficiently.

Modifications included the introduction of a specialist tail lift to the rigid vehicle with drop down sides to ease loading and unloading along with the addition of a ‘central spine’ to which cylinders are secured to prevent the potential risk of hazardous load movement during transit.

The decision to acquire the vehicles on contract hire is a departure from the traditional method of acquisition by Energas. Historically the company had always purchased its vehicles outright, but since being acquired two years ago by the French firm, Air Liquide, Energas has switched to contract hire as its preferred method of acquisition.

“We believe that contract hiring our vehicles is the way forward,” says the Energas Group Distribution Manager, Dave Richards. “It offers a number of advantages for a company such as ours, not the least of which is preserving our working capital for investment projects within the business and enabling us to accurately budget the running costs of our commercial vehicle fleet.”

Dave Richards chose to approach Prohire having seen work being carried out on a Prohire vehicle at one of the company’s body-builder partners.

“I was very impressed not only by how pro-active Prohire were throughout the build management process but also with their attention to detail and the high level of support that they offered including a comprehensive vehicle handover process,” comments Dave.

Both of the new vehicles have been finished in the new Energas livery and the tractor unit has been given a name – ‘Lois’ – in honour of Dave’s granddaughter.

“A number of our vehicles are named after members of our staff’s families, so I was thrilled that the new tractor has taken my own granddaughter’s name,” says Dave.

Andrew Morley, sales director at Prohire, comments: “we are delighted to have been selected by Energas as their commercial vehicle supplier of choice as we are now in the process of supplying further vehicles to Energas for delivery in 2014”

Prohire ‘Charters’ set a Benchmark in Customer Relations

Prohire Plc, the commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialist, has issued two ‘Charters’ that describe in clear terms the company’s service pledge to its customers.

The two documents, the ‘Contract Hire and Repair and Maintenance Charter’ and the ‘Rental Charter,’ provide summaries of both the service and conduct Prohire’s customers can expect throughout their relationship with Prohire.

Dave Barlow, Prohire’s Group Commercial director, comments: “Prohire aim to have an open, honest and mutually beneficial relationship with all of its customers.

“By setting out our customer service pledge for our core Contract Hire, Repair and Maintenance and vehicle rental products within our business in our new ‘Charters,’ we feel we have given our customers and prospective customers, the peace of mind of knowing exactly what Prohire will deliver.

“The ‘Charters’ are, we believe, a benchmark in customer service excellence.”

Each of the documents contains a number of promises written in clear English, covering issues ranging from delivery and collection of a vehicle to contract confidentiality and KPI reporting.

“Our business is growing,” says Dave Barlow. “Our customers enjoy the excellent service levels and commitment that we bring to every contract. They also benefit from the fact that because we are independent, we are able to specify the precise vehicle make and model to satisfy our customers’ operational needs.

“Our new business charters have been prepared to let everyone know exactly what Prohire stands for.”

Prohire Plc is one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists.

Prohire Announce Further Significant Spot Rental Fleet Investment

One of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists, Prohire Plc, has announced an investment approaching £1 million in its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

This is the second significant investment Midlands based Prohire has made in its ‘spot rental’ fleet in a matter of months and follows February’s news that the company had spent in excess of £2.5 million on new vehicles.

As part of this most recent investment Prohire has placed orders for around 35 vehicles, including: 7.5t Iveco Eurocargo trucks; 18t and 26t DAF Curtainsiders; Mercedes Axor tractor units; and 3.5t Mercedes Sprinter vans with refrigerated bodies.

“Spot rental has become an increasingly significant part of our business,” says Dan Stevenson, Prohire’s Rentals Manager.

Dan believes that the growing demand for ‘spot rental’ vehicles reflects the fact that some companies’ are treating news of the upturn in economic conditions with a degree of caution.

He comments: “Business is improving and companies are beginning to feel that they are coming out of recession, but, in a lot of cases – particularly among third party logistics services companies – there is a reluctance to overstretch by buying, for example, a new £70,000.00 tractor unit to service a new contract. So rental options are particularly attractive.”

Prohire now has close to 300 vehicles ranging from car derived vans to 44-tonne tractor units in its ‘spot rental’ fleet and vehicles can be rented for any amount of time – from one day to seven years!

Industry Focus: Euro 6

 

The introduction of the Euro 6 engine emissions standards will have a significant impact on the way commercial vehicles are acquired in the coming years. That is the view of Andrew Morley, Sales Director of Prohire Plc, one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists.

Euro 6 became mandatory for all new truck registrations from 31st December 2013. The standard is the latest stage in the legislative drive to reduce harmful vehicle emissions that started in 1993 with the introduction of Euro 1 and since that time emissions have been reduced by up to 97%.

Of course, in developing products that meet the emissions standards demanded by Euro 6, engine manufacturers have incurred hefty R&D costs.

As is the way of the world, the vehicle manufacturers have had little option but to review their own pricing structures to recoup their investment costs.

As a result, commercial vehicle prices – from the lower end of commercial vehicles to top-end tractor units – have increased by up to 16 per cent since the turn of the year.

To beat the increases, many fleet operators were tempted to bring forward new vehicle orders prior to the end of 2013. Others, meanwhile, have delayed fleet replacements altogether.”

Critics of Euro 6 contend that the benefits to the environment that it will bring are minimal while the increase in vehicle costs that are the result of its introduction will be damaging to the stability of the road transport sector at a time when the economic recovery is showing signs of gathering pace.

There is also a belief that, thanks to Euro 6, vehicle payloads will be compromised and additional fuel costs incurred.

At Prohire it is our view that lower gross vehicle weight vehicles that operate in urban areas will gain little from the introduction of Euro 6: their operating costs will increase and any environmental benefits will be negligible. Meanwhile, for some tractor units, there is an argument that suggests that the increase in up-front capital costs can be off-set by fuel savings over time.

What is undeniable however is that across the board, fleet operators can minimize their exposure to the upsurge in commercial vehicle capital costs that Euro 6 has precipitated by moving away from purchasing vehicles outright and embracing some form of long term hire agreement when the time comes to add new vehicles to their fleets.

There are several reasons why, with the advent of Euro 6, long term hire makes sound commercial sense that; these being that the increased capital cost isn’t born by the operator in one hit and as the funding is ‘off balance sheet’ then this frees the operator up to use their working capital in other areas of the business.

Whatever the benefits, or lack of benefits, Euro 6 is now a reality.

Contract Hire and Fleet Management companies such as Prohire, will be able to guide you through the acquisition methods open to you to ensure that you make the right choice for your business.

 

New Vehicles won’t be a Drain on Coopers’ Resources

Cooper Drainage has been supplying solutions in water management systems for more than 25 years.

The company operates three depots – in Gloucester, Ammanford and Stoke-on-Trent – from which it distributes an extensive range of plastic pipes and fittings to the UK’s building, agricultural and civil engineering markets.

Cooper has recently upgraded the vehicle fleet at its Stoke-on-Trent and Gloucester sites with the introduction of two DAF FA LF45 vehicles supplied by commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialist, Prohire Plc.

The vehicles were supplied on a five-year, fixed-price contract with maintenance.

The vehicles were modified in a number of ways to meet Cooper’s particular needs. For example, in both cases, the customer’s requirement was to increase the body length in the new build by one metre to allow the extra long cargo of pipes to be accommodated.

In addition, a rear step was incorporated into the build for improved access to the rear body section, while the toolbox was removed. The introduction of the rear step gives Cooper’s staff three points of contact to the rear of the vehicle – an important health and safety consideration – while dispensing with the toolbox allowed costs to be trimmed.

Also, the vehicles’ traditional mesh bulk head was replaced with a solid fronted version, which is expected to give improved fuel consumption and load security was enhanced with the introduction of additional load security poles along the length of each vehicle.

Cosmetically, the vehicles have also been upgraded with an improved livery and the introduction of full address details of the respective locations from which each new vehicle will operate added to the cab doors. Both the vehicle enhancements and livery design changes were handled by Prohire at no extra cost to Cooper Drainage.

Steve Skipp, a Cooper Drainage director, commented: “This is a new relationship with Prohire and they have impressed us with their proactive professionalism. Our Stoke-on-Trent facility is very close to Prohire’s head office, so we had no hesitation in turning to them for advice on the specifications of the vehicles and ultimately placing the business with them.

“Prohire listened carefully to our requirements and configured the DAF vehicles to exactly match the needs of our business.”

Ray Stephens, Prohire’s business development manager, comments: “We like to take a consultative approach to our client relationships and by doing so we are able to share best practice from a wide range of industry sectors.”

Nigel’s Night at the Museum

Prohire’s Non-Executive Director, Nigel Stead, was runner up in the Non-Executive Director of the Year category at the prestigious Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards, http://www.quotedcompanyawards.com/GTQCA/index.html which took place recently at the National History Museum in London.

Hosted by the BBC’s Naga Munchetty, the Awards is intended to reward excellence across the business world and attracts an audience of over 700 guests.

Nigel, who was shortlisted for his work with Vertu Motors, commented: “I have no idea who put my name forward, but it was a privilege to be a part of such a high profile event. The room at the museum was stunning and everyone had a great night.” Nigel Stead, Non Executive Director, Prohire Plc

David Barlow, Chairman and CEO of Prohire, commented: “Nigel has been a fundamental advisor to the Prohire Board since July 2011 and he has made a significant contribution to shaping our strategy and building our success. We are fortunate to be able to call upon the services of someone of Nigel’s pedigree.”

Nigel finished runner-up to Mark Laurence of Dart Group.

Prohire Announce Significant ‘Spot Rental’ Fleet Investment

Midlands based Prohire Plc, one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists, has announced a major investment in its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

The company has recently placed orders worth in excess of £2.5 million for some 40 new Euro 5 vehicles – including 20 Renault tractor units and a number of Iveco 7.5 tonne Rigids and Euro 6 DAF 18-26t rigids.

The investment means that Prohire now has more than 200 vehicles – ranging from car derived vans to 44-tonne tractor units – on its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

Prohire sees ‘spot rental’ as an increasingly significant part of its business and the fleet expansion follows the company’s acquisition, in Autumn last year, of RH Rentals.

Dan Stevenson, Prohire’s Rentals Manager, commented: “As the economy continues to move out of recession we anticipate greater take-up of ‘rental’ options across a range of industry sectors and we are well prepared to meet the increase in demand.”

Vehicles in Prohire’s rental fleet can be rented for any amount of time – from one day to seven years!

New Board Level Appointment at Prohire Plc

Commercial Vehicle Contract Hire and Fleet Management specialist, Prohire Plc, has announced the appointment of David Barlow as its new Group Commercial Director (effective March 3rd, 2014).

David is well known in the commercial vehicle sector having held senior management positions with companies such as Hill Hire Plc, Transamerica Leasing Inc and Trailerent in a career spanning more than three decades.

In his new role, David will be responsible for Prohire’s new vehicle procurement and all aspects of the company’s supply chain management through to contract implementation.

To avoid confusion with Prohire’s Chairman and CEO – who is also called David Barlow – David will be known to his new Prohire colleagues as Dave!

Commenting on the new appointment, the Prohire Chairman and CEO said: “We are delighted that Dave has decided to join us. As a member of the Board he will contribute to the future growth strategy of our business and help to build on the significant successes we have already achieved.”

David (‘Dave’) Barlow said: “Prohire is a company that I’ve watched with great interest over the past 10 years. The business is seen as a ‘rising star’ within our industry and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to play a role in the next stage of its development.”

David is married with two grown-up children and lists golf and motorsport among his leisure activities.