Nijman/Zeetank UK invests heavily in new fleet

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Nijman/Zeetank UK invests heavily in new fleet

During the past 12 months, Nijman/Zeetank UK has completely replaced its tractor fleet, alongside some of its oldest canopy trailers which date back to the year 2000.

After months of market research involving most of the major truck manufacturers, Nijman/Zeetank UK signed a deal with Mercedes Benz for the supply of 42 Mercedes-Benz lightweight 2445, 450 HP 6×2 Tractor Units, which were delivered between April and November 2023.

Two years ago, our intention was to order some gas-powered vehicles, but the uncertainty of supply of gas in any form due to the Ukrainian crises, coupled with electric vehicles not being an option on long-haul operations, plus the UK government’s unwillingness to allow greater gross weight for heavier technology, has basically left our company with diesel as the only viable option at present until the market has settled down. In the meantime, we are investigating the use of HVO to fuel our vehicles in the short term.

Interestingly, Mercedes Benz do not offer LNG or CNG-powered trucks, and believe the future is either hydrogen or electricity, but this isn’t an issue for now and we will return to this at a later stage, when hopefully the infrastructure and supply problems will have been addressed.

Having embarked upon a weight-saving campaign with our major customer eight years ago, it was seen as imperative that weight would always be an issue, but recent driver demands have meant that we need to specify the best possible comforts for our staff.  We have improved the cab specification at no weight penalty, but have also included many safety features which have been developed in the intervening years, for both the public in general and our drivers in particular, but also for the cargo, with CCTV surveillance in the trailers as well as all around the truck.

New Canopy Trailers.
The majority of Nijman/Zeetank UK’s deliveries are centred around the Innenlader, but a small but very important part of our business centres around deliveries of stock-sized glass on flat trailers.

In 1998, we were heavily involved in developing safer delivery methods, eliminating flat trailers and roping and sheeting and replacing them with the canopy trailer. These trailers have served us well for over 20 years, but we have now introduced five brand-new state-of-the art trailers to coincide with the new Pilkington RP5 development, where rolled glass is produced as a by-product of the float glass process.

Although outwardly similar, the new trailers have many new features, most importantly, a constant tyre pressure monitoring system, whereby any loss in pressure is rectified automatically by an on-board compressor.

The trailers are equipped with disc brakes, lightweight axles, and alloy wheels, so not only do they meet the utmost safety standards but they look great too!

One of the main safety features is that the canopy can now be operated from ground level, due to a modified securing system. We have also developed a push and twist securing system with the Halfen rail, allowing other goods to be secured without presenting a tripping hazard.

Initial impressions are very favourable from all our customers.