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Hill Hire takes MAN EGR Flet PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 January 2007

David Barlow Hill Hire Fleet Director
In a significant move for the UK truck rental industry, market leader Hill Hire has placed an order for 480 MAN rigid and fleet tractor vehicles from 7.5 to 44 tonnes, all featuring the manufacturer’s  ‘Add Nothing’ EGR technology and MAN TipMatic automated gearshifting.

The company has already optioned a further 420 MAN chassis for 2007, and Hill Hire Fleet Director, David Barlow, says, “This is a real commitment from Hill Hire to EGR technology in major sectors of our market, and I would not be surprised to see orders for these trucks exceed the 1000 mark this year. We will, of course, take SCR trucks as we feel necessary for certain customers. We see the larger professional fleets as probably being more prepared to invest in the complexities of AdBlue bunkering and management at their depots, so we envisage any major demand for SCR trucks coming from that sector. We believe own account fleets and smaller operators, who are certainly no less professional, will prefer the far simpler operating benefits of the EGR offering. Indeed, simplicity and cost-efficiencies are the call we all hear increasingly from customers – this move is a key part of Hill Hire’s answer.”

The initial order and further options are part of a routine fleet replacement activity for Hill Hire, and the decision will take in all rigid trucks in the Hill Hire fleet.

Talking about the decision to adopt MAN EGR and MAN TipMatic technology, David Barlow, said, “The arrival of Euro 4 – and the relatively short run on period to Euro 5 – has given us some important choices to make.

“We could have just sat back and run the existing fleet for another 12-18 months, but that isn’t the Hill Hire way. Our customers are used to having a modern and environmentally responsible fleet to choose from, so, despite the apparent uncertainty still pervading the transport sector generally, we felt we had to take a lead. Hill Hire has been very active in assessing and understanding the two competing technologies – even co-sponsoring a major ‘1000’ mile Euro 4 test of EGR and SCR trucks under strictly supervised conditions. The result of that, as well as talking to customers and the data that has become increasingly available from other independent tests and manufacturers, given us the confidence to invest in EGR – and specifically MAN EGR.

“Similarly, as part of giving operators a modern and efficient fleet, the introduction of MAN TipMatic two pedal technology is another natural, though very significant step. Like EGR, it will deliver major operating cost benefits in terms of fuel efficiency and maintenance to our customers, as well as making life better for their drivers as the whole driving experience becomes instantly less demanding.

“We have spent some six months on our studies of the technologies and likely market preferences, and the decision in MAN’s favour was based on their willingness to enter into a partnership with us; a partnership reflected in a contract covering the initial acquisition, service and parts support and other back-up services as and when needed.”

The new fleet will be the first MAN vehicles to enter service with Hill Hire since January 2003. Des Evans, CEO of MAN ERF UK, said, “We have always had every confidence in our EGR technology for Euro 4 and Euro 5, and now to have this confidence shared by Hill Hire is a major boost for us. Increasingly, operators are going for the simplicity of EGR, and, in an already complex operating environment, the fact is that you just can’t beat ‘simple’.”

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