Coventry based fleet management company Fraikin has secured a 60 per cent share of Rugby-based family business Mitchell Potatoes’ commercial vehicle fleet, with the delivery of 12 new trucks on a six-year, full-service contract hire agreement.
Comprised of a 44-tonne Renault tractor unit, alongside 10 18-tonne DAF LF rigids and a similar 26-tonne DAF, the new vehicles represent like-for-like replacements for older models previously supplied by Fraikin and a competitor. They join two 18-tonne DAF LFs and a 7.5-tonne MAN from a previous deal, meaning Fraikin now supplies 15 of the company’s 25-strong mixed commercial vehicle fleet.
David Mitchell, Company Director at Mitchell Potatoes, says: “We deliver perishable goods to customers across the country, so it’s important to have access to fleet support nationwide. Fraikin’s service network provides excellent cover on all our delivery routes and their response times are great.
“Fraikin has proven that it’s more than capable of managing our maintenance schedule, and with contract hire we have absolute clarity on all associated costs upfront. Our expertise lies in potatoes, so we’re happy to call on Fraikin’s knowledge and experience to look after our vehicles – it lets us focus on what we do best.”
As part of the latest agreement, Mitchell Potatoes will benefit from Fraikin’s telematics equipment. The system ensures that all data surrounding fleet movements, tachograph information and driver behaviour is available through a single point, providing easy access for data analysis to help improve fleet efficiency.
The company will also continue to use Fraikin’s powerful maintenance tool, FraikinView, which helps maximise fleet uptime. The system’s easy-to-use online web portal provides a complete overview of all scheduled maintenance work, with the ability to track and monitor its progress.
Mitchell adds: “FraikinView gives us access to vitally important information about our fleet, the system makes it easier to quickly diagnose any issues, meaning Fraikin can ensure we avoid any unnecessary downtime.”
All 11 DAF rigids have been mounted with curtainside bodies from Lawrence David and are each expected to clock up to 50,000km a year delivering chipped potatoes to fish and chip shops. The new Renault tractor unit is expected to cover up to 80,000km a year, primarily transporting potatoes from farms nationwide to the company’s depots in Ilminster and Rugby.
A family-owned business, Mitchell Potatoes was founded in 1883, initially delivering 10 pallets of potatoes per week to fish and chip shops in Rugby and Coventry. Now, the firm operates from three depots in Rugby, Bristol and Taunton, distributing more than 1,000 pallets a week in the Midlands, South Wales, London and the south coast of England.