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The aforementioned dealership's Jim Bennie also earns high praise from Tennants for his continual 'over and above the call of duty' help and support to the business.

The DAFs are purchased with a two year warranty in lieu of a Repair and Maintenance package as all servicing and repairs of the Tennant road going equipment is carried out in-house.

"Warranty claims", John notes, "have been few and far between, but Imperial Commercials and DAF will always listen to us and we get acceptable feedback."

The latest CF Space Cab 6x2 tractors have been delivered with Euro 5 engine specifications and the weight saving smaller centre axle, which helps compensate for the additional PTO and blower gear fitted.

With a number of Euro 4 trucks already on the road, the shift up to Euro 5 was quickly embraced with the firm citing higher residual values and possibly easier access to central London with the forthcoming legislation, as just some of the obvious factors justifying the progression.

Carrying such a wide variety of goods, it's essential that vehicle and load weights are continually monitored; so on-board measuring equipment is supplied by PM Weighers.

The varied trailer fleet consists of a number of different makes and interestingly after trialling disc brakes, the firm have moved back to specifying drum units on its trailers as the more traditional stopping equipment has proved to require less attention between services.

At the time of my visit, six new platform triaxles were on order from manufacturer Montracon and four tipping trailers from Kelberg.

Family run firms seem to suffer less with personnel issues and this is certainly the case at this Lanarkshire outfit, with most employees seeing and speaking to the bosses on a daily basis.

"It has always been the family philosophy that staff, who are our front line ambassadors, are treated personally as individuals," adds Ian "we have no recruitment problems and in fact we have generations of drivers from several local families, some accumulating over 50 years of service."

Communicating with staff and customers is of course an essential daily requisite and all the Tennant fleet are equipped with mobile phones and satellite tracking to monitor vehicle movements.

It's a real statement of trust and commitment when Tennant's customers, who have vehicles on dedicated service, also have access to this positioning data allowing them to time their next deliveries and arrivals accurately, thus ensuring maximum benefit to their own business.

Local work still accounts for a fair percentage of any day's schedules and the supply of materials to the construction industry sees the two tone blue and red lorries making site deliveries all over the United Kingdom.

The rusty red colour of Lanarkshire's roads has fascinated me for years and all was revealed during the course of our conversations at Forth, when I learnt that the surface originates from the nearby Cloburn Quarry, a valued, long standing main customer of Tennant Transport, who produce the renonwed and distinctive Redstone raw materials and finished products.

It's quite obvious to me that over the last 100 years the Tennant business has been adept at looking to the future and changing with the times. No one in the industry can predict the future, but after such a long journey, this well known Forth contractor will no doubt be moving forward and adpating as necessary.

Reproduced from Transport News, June 2007
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