The Dutch Van der Valk restaurant and hotel chain has recently acquired a new generation Scania R 450 as the latest addition to its all-Scania fleet. The investment is already paying off, with an average fuel consumption of only 28 litres per 100 km.
Van der Valk’s Scania trucks deliver to more than 80 outlets throughout the Benelux countries and cover large distances with heavy loads and frequent delivery stops. Despite this demanding deployment, the trucks normally run for more than one million kilometres, with regular servicing every 120,000 kilometres.
“For years, we’ve exclusively been driving Scania,” says Tom Vervloet, Manager of Van der Valk’s central cold storage warehouse near Leiden. “When we were in the market for a new truck at the end of last year, the decision was simple: Van der Valk and Scania belong together.”
Scheduled maintenance controls costs
The Van der Valk fleet transports goods from its cold storage distribution centre six days a week. “We carry all kinds of goods in our trailers: from fresh vegetables and meat to napkins, kitchen herbs and beer.”
The new truck was specified as a 3-axle configuration with a tag axle. “We’ve always been heavy on the road and we have six to twelve delivery points per trip. With the previous 2-axle configuration we risked undue pressure on the driven rear axle after unloading at the first points.”
Proper maintenance is important for Van der Valk. “In a way, this is internal distribution so we pay a lot of attention to costs. We have found that with good maintenance our vehicles can easily run 1.3 million kilometres without encountering problems.”
Safety system for urban operation
Two of the company’s trucks have passed the one million kilometre-mark and Tom Vervloet estimates that they can be gainfully operated another 10 years without affecting their overall condition, which is important since they are displaying the Van der Valk brand. “Scania’s reliability certainly plays a part in this. But achieving this mileage is also due to the fact that each truck has a regular driver assigned to it.”
Although its drivers never sleep in the cab, Tom Vervloet opted for a high roof. “Van der Valk prides itself on a premium appearance. That’s why we haven’t saved on equipment and opted for the best leather seats, LED lighting, and a top-of-the line multimedia system.
Safety isn’t overlooked either. “We often operate in urban areas with difficult manoeuvring while delivering. We therefore have a comprehensive camera system with blind-spot detection and a standard rear camera. And although I don’t have any hard figures, I’m fairly certain that the investment is paying off because we have very few claims.”
With million-kilometre journeys ahead, it’s clear that when it comes to Scania, Van der Valk and its trucks are in it for the long haul.