For some larger operators at least, the demount may be a truck whose time has come. The idea behind the demount is simple, but it’s clever too. The body of the demount is removable, or demountable, and stands on legs to make it a standard height for a loading bay.
This has obvious advantages. It means that the body can be loaded independently of the lorry. Loads can therefore be completed overnight at the depot and when the driver arrives in the morning he can simply drive the load away.
The simplicity of the system belies its potential. Warehouse managers need not wait around for drivers who may be delayed or simply working elsewhere. Instead, they can complete loads when it suits them best, making optimal use of their resources.
The driver too is more productive. He needn’t wait around for his truck to be loaded at the start of the shift, and when he has completed his run he can return to pick up another ready-loaded body.
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DAF CF75 -310
2011 | Demounts | 18000kg
An 18 tonne Sleepercab, Demount/Chassis cab, Air Suspension, Auto gearbox, Drawbar Spec, VBG Coupling, approx. 750,000kms, Choice Available MoT:6-12 MONTHS
Potentially, he can therefore complete more deliveries in any one shift. The demount can also transform the efficiency of loading bays. Normally, they are crowded at the start and end of shifts when they tend to be loading most trucks. Then they are underused or idle for most of the day. With the demount system, the warehouse manager can load steadily throughout the day. He can then position the loaded bodies away from the loading bay, ready to be hooked up to the demount lorries as they arrive.
A larger operation could also make further savings. Because the bodies are separate from the lorries, a fleet manager need not buy lots of specialist trucks. Instead the demount can be hooked up to a number of different body types, such as fridges or boxes. This greatly increases the flexibility of the fleet and makes substantial savings over buying specialist trucks.
It can be seen how, properly deployed, a demount fleet could transform an operator’s productivity. The simple but clever system makes savings and improvements at every step of the process. The warehouse manager can make far better use of his resources and spread the workload throughout the day. This could potentially save on overtime costs. The drivers do not have to wait around for their wagons to be loaded and instead can be on the road immediately. This gives them the opportunity of making more deliveries. The fleet manager can make savings by buying fewer specialist trucks and using a range of cheaper demount bodies instead.
With all these savings, it may be surprising that demounts have not been more popular in the UK thus far. There are probably three main reasons for this. Firstly, the cost of acquiring a demount is higher than that of a standard truck. Secondly, the benefits really only come when operating a larger fleet. To benefit fully from the advantages of the demount would also require a change in working practices right across the organisation. However, as operators struggle to reduce running costs, the demount may become more attractive. When buying a used demount, additional care should be taken in ensuring that the body loading function and legs are all in good order. The rest of the lorry merely requires the standard checks.
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