Covid-19

This destructive virus is affecting all corners of the globe and disrupting all areas of work. The Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Centre is doing everything it can to keep doors open for any assistance and support possible during this difficult time. The haulage industry provides vital support in keeping the country moving and essential produce, whether it be food or medical supplies delivered to desperate locations all across the country.
The UVS department is adjusting its mission during these times, aiming to provide any support it can for its customers, while still offering quality used Volvo’s.
The team is taking every step to ensure it’s offices and working areas are safe and secure. All deliveries and visits are dealt with with the utmost care and attention to keep our group as safe as possible.
Customers are still able to view our stock easily if needed and our sales team are always on the end of the phone ready for our customer’s queries. Customers take number one priority and their safety is key. Therefore the Thomas Hardie Used Truck’s website features full virtual tours of stock and vehicles for sale. Meaning customers have a much more powerful and interactive experience and don’t necessarily need to come on-site if they’d prefer not too.
The company understands the importance of keeping our products and service readily available for the public and will do everything in its power to stay available, within government guidelines.
By Marcus Harley
(UVS Sales Support)
Original 7 - Thomas Hardie

Ex Next Volvo FL see some time on the farm.

Yk63uht (2) - Thomas HardieEveryone loves a change of scenery every so often with this FL being no different. Leaving the busy and bustling A-roads and motorways and living life a little more rugged and muddy.

This 4×2 chassis day cab with I-Sync gearbox coupled to a 240bhp, Euro 5 engine served it’s time under the Next company, previously hauling goods from regional distribution centres, keeping shelves stacked and racking’s brimming.

Paul Harrison of Jolly Tars Farm picked this particular unit from our supersite in Middlewich due to it’s chassis cab set-up and rigid body, primed for Paul’s cattle loads.

We hope Paul’s newly acquired FL serves him and his business well and we hope to hear from Paul again soon.

 

By Marcus Harley
(Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales Support)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales Person Of The Year and Excellence in Customer Service Award in the bag for Used Vehicle Sales

In 2014 Thomas Hardie’s introduceThomas Hardie Used Volvo Trucks Centre - About Us - Thomas Hardie Used Trucks in Middlewich, Cheshired the first Staff Awards ceremony, which involved members of the group voting for who they believed deserved recognition and reward for going that extra mile. The prestigious ceremony rolls around every two years and this year would once again commend motivation, enthusiasm, determination and effort. Categories such as Apprentice of the year, Best Manager and Director Special award were some of the categories up for grabs on the night.

 Used Vehicle Sales has done well in previous occasions and dispite a challenging 2019, UVS was hopeful in bringing some silverware back to Middlewich.

Representing Best Sales Person of the Year for UVS was Ronnie Kelsall our Regional Sales Exec. Determination and an ability to push through the doubt and concern secured his place as winner and gained a massive milestone for himself and the department.

 

 

Thomas Hardie Used Volvo Trucks Centre - About Us - Thomas Hardie Used Trucks in Middlewich, Cheshire

Dennis Roberts our Contract Closure Coordinator also brought home the Excellence in Customer Service award for providing un-comparable customer service and further cementing the Used Vehicle Sales department into the minds of current and future customers. Dennis, who deals with vehicles returning off contract hire as well as other valuable tasks for Used Vehicle Sales, has been nominated previously for the customer service award, with Dennis believing that his chances on winning this year would be slim. But despite his humble beliefs, Den adds yet another string to the UVS bow.

These awards are brilliant method of acknowledging staff efforts and to instill confidence and pride into every task, every improvement and every customer. Without events like these, accomplishments and achievements gained by our group could possibly go un-noticed and the potential for further improvement and growth would be at risk of becoming slowed and stunted.

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to both Dennis and Ronnie for their combined success and here’s to many more achievements in the future!

 

By Marcus Harley
(UVS Sales Support)

Eight new Volvo FHs help expand an impressive fleet of vehicles at Harrisons

Temperature controlled distribution specialists, Harrisons Transport have added eight new Volvo FH 4×2 tractor units to its fleet.

Supplied by Neil Crook, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd., the new Volvos are finished in Harrisons stunning red and blue livery, complemented by colour matching side skirts and full roof and side air deflector kits.

The 460hp FHs have been specified to ensure optimum fuel efficiency and feature the latest I-See Predictive Cruise Control and I-Shift gearbox with Long Haul software. Harrisons Transport will also be using Dynafleet, Volvo’s Fleet Management System, to assist with fuel reporting and tachograph analysis.

To safeguard maximum uptime the new trucks are all supplied with full Gold Service Contracts and maintenance will be carried out at the Preston depot of Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd.

Harrisons investment in the new FHs reinforces the company’s commitment to not only supplying customers with maximum efficiency, but also providing their drivers with a workplace specifically designed with comfort in mind. The Globetrotter XL cabs all benefit from single bed living packages which include an under bunk fridge/freezer and rear shelf mounted microwave oven.

Operating across the UK and Europe from their base near Preston, Harrisons Transport have gained a first-class reputation for reliability, flexibility and an excellent level of customer service. Specialising in temperature controlled transport, the fleet is carefully tracked 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure they continually meet the individual needs of customers.

 

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C. Griffiths & Son – Sevens Heaven

Berewyn Griffiths recently secured his seventh Volvo through Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Centre. Working alongside Thomas Hardie’s for around twelve years, a routine truck repair became the foundations for this strong partnership.

A six-wheeler, version two was beginning to show it’s age, which resulted in Berwyn beginning the hunt for a version four, six-wheeler rigid. Ronnie Kelsall (Regional Sales Executive) was on hand to support Berwyn throughout this venture, finally settling on an elusive 460bhp, FH13 6×2.

This particular vehicle was the ideal choice for Griffiths, becoming the main unit for the company, hauling hay, straw and livestock.

As with all our customers, we encourage feedback to aid in our understanding of our performance and to provide our team-members with the recognition they deserve.

Berwyn kindly provided some thoughts and feelings on his experience working alongside Thomas Hardie’s Used Vehicle Centre;

“This is a fantastic business that specialises in high quality used vehicles. I enjoy doing business with the company every time I visit, and always experience quality, honesty and excellent customer service. Both Jonathan (Used Truck Business Development Manager) and Ronnie Kelsall know their vehicles well. You will not find a better-used truck dealer than Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales”

Feedback of this calibre is not earned overnight. Thomas Hardie’s Used Vehicle Sales strives to provide an approachable, easy and professional experience for every customer.

We are humbled by Berwyn’s comments and hope to work alongside Griffiths & Son again soon.

Thank you.

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By Marcus Harley
(UVS Sales Support)

The UK’s first I-Shift Dual Clutch Volvo FM rigid proves a top tip at OJ Jones

Welsh tipper operator, OJ Jones, has purchased the UK’s first I-Shift Dual Clutch equipped Volvo FM rigid. The truck is already delivering substantial fuel economy and journey time benefits.

Volvo’s I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox has been a real revelation,” reports Raymond Roberts the truck’s driver at OJ Jones. “The smooth traction and accurate gear changes delivered by I-Shift Dual Clutch are amazing, particularly on the numerous hill climbs we encounter during each day. The transmission system is also proving very economical, as working alongside another make of tipper in our fleet, my I-Shift Dual Clutch Volvo FM is using 24 litres less diesel per day,” Raymond adds.

Supplied by Dave Hill, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd, the Golden Yellow Cab coloured FM Globetrotter chassis features a D13K engine producing 460hp. The PTO equipped, I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox benefits from enhanced software for on road application, whilst the single reduction drive axles have a ratio of 3.78:1.

We always specify Volvo’s 13 litre engine with a 460hp output for our new FM eight wheelers,” notes Dewi Jones, Managing Director at OJ Jones. “The surrounding hilly terrain is very demanding on trucks. Our fleet regularly works out of several quarries and there are some steep gradients to climb when fully loaded,” he adds.

OJ Jones opted for a 5.1m wheelbase on the Extra High FM chassis along with Volvo’s lightweight two spring parabolic B ride suspension. The company’s preferred Globetrotter cab option includes a One Bed Resting package. Alcoa Dura-Bright polished alloy wheels provide the perfect finishing touch to OJ Jones’ patriotic Welsh livery, in addition to contributing towards payload figures.

Dewi continues, “The new FM I-Shift Dual Clutch was specified with a Wilcox tipper body and Binotto hydraulics. We get a 19.5 tonne payload figure with the Volvo, which is completely suitable for our operations. Dave Hill at Thomas Hardie Commercials suggested we try this unique transmission system and the truck was allocated to Raymond, who is our longest serving driver with an impressive 32 years service here. He loves the I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox. In addition to the fuel consumption and journey time improvements, it also reduces driver fatigue,” Dewi concludes.

OJ Jones established his own transport business with one tipper lorry in 1962. Today the company operates 17 tipper trucks, the majority of which are Volvo FMs. Prior to entering service, the company’s latest milestone Volvo FM was displayed at Tip-ex show in Harrogate during May of this year.

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Wilkins Transport’s New Addition

Another valued customer leaves our gates equipped with a fantastic FHV4, 460bhp, Euro 6 tractor unit. Fitted with Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Warning Support, adjustable fifth wheel and a 33litre under bunk fridge, to name just a few features this vehicle provides.

Price and low mileage ultimately sealed the deal with this particular unit, with Peter Wilkins of Wilkins Transport commenting, “when we purchase a used truck from Middlewich, we know it will be delivered to us in first-class condition”

Carl Boase (National Used Vehicle Sales Executive) supported and guided Paul throughout this process. Paul told us, referencing working alongside Carl, “first-class, Carl always finds us a really good truck at a good price”.

This particular vehicle would be replacing an older unit within Wilkins Transport’s fleet. Modernizing a series of trucks with more up-to-date units has big benefits. Whether it’s complying with increasing Euro 6 laws or requiring a more technologically advanced unit, the Volvo V4 range tackles these requirements head-on. Introducing modern, affordable haulage to the masses and also being at the forefront of modernizing trucks for the future.

Wilkins Transport has been visiting Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales for over 7 years with Paul commenting, “When we need a Volvo, we go straight to Carl at Middlewich”.

When asked if Wilkins Transport would recommend Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales to anyone in the future, Paul answered “definitely, without hesitation”.

Once again, our professional sales team, alongside our dedicated PDI group, worked as one to provide a brilliant truck for a brilliant customer.

Big thanks to Wilkins Transport for their continued custom and we look forward to seeing Thomas Hardie Used Trucks working alongside Peter again soon.

 

By Marcus Harley
(UVS Sales Support)

Northern Powerhouse

Fast approaching its 35th anniversary in business, Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd is a key part of the Volvo Trucks UK dealerpoint network and seen as the road transport industry’s Northern Powerhouse.

Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd is the main distributor for Volvo Trucks and Volvo Bus and Coach throughout the North West of England and North Wales. The company operates a network of dealerpoints that are totally committed to delivering the highest standards of customer solutions and service excellence.

Founded in 1985 with two premises in Deeside and Liverpool, Thomas Hardie Commercials has grown considerably, by providing market-leading levels of customer service and support networks. Nowadays the business operates five franchised Volvo Truck and Bus dealerpoints that offer a full range of services. These facilities are complemented by a wholly-owned division in Chorley, Thomas Hardie Vehicle Solutions (THVS), that provides vehicle painting, fitting of hydraulic kits and/or other specialised aftermarket equipment and an all makes refurbishment service for trucks and trailers. Thomas Hardie Commercials also operates five vehicle maintenance units (VMUs). Two of these workshops are managed on behalf of retailers Iceland in Warrington and Livingston (Scotland). We also manage units in Wrexham, Widnes, and a unit in Wigan that works exclusively for Poundland.

Managing Director, Jim Murray has accrued a 21-year career association with Volvo trucks, firstly through a role within Volvo Financial Services in 1994 and then subsequent commercial roles at the manufacturer’s UK headquarters in Warwick, as well as nine months as Aftermarket Director at Volvo Truck and Bus London.

Following three years away from Volvo at The Turner Group, Murray took up an appointment with Thomas Hardie Commercials in 2011, as Aftermarket Director.

Murray was then appointed Managing Director of this dynamic business in 2014. Mark Cunnew, Aftermarket Director and Steve Wilson, New Vehicle Sales & Marketing Director, support this MD closely. The trio pride themselves on adopting a ‘hands-on’ management style that is both highly visible and accessible to customers and staff. Proof of the businesses’ progression has been affirmed following their success in securing several awards from Volvo Trucks UK, including the coveted ‘Dealer of the Year’ award for the years 2015 and 2018.

The recognition from Volvo is pleasing, but we don’t do it for awards,” declares Murray adding, “it’s all about delivering a quality service, to make Thomas Hardie Commercials the supplier of choice for our customers.” The staff teams constantly focus on the company’s four pillars of business: “Everything revolves around new truck sales, used truck sales, parts, and service. We work hard to strengthen our customer base and we have a great product to do so. In the last six years we’ve increased our customer numbers considerably on new and used truck sales,” Murray adds.

We work hard to make sure our teams of people are focused on customer demands.” The company currently employs around 370 full-time staff and Murray continues, “We are extremely dedicated to delivering an industry-leading staff culture and in turn be seen as a good employerDuring the last 18 months, a leadership programme for managers has been rolled out to make them better at developing teams. There are plenty of technicians around, but the challenge is to find people who can handle the robust volumes, paperwork, and attention to detail that we strive to deliver. It can be quite a shock for a skilled technician coming from a non-franchise background. The pace of life here is fast and the quality of work required is higher by comparison.”

Murray expects his teams to take the lead and progress business levels under an easily accessible management structure. “A classic example of this policy is Steve Wilson’s recent purchase of a Volvo LNG demonstrator. That vehicle will give our customers quick access to this new technology and enable them to see, first hand, what it can do for their businesses,” he enthuses.

Trafford Park, Manchester is undoubtedly Thomas Hardie Commercial’s largest site. It’s also in the top five of Volvo Truck UK’s busiest dealer points. From a business activity level, Preston comes next, closely followed by Middlewich, Knowsley in Liverpool and then Deeside. Each depot offers the full range of Volvo Truck services and supports the manufacturer’s 24/7 Volvo Action Service international uptime support service. “Volvo Action Service responses are crucial, as are MOT pass rates. Three of our dealerpoints; Deeside, Preston, and Trafford Park have ATF lanes and our pass rates are consistently excellent.”

Thomas Hardie Vehicle Solutions (THVS) at Chorley has also proved a real success. “THVS has great strength and is an incredibly successful one-stop-shop for our customers. Between 50 and 60 percent of the annual turnover at THVS comes from in-house, Thomas Hardie Commercials generated work. The rest is external. We’ve also used THVS creatively to boost used truck sales by having them produce some unique paint jobs, and supply and fit hydraulic kits that attract customers looking for something a bit special, with added value.”

Thomas Hardie Commercial’s head office is located in Liverpool. Formerly based in the Knowsley Industrial Park dealerpoint, the head office/administration functions moved to new premises in Moorgate Point seven months ago. This has permitted a development programme to commence at Knowsley, which will focus on a roof renovation and an upgrade of the parts and service front of house areas in order to achieve an improved visitor-friendly environment.

For its 35th anniversary in business during 2020, Murray’s focus remains firmly fixed on his customers and staff. “Our desire is to remain the supplier of choice, who gets it right first time, every time. The company will continue to concentrate on our people, who are our greatest asset. Our investment in staff is important, as is providing modern working conditions and the best industry training programmes. Staff surveys remain a good barometer of progress and enable everyone to have their say. We will also continue with our bi-annual Staff Award Ceremonies that recognises individuals who achieve excellence in their roles.” Taking the Thomas Hardie Commercials brand to its existing and potential customers is a long-established presence at local truck shows, such as Truckfest North West and the North West Truck Gathering. “These events are great for product and dealer awareness, and we see a real mix of age groups visiting the stand. You just never know when you could sow a seed with someone undecided about their future career choice. We’re also investigating the possibility of depot events and family days, so there’s plenty on the go,” Murray concludes

Searching for Silver

Upgrading a truck isn’t easy. That bespoke masterpiece with lightbars, spotlights, custom paint and everything else that makes a truck personal to you five, ten years ago, maybe isn’t cutting today’s rigorous emissions testing or isn’t powerful enough to carry your business further.

Therefore, a replacement is now on the agenda, which brings a huge task in itself.

Is the colour scheme being replaced? Do you need an upgrade in power? Can that lightbar and spots you’ve had for the past 10 years fit newer models or different cab designs? Do you want your cab to support Lane Support, Collision Assist, Adaptive lighting, Microwaves, TVs, bib-spoilers, dirt deflectors, adjustable bunks?

All these decisions and choices are what Thomas Hardie Used Trucks Middlewich thrive on. Building bespoke examples and customizing trucks to suit customers’ needs being at the core of what we do best.

Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales approached DW Mines Haulage with suggestions in replacing there current 500bhp, Euro 5, FH classic. Which featured twin bunks, DuraBrite alloys, DVD player, bib spoilers, lightbars, and dirt deflectors.

With such a brilliant example currently representing them, DW Mines requested something that would honour its predecessor, featuring similar add-ons and colour, but also boasting low mileage and good condition.

Thomas Hardie’s had the perfect replacement in stock and it wasn’t long before DW Mines snapped up the stunning FH4, 540bhp, 6×2 goliath, that also carried roof and front step mounted Lightfix bars, spots, beacons and Durabrite alloys. In addition, the chosen vehicle was also finished off in a sleek silver colour-scheme, further cementing the decision.

 

DW Mines Haulage kindly commented on the service and experience received throughout their journey with Thomas Hardie UVS:

 

How would you describe the service you received from Thomas Hardie Used vehicle sales?

“Brilliant. I dealt with Ronnie Kelsall and I couldn’t recommend him or Thomas Hardie used vehicles enough, nothing seemed to be too much trouble, I needed a few bits adding along with tipping gear which was fitted to a very high standard, when I picked the truck up they even added extra trims and Alcoa wheel nut covers which I wasn’t expecting, the truck was valeted to a like-new condition, so much so I’ve been asked by several people was it a new truck”.

 

What role has the vehicle played within your business?

“The vehicle is just a newer upgrade to my business, slightly bigger engine than my last truck so hoping maybe a little more mpg but the big difference hopefully will be reliability as it’s a lot newer than my last truck”.

 

what features of the vehicle purchased attracted you most?

“I was looking for a silver truck immaculate condition with low miles and this truck had that and more. It had a 540 engine, microwave fridge, extra spotlights, LED lightbars, perimeter lighting and LED rear cab lights, it has a massive spec and is in pristine condition”.

 

How did you find out about Thomas Hardie Used vehicle sales?

“Volvo Middlewich is pretty well known for used vehicles and servicing; my dad has dealt with them in the past for used trucks”.

 

Would you recommend Thomas Hardie Used vehicle sales in the future?

“I couldn’t recommend Thomas Hardie (Middlewich) used trucks enough, I part ex’d my old vehicle and picked the new truck up with no issues what so ever, the work completed to the new vehicle was superb and if I’m honest, when picking the truck up it was in better condition than I expected. I dealt with Ronnie Kelsall and he was brilliant.

Like I said above, nothing seemed to much trouble. Even after the sale, I had an issue with road tax and he sorted it no problem. I’ll definitely contact Ronnie again when I’m looking for another vehicle”.

 

Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales would like to thank DW Mines Haulage in choosing Thomas Hardie UVS as there used truck supplier, providing them with a fantastic replacement vehicle and look forward to supporting DW Mines in the future.

Thank you.

By Marcus Harley
(Thomas Hardie’s Sales Support)

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Meet The Professionals – Luke Mcdonough

Today brings another episode of Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales, Meet The Professionals!
This week we take a look at Luke, a valued member of our dedicated PDI team.

Luke’s journey with Thomas Hardie’s began with valeting. Cleaning and detailing our stock and sold vehicles to impeccable standards. But Luke had bigger plans for his time with us. Witnessing other members of the PDI team carrying out essential repairs on vehicles, inspired Luke to pursue a different path within his role and was keen to show interest in more mechanical tasks.

Now with guidance from more experienced staff, Luke tackles the necessary work needed to assure our customers are receiving a premium product at the well recognized Thomas Hardie standards.
Luke is now a highly regarded member of the team and is learning something new with every job he’s assigned.

Read below to discover more about Lukes thoughts and feelings working with Thomas Hardie Used Trucks!

Name – Luke Mcdonough

Role – Valeter/Laborer

How long have you worked at THUVS? – Just over one year.

Brief description of your roll 

Alongside valeting, my main role is carrying out minor repairs on trucks to ensure our stock is faultless and strong enough to represent us.

What do you enjoy most about working at THUVS? 

The freedom mostly. Not having un-necessary pressure piled on to us means we are a happy bunch that enjoy our work. No day is ever the same, which keeps work fresh and interesting.

Why should someone use THUVS as their used truck supplier? –

Best in the Northwest! You don’t win ‘Best Used Truck Dealer of The Year’ three years running for nothing!

Describe THUVS in three words –

  • Efficient
  • Organized
  • Ambitious

Where do you see THUVS in the near future? –

Dominating the competition and having the largest supply of used trucks around.

What three items would you need on a desert island –

  • PC
  • WIFI
  • T.V

Tell us one thing people might not know about you –

When I was younger, I enjoyed skateboarding and I was pretty damn good at it!

By Marcus Harley
(UVS Sales Support)
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