Commercial fleet services firm Fraikin has secured the lion’s share of Mitchell Potatoes’ fleet renewal programme with the delivery of 12 new trucks on a six-year, full-service contract hire agreement.

The new additions join two 18-tonne DAF LFs and a 7.5-tonne MAN from a previous deal with Fraikin, making the company the main supplier, providing 15 of the company’s 25-strong mixed commercial vehicle fleet.

Founded in 1883, Mitchell Potatoes operates from three depots in Rugby, Bristol and Taunton, distributing more than 1,000 pallets of chipped potatoes a week in the Midlands, South Wales, London and the south coast of England.

The 12 new vehicles, which are like-for-like replacements for older models, include a 44-tonne Renault tractor unit, ten 18-tonne DAF LF rigids and a 26-tonne DAF.

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 across the UK.

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.

Mitchell Potatoes cited “outstanding industry expertise coupled with unrivalled maintenance support capabilities” as the driving force behind its decision to make Fraikin its preferred supplier.

All repair, maintenance and servicing will be managed through the company’s national workshop network.

David Mitchell, Mitchell Potatoes company director, said: “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.

He added: “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 dedicated telematics equipment. The system makes all data on fleet movements, tachograph information and driver behaviour available through a single point, making it easier to access data and improve fleet efficiency.

The company will also continue to use Fraikin’s maintenance tool, FraikinView, which helps maximise fleet uptime, providing a complete overview of all scheduled maintenance work and the ability to track and monitor its progress.

Mitchell added: “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.”