North Down Grain (ND Grain) has taken delivery of six Iveco S-WAY 6x2 tractor units.

This is the third Iveco tractor order from the Newtownards-based haulier, which is contracted to Lakeland Dairies.

The vehicles are already being used for collections from farms across six counties of Northern Ireland and will be responsible for 1.8 billion litres of milk a year. This is then turned into a variety of dairy products at Lakeland Dairies' processing plant in County Tyrone. From there, 170 different dairy foodservice and food ingredient products are produced for export to customers in 70 countries.

Each unit has been specified with full air suspension and front bumpers fitted with bolt-on steel lower sections for added durability and strength for environments with a high potential for low-level obstacles. The driver is also able to raise the ride-height when venturing away from solid ground.

The 480hp Cursor 11 diesel engine is mated to the smooth and precise automated 12-speed HI-TRONIX gearbox with a steering mid-lift axle to further improve manoeuvrability when accessing the tight Northern Irish country lanes.

ND Grain has contracted the new Iveco S-WAYs for four years in which time they are expected to cover around 360,000 kilometres each. Supplied by NI Trucks, the vehicles will be maintained under an Iveco ON 3XL R&M package. Connected to Iveco's European control room, drivers and the traffic office are afforded clear visibility and early warning of any servicing needs, boosting all-important uptime by improving forward planning abilities.

The unit also features over-the-air update compatibility which serves to eliminate potential workshop visits altogether.

Each unit was ordered ready with Power Take Off (PTO) facilities and has since been equipped with a Hi-Power hydraulics system for pumping. The trucks often operate at full running weight, pulling tri-axle aluminium tankers with the capacity for carrying 30,000 litres of milk. Additionally, a Brigade camera system was fitted prior to delivery to maximise safety by eliminating any blind-spots while traversing busy farmyards and dairies.

Product reliability and solid service back-up from Belfast Iveco dealer NI Trucks has been at the heart of ND Grain’s two-decade relationship with the brand.

“We have developed a strong relationship with NI Trucks who clearly understand the service needs of an operation that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year,” explained MD Grain MD Philip Davidson.

“After road-testing the Iveco S-WAY, it was an easy decision to replace our current fleet. Driver feedback has been extremely positive and the trucks haven’t missed a beat since they went into operation.

“Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the Iveco S-WAY from the comfort and practicality of the interior to the product design. The trucks have certainly turned a few heads whilst out on the road."

Added NI Trucks’ heavy truck business development manager, Rod Hawkins: “We have worked with ND Grain for more than a decade and have a great relationship that focuses all of our efforts on keeping the trucks on the road around the clock. There are no breaks in service when it comes to milk collection and we provide a very flexible service for inspections and servicing to ensure they can seamlessly work seven days a week.”