East Anglian foodservice company Thomas Ridley has invested more than £500,000 in a new, and “greener”, fleet of lorries.

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Thomas Ridley, which is based at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, delivers chilled, ambient and frozen foods to the catering industry, including pubs, hotels, schools and hospitals.

It has now ordered six new multi-temperature DAF EURO 5 LF vehicles, specially designed for distribution work and supplied by ChassisCab, the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire dealer for DAF trucks.

The vehicles feature fuel-efficient automatic gear boxes, on-board monitoring of fuel consumption and routing software to minimise mileages.

The chiller units, meanwhile, use environmentally-friendly coolant and refrigerant, and run off separate electrical generators to further reduce emissions, and noise.

Thomas Ridley’s investment in new vehicles coincides with the addition of 14,000sq ft of storage space which will come into use during 2014.

Paul Farrow, distribution manager, said: “We are expanding into new market segments and our customer base is increasing year-on-year and so we are looking to secure the optimal transport resource possible to cope with this additional business.”

He added: “Many of our deliveries take our drivers into London, particularly to schools and the wider education sector, and for this reason we need to keep our transport up to date with the latest and more stringent emissions standards set by The Low Emission Zone.”

The new trucks, due for delivery in March, will join a number of other DAF vehicles already in the Thomas Ridley fleet.

Robert Baxter, dealer principal at ChassisCab, which is based at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, and has branches at Bury St Edmunds and Islesham, near Ely, said: “We are extremely proud to be supplying another bulk order of trucks to Thomas Ridley which will help them to deal with their ever increasing delivery workload.”

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