Merridale is third installation for Nicholas Rowell Haulage.
Now approaching its fortieth years anniversary, Nicholas Rowell Haulage is truly a family business with both Nicholas and his wife Judith and their two sons, Philip and Jonathan, all involved on a daily basis. Having started out with a single lorry, the business, founded by Nicholas in 1973, now has a ﬂeet of 26 vehicles based at Torr Quarry near to Kingsbridge in South Devon.
“We moved onto this site in 1987 as the business was expanding. Apart from providing additional space for parking and workshop facilities, the former quarry also includes Devon County Council recycling facilities. We operate a skip service for the collection and disposal of commercial waste, so this location suits our relationship with the council,” explains Nicholas Rowell.
[quote]As a result I believe we now have an ideal solution for a low cost single site operation. What impressed us most was the fact that it was also far less expensive than the competitor’s upgrade solution.[/quote]
As the industrial site has developed, it has also provided other new business opportunities in building materials and aggregates and the main ﬂeet comprises four and six wheel tippers and articulated walking ﬂoor and ejector trailer units for the transportation of waste and recycling material.
“Since we are in a rural location, bulk purchasing fuel was an essential requirement,” says Nicholas, adding. “Currently we are consuming around 40,000 litres a month. Clearly, fuel is a signiﬁcant factor in operating costs so keeping accurate records of usage is crucial to the proﬁtability of the business.
“Our facilities for fuel monitoring have progressed in three steps. Initially we had a basic meter in which the amount of fuel drawn was recorded on a printed paper tally roll. The information was then transferred manually onto our accounts.
“The next step was a ‘so-called market leading’ monitor which used a memory device to transfer the fuelling data directly into the ofﬁce computer. Unfortunately support for this product was withdrawn and the supplier announced that it was being replaced by a more advanced version.
“Effectively this pushed us back into the market. Only this time we knew exactly what we wanted, not only in terms of the performance of the equipment but also the signiﬁcance of the promises made concerning long term support.”
Nicholas Rowell concludes by saying. “As a result I believe we now have an ideal solution for a low cost single site operation. What impressed us most was the fact that it was also far less expensive than the competitor’s upgrade solution.
The Merridale system is based on an Auditor unit which is linked directly to the ofﬁce computer. To obtain fuel drivers use a smart key which is assigned to speciﬁc vehicles. They must then use the keyboard to enter the vehicle odometer reading and the driver PIN to authenticate the transaction.
The management software can be used to analyse fuel consumption, either by individual vehicles or by drivers. The system is very easy to use and our ofﬁce administrator can track fuelling costs and he has all the information necessary for stock management and purchasing