Warburtons E-Tech D16 truck drives past Bolton town hall

Source: Warburtons

One of Warburtons’ new E-Tech D16 trucks is driven past Bolton town hall

Warburtons has added new electric trucks and rigid box vans to its fleet, which delivers fresh bread to 18,500 stores daily across the UK.

The Bolton-headquartered bakery giant operates 11 production sites and 22 depots nationwide, with a fleet of almost 1,000 vehicles, according to its website.

It has now taken delivery of four Renault Trucks E-Tech D16 electric trucks, which it said was a demonstration of its commitment to reducing its carbon impact through a transition to a zero emission fleet. 

Warburtons head of transport Steve Gray said the performance of its first 16-tonne electric truck, deployed at its Enfield site in 2021, had given the company confidence to make the significant investment in four more.  

”By carefully planning the first vehicle, studying routes, diminishing loads and tail-lift systems, we specified the right vehicle for the job, which has delivered the same quality of service to our customers with zero emissions,” Gray commented.

In addition to the new D16s – which join Warburtons’ secondary fleet and are to operate out of bakeries in Enfield, Glasgow, Bristol, and Bolton – the company also purchased its first electric vans, two Renault Trucks E-Tech Master vans with Luton bodies, for use in Enfield and Bristol.

“Our secondary fleet, which delivers products direct to stores, is ideal for electric vehicles, as most routes are low stem mileage of less than 100 miles, making around 30 to 35 deliveries. All vehicles are on the road by 4am, returning by lunchtime with long dwell times back at base that are perfect for charging, using 22 kW EV charging points installed by EO,” added Gray.

Supplied by Renault Trucks dealer JDS Trucks & Vans, the D16s feature box bodies by Fosters Commercials and Dhollandia tail lifts, and are powered by 265 kWh, 600 V E-Tech lithium-ion batteries. Engines deliver maximum power of 185 kW, with the gearbox offering two forward speeds and one reverse.

Other bakery businesses making strides towards sustainability by reducing the carbon emissions of its fleets include Wenzel’s, which recently completed a ‘smooth and successful’ transition to EVs for its area managers, and Wrights, which spent £1.3m on eight compress natural gas powered vehicles last year.     

Warburtons adds 38 Tiger Trailers rigid DAF box van trucks to its fleet - 2100x1400

Source: Warburtons

Two of Warburtons’ new rigid DAF box vans manufactured by Tiger Trailers

Warburtons has also expanded its bakery delivery fleet through the purchase of 38 rigid box vans from Tiger Trailers. 

The firm originally approached the HGV manufacturer in the winter of 2022 with a request for a ‘bespoke, intelligent, and ergonomic design’ to meet its unique operational requirements. An initial design phase saw Warburtons make regular visits to Tiger’s ‘ultra-modern’ factory in Winsford Industrial Estate, Cheshire, to conduct 3D-model review sessions.

“It has been reassuring to have been involved throughout the design and manufacturing process,” said Warburtons’ Gray. “We have taken delivery of 10 of the vans already and are very impressed with the final product. We are looking forward to a further 28 due joining our fleet in spring this year.”

Built on a 14-tonne DAF chassis from local firm Lancashire DAF, each rigid box van is fitted with Warburtons-specification racking along its sides, as well as adjustable centre aisle load bars to suit loading requirements. 

Warburtons remains the UK’s largest bread brand, reporting revenue of £605.7m for the 52 weeks ended 24 September 2022 in its most recent accounts. This represented an increase of 6.7% on the comparable 2021 period. However, the company revealed its operating profits had fallen by 43% due to commodity inflation and higher costs relating to driver shortages.