3.5T or 7.5T Recovery Vehicle

When looking at car transporters and recovery vehicles, 3.5 ton trucks can provide a cost efficient alternative to 7.5 ton trucks, especially with fuel costs increasing.

Operating costs and flexibility are the keys to purchasing decisions. There is no need to buy a bigger truck than required. The choice is dependent on loads, but for recovery operators with more than one vehicle it makes sense to have at least one 3.5t truck in the mix.

Fuel Costs Illustration

If the cost of fuel is £6 per gallon then this would be approximately £40,000 for 100,000 miles for a 7.5t truck. As a 3.5t truck uses approximately half this amount (running at approximately 30 mpg as opposed to 15 to 17 mpg for a heavier truck).

After 100,000 miles you will have saved most of the cost of replacing the light recovery vehicle.

3.5 Ton Truck

  • Capital cost: Circa £20,000
  • Fuel at £6 per gallon for 100,000 miles: £20,000 (based on 30 mpg)
  • Total Cost: £40,000
  • excluding other running costs such as tax, insurance and maintenance.

7.5 Ton Truck

  • Capital cost: Circa £48,000
  • Fuel at £6 per gallon for 100,000 miles: £40,000 (based on 15 mpg)
  • Total Cost: £88,000
  • excluding other running costs such as tax, insurance and maintenance.

Paying for the Tonnage

Heavier 7.5t trucks are more expensive to run, and in most car transportation cases a 3.5t truck will give sufficient payload to do the job just as well.

The ultra car transporter designed and built by KFS specifically for the vehicle transport market offers a massive 1,780kg payload on a low line chassis design. This payload covers around 80% of cars on the market, meaning that a lighter, more efficient vehicle can be used on many runs, especially for longer journeys, giving instant fuel savings.

Versatility

The versatility of the 3.5 ton truck makes it an ideal vehicle for the recovery business. 3.5t vehicles can be driven on a standard UK licence, and unlike 7.5t trucks do not require an additional licence, tachograph or tachograph training.

They also tend to be capable of higher speeds, even at full load, giving shorter journey times and reducing overtime. As a smaller vehicle, they are easier to manoeuvre on smaller loads, and as they are based on a standard chassis, maintenance and testing costs are also very competitive.

Quality

The latest generation of 3.5t trucks are not of an inferior quality. They are robust and built to last even if covering 2,500 miles per week, and should give similar reliability to heavier vehicles. All aluminium deck construction combines integral strength and corrosion resistance while maximising vehicle transport capacity.

There are numerous reasons, especially financial, why it makes sense to move to a 3.5 ton truck, especially with those with a fleet of vehicles. A 3.5 ton truck makes economical sense to include in an operator’s fleet.

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