Dawsonrentals is one of the UK’s largest CV rental firms, and one of the few to offer the full range of vehicles from vans to trucks and trailers and the full range of services from daily rental to contract hire and leasing. An early adopter of Euro-6 to allow its customers to try before they buy, more than 30% of its truck fleet is now Euro-6.
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Registered Office: 6th Floor, Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, England, SM1 1JB. We offer our customers a better age profile of equipment so the vehicles aren't breaking down.
Some of our competitors have got their own workshops and it's cheaper for them to repair the vehicles. We couldn't run an old fleet of trucks and make money.” Dawson has a long-standing relationship with Mercedes-Benz on both trucks and vans, though it also buys from MAN and Volvo.
Since the coming out of the recession, the pallet networks are very much in vogue so curtainsider rigids are in big demand. But having the two changes a year has actually flattened that out quite significantly for us.


This isn't something we've done because this customer has come to us and asked for this truck. We saw last year that we were able to demonstrate pretty significant fuel savings and the operational shift to Euro-6 wasn't as big as people thought.” While Euro-6 trucks have proved more fuel efficient than their predecessors, they do cost Dawson more to buy and maintain. We were given prices of anything from ?6,000 to ?12,000 for a new system but then some people are saying they can change the cartridge for ?1,200. But on the long-run vehicles that are doing lots of miles they've not missed a beat.” Purchase prices are at least 10% higher on Euro-6, according to Miller. If we can buy 500 vehicles at the right price, and we don't want to increase the fleet size by 500, we've got to sell an amount of vehicles. We like buying things.” Fletcher expects his truck fleet to grow steadily in 2015 as the market improves.
There's a rule of thumb that leasing, rental and contract hire grow slightly faster than the rate of economic growth.
Whether it will be as much as 10% I doubt, but it will not be far off that.” If making money from tractor unit hire can be difficult, renting trailers is even tougher, with cripplingly low rates blighting the sector for the past decade. Trying to gauge what is going to happen to a trailer you buy today in seven or eight years' time is really difficult.


He buys a used 2006 trailer for ?3,000 or ?4,000 and if it makes ?70 or ?80 a week, he's probably quite happy with that.
He's not had to put any money into compliance systems or overhead, the people, the training, all the other things that we do.” Fletcher would like to buy all British trailers, but he concedes “it's not always the best solution for us”, and Dawson remains a big customer of French fridge trailer builder Chereau.
I'll say Chereau are the only manufacturer that can deliver a trailer for a 10-year life in a rental fleet.” Dawson argued strongly that the trial of longer semi-trailers should have been open to the hire companies, but the DfT ignored their approach.
Needless to say, we didn't get much traction with this.” Dawson has however invested heavily in doubledeck trailers, taking delivery of its first refrigerated unit back in 2000 and now having over 600 on the fleet. That's whether it's dry freight or refrigerated.” While the rates for doubledecks are better than for vanilla single deck curtainsiders, they are expensive to buy and maintain. Now we could take on any size of fleet.” As on the truck side, Dawson will be an early adopter of Euro-6 when it comes into force for light commercials.
If you think about lot of big companies like construction firms and utilities, or the Royal Mail, that run fleets in the UK, it's not their core business activity.



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