• 10 February 2020
  • Well-known timber and builders merchants adds new DAF XF 480 FTG Space Cab tractor
  • Company’s first ever tractor unit acquisition
  • DAF forms majority of 64-vehicle fleet
  • Company recently acquired new Glastonbury location

Sydenhams DAF fleet grows with first new XF tractor unit

The name Sydenhams has long been associated with the supply of timber products and building materials across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Avon and the Isle of Wight. The company was originally founded in 1874 by James Thomas Sydenham on a site in Poole, Dorset, where timber is still imported today.


The opening of a branch in Glastonbury has led to the latest purchase of a DAF XF 480 FTG Space Cab tractor from south coast commercial vehicle specialists, Adams Morey. Jamie Thompson is the Group Transport Manager for Sydenhams and he looks after the fleet of some 64 HGV vehicles, 58 of which are DAFs.  They are predominantly a mixture of 16, 18-tonne and 26-tonne DAF LF and CF two- and three-axle rigids, of which 44 are fitted with Hiab cranes.

In 1999, with the acquisition of associated companies, J T Sydenhams & Co. was renamed to Sydenhams Ltd. to form the present family owned and independent Timber & Builders Merchants. The business has continued to grow and can supply all your building & DIY needs through its network of 32 branches.  

Jamie says of his fleet and its use, “We supply timber products and building materials to customers across the south and the Glastonbury site will provide a supply link from Penzance to North Wales. Therefore, there was the need for another tractor unit, we decided upon a DAF XF which would fit for our needs.

“We inherited a few older vehicles with the latest acquisition at Glastonbury, some of which we have disposed of. As a company, we are set on a planned upgrade of the fleet over the next few years. We like to own our vehicles and so we are also replacing some of the leased trucks.  There was a need for a new DAF XF artic and, being that this was our first ever purchase of a new tractor unit, there was a great deal of excitement and when it arrived it looked a picture in our colours and livery. We also ran a trailer refurbishment program of the inherited trailers where we had them re-sprayed and the fitment of new curtains. They now sit in our colours and livery, which again we think looks very smart.”

Sydenhams source their timber from Europe and the business has evolved to include the design and manufacture of roofing structures and timber frame buildings as well as the supply of building materials, landscaping services, kitchens and bathrooms, flooring products and tool and plant hire.

John Pee has been at Adams Morey for 29 years and is the Adams Morey Territory Sales Manager.  His association with Sydenhams eclipses Jamie’s 19 years with the firm. John says, “The relationship between Adams Morey and Sydenhams has been built on honesty and trust. Not only do we sell them vehicles, but we service them also. DAF have been the No. 1 selling truck manufacturer in the UK for the past 25 consecutive years. We like to think that our back up for customers, including the DAF Aid service, coupled with sensible pricing and efficient, reliable trucks keeps us at the head of the manufacturers list.

“I personally have developed an excellent relationship with Jamie.  We can sit round a table and resolve any issues amicably, discuss plans and specifications of future truck purchases to suit their use.”

From his point of view Jamie is pleased to reflect on the relationship with Adams Morey and John in particular, “At Sydenhams we are upfront and honest with our customers and Adams Morey have the same ethos.  Reliability and uptime of the vehicles is key for us. Our customers require their materials to be delivered on time so as not to delay their projects. At Sydenhams we pride ourselves on the level of customer service we provide. 

“The specifications of the new XF480 FTG Space Cab are also very important as we want to look after our drivers. The flat walk through in the cab, luxury air seat, navigation and phone system, sun visor and extra comfort mattress are just some of the extras we have included making for a more practical and comfortable experience for the driver.

“The specifications of the DAF vehicles have developed very positively in recent years”, comments Jamie. “This includes the change in body shape, more environmentally efficient engines and a move to more automatic gearboxes, though we still use manual for those tricky terrains with hilly and narrow access. Good fuel economy is also very important.”


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