With 280 regular lines operated each day throughout France, Toulouse-based Transport Jimenez FVA has invested in the new generation Scania R 450 to meet the demands of its business.
As driver Loïc Beyt ends his shift at 19.30 sharp, colleague Sébastien Denis is prepared to take over. When asked about the new generation, Loïc Beyt exclaims that the truck 'is really, really beautiful and tremendous inside as well.' Denis is expected in Avignon at 0.30, and will reach Montpellier at 3:30 to switch trailers and be back in Toulouse early morning when Beyt will, once again, take over the wheel.
With this around-the-clock scheme, the trucks operate some 205,000 kilometres annually. 'The trucks are well used and the entire fleet is operated at night. While all the trucks aren't used during daytime, 30 percent of the fleet is operated continuously,' says Valérie Jimenez, President of Transport Jimenez.
She manages the transport company together with her husband François and his brother Antoine. Transport Jimenez was founded in 1966 with one single truck on the Toulouse-Bordeaux route. François drove at night, Antoine in daytime and Valérie helped out occasionally relieving the brothers. The trio were prepared to take risks and added a second, a third and a fourth route, finally covering France in its entirety.
'Our lines are studied and the routes optimised and carefully selected between motorways and national roads to find the shortest time and the best points to change drivers. That's necessary since contracts are awarded on price down to the last euro cent.'
They presently manage the fleet of nearly 400 trucks, employing 460 drivers. Roughly one-third are stationed in the Toulouse area while the remainder are found in all corners of France. With a woman at the helm, Valérie Jimenez is active in promoting the transport industry, vocational training and the role of women in transport. The company presently employs 30 women drivers.