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West Pennine Trucks Telford depot finishes first in the 2019 Scania Depot of the Year competition

TELFORD WINS DEALER OF THE YEAR 

West Pennine Trucks Telford depot finishes first in the 2019 Scania Depot of the Year competition.

The Scania Depot of the Year competition focuses on rewarding the most customer focused depots by ranking them on their performance against a number of customer service driven metrics.

Telford performed fantastically, finishing the year with a 100% MOT pass rate, scoring a very impressive 99% on mystery shops and delivering above and beyond in a number of other areas.

Mark Davis, depot manager said, “I was over the moon when I found out we’d won. Over the past few years we’ve been working hard as a team to make sure we deliver the best possible aftersales support to our customers. Everyone played their part and we’re all really proud of what we’ve achieved.”

It is the first time Telford depot has won the coveted Scania award in a competition which West Pennine Trucks has recent success.

Steve Howard, Managing Director said, “Mark and the team have done a tremendous job in continually improving the depot and delivering unrivalled support to our customers across Telford and Shropshire. As a business we put the customer first and Telford epitomises that.

Howard continues, “Telford is our second depot to win Depot of the Year in the past 5 years and we’re continuing to adapt and introduce ways to make sure that if you bring your Scania into one of our six sites, you get the service your business deserves.”

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News from Midlands Truck & Van – Utilities contractor Clancy Group pipes in a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vans

Date: 16 September 2020

Brand associations: Clancy Group’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinters wear the liveries of high-profile businesses for which the leading contractor works

Utilities contractor Clancy Group pipes in a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vans

Leading Utilities Contractor Clancy Group has entrusted Mercedes-Benz Dealer Midlands Truck & Van with a landmark order for more than 500 light commercial vehicles, which are now supporting some of the country’s biggest and best-known service providers.

Most are Sprinter models with ground-breaking Mercedes PRO connect technology, which the operator is confidently predicting will deliver “a step change” in its fleet management capability.

Clancy Group switched to the three-pointed star just over four years ago and has not looked back since. “Our Mercedes-Benz vans have proved to be far more reliable than those we’d operated previously,” explained Head of Clancy Plant David Janes.

“That’s a key quality in this industry – we need our vehicles to be out there and working, so the fact that they are hardly ever off the road for anything other than routine maintenance is crucial. They’ve also been impressively cost-effective to operate, across a tough working regime in which each averages around 30,000 miles per year.”

Mercedes PRO connect uses 4G Internet technology to provide operators with access to a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective fleet management service packages.

Mr Janes added: “We see great potential in the way PRO connect can help us by collecting a raft of highly detailed information on the way our vehicles are working. These are early days, and we’re only just beginning to explore the ways in which we can best use the system, but we believe it will enable a significant improvement in the way we manage our
Mercedes-Benz van fleet.”

He continued: “The final piece of the jigsaw is the relationship. We receive excellent back-up from the manufacturer and its Dealer. Over the last four years Midlands Truck & Van’s Account Manager Erica Stredwick has developed a highly detailed understanding of our operation, and of our specific requirements.

“Having a dedicated Account Manager proves to us the commitment of our supply chain; we are assured there is always someone there who knows our business as well as we do, who thinks the way we do, and can make things happen when needed.

“We can place an order and not need to worry about it, because Erica is there in the background, seamlessly arranging conversions and the fitment of additional equipment, as well as the application of customer-specific liveries. We also benefitted from a visit by the Dealer’s Connectivity Specialist Michael Carolan, who was able to give us a detailed explanation of the various ways in which PRO connect can help in our day-to-day operations. That kind of service is priceless.”

The vehicles are operated by Clancy Plant, and are now hard at work on contracts held by other Group divisions, whose customers include many of the UK’s leading utility providers. They wear several different liveries, some of which bear the names and logos of the businesses Clancy Group supports.

The 553 units delivered this year include examples from across the entire Mercedes-Benz Vans range. The majority – 445 in total – are 3.5-tonne Sprinter 316 CDI panel vans and chassis cabs, the latter being fitted with tipping or dropside bodies, or access platforms. Midlands Truck & Van has also delivered 84 mid-sized Vito vans, 20 smaller Citans, and four X-Class pickups.

Most of the Sprinter panel vans were specified with 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmissions, to make life easier for drivers working in urban environments. They are equipped with compressors and generators by On-Board Power, of Liversedge, West Yorkshire.

“Typically, these vans transport the teams who dig holes in the road, together with all their tools and equipment, which frequently includes excavators towed on trailers,” explained Mr Janes. “Others are kitted out as rapid response vehicles – if a burst water main is reported, for example, specialist teams have to react to the call-out within two hours.”

He continued: “The Vito vans carry out similar tasks to the Sprinters, but are deployed at  locations which are better suited to a more compact vehicle, while the Citans and X-Class pickups are allocated to roles such as leak detection and meter fitting, or to supervisors.”

“Although these vans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they share the same attributes of outstanding build quality, reliability, economy, comfort and impressive safety specifications, as well as first-class aftersales support. Whichever way you look at it, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are far better than any we’ve operated in the past.”

Multi-award-winning Clancy Group is one of the largest privately-owned construction firms in the UK. Established in 1958, the company now provides employment for more than 2,500 colleagues, who provide infrastructure and related services to customers the length and breadth of the UK.

www.theclancygroup.co.uk

Home strip: Some of Clancy’s Sprinters work in the company’s own colours…

Eastern promise: While others wear the liveries of high-profile customers such as Anglian Water

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Midlands Truck & Van invests £7 million to deliver first-class Mercedes-Benz service for the ‘second city’

Taking shape: Midlands Truck & Van’s new Birmingham base is due to open in October

Operators of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO commercial vehicles in and around Birmingham can look forward to an even higher level of service when Midlands Truck & Van opens for business at a new, state-of-the-art dealership in the city.

Work on the £7-million project began late last year, and the Dealer is on schedule to welcome the first customers to its new home in Smethwick in October. 

The Service department at its current base in Saltley opens at 6am each Monday and then remains so, round-the-clock, until 1pm on Saturdays. Once the new workshop is fully operational and nearing maximum throughput capacity, the business will review its shift patterns to establish the viability of a seven-day working week.

This potential extension to opening times, coupled with the fact that the new facility will be considerably bigger and better equipped than Saltley’s, means that Midlands Truck & Van is aiming to double the number of labour hours it sells each month.

As well as oversight of the final phase of construction and fitting out, the recruitment of additional technicians and parts specialists is therefore high on the agenda for Managing Director Steve Hunt and his Service Director Michael Carolan. 

The dealership is taking shape on the Cornwall Road Industrial Estate. Previously the site of a steelworks, and then a plastics factory, the seven-acre plot offers plenty of room for displaying new and pre-owned vehicles available for purchase, and for customers to manoeuvre and park their own trucks and vans.

Midlands Truck & Van will also be the first member of the manufacturer’s commercial vehicle network to introduce a new customer experience concept which is already in operation at a number of Mercedes-Benz car outlets. 

A far cry from the traditional truck and van dealership, the building’s open plan reception area has been designed and will be furnished in line with the latest Mercedes-Benz corporate standards. All visitors to the site will be greeted by dedicated hosts, then introduced to other members of the Midlands Truck & Van team with whom they will be able to discuss anything from a sales enquiry to a service booking in stylish, relaxed and comfortable surroundings.

The new building will also incorporate a Parts department which, at 650 square metres, represents a 25% increase on the shelf space currently available to the Dealer. As a result, Midlands Truck & Van will carry correspondingly wider and deeper stocks of the factory-approved spares it needs to keep vehicles on the road and earning for their owners.

The ‘beating heart’ of the development, though, will be the 1,580 square metre, drive-through workshop. Highlights for truck operators include an Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) at which inspectors from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will undertake annual MoT tests, an ADR bay allocated to work on fuel tankers and related specialist equipment for transporting hazardous loads, and another bay fitted with rollers for the installation and calibration of tachographs.

Meanwhile, Midlands Truck & Van’s own technicians will carry out MoT tests on light commercial vehicles in the Class 4, 5 and 7 categories, at times – night or day – best suited to customers. 

In addition to these dedicated workspaces, routine maintenance and repairs will be carried out in a further 11 truck bays – each, at 24 metres, comfortably long enough to accommodate an articulated tractor unit and semi-trailer combination – and eight van bays.

“This fantastic facility is going to have a phenomenal impact on our business,” declared Steve Hunt. “It took a long time to find the right location for this project and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank colleagues who’ve continued to deliver exemplary levels of customer service despite having to work in conditions that were less than ideal.

“I can guarantee their patience will be rewarded come October, as our new dealership will be right up there with the very best in the industry. Customers have also welcomed the substantial investment we’re making because it underscores this company’s commitment and determination to keep their businesses moving.”

Steve added: “Our Smethwick facility will provide a perfect platform from which we’ll be able to meet the ever-increasing demand for our aftersales support, and provide the class-leading levels of service that Mercedes-Benz truck and van customers are entitled to expect.” 

The opening of its new dealership will mark the completion of a major programme of investment in its branch network by Midlands Truck & Van, one of two Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle franchisees owned by Northern Ireland’s Ballyvesey Holdings Group.

Midlands Truck & Van recently spent £3 million on the acquisition and refurbishment of the former Mercedes-Benz car outlet in Whitley, Coventry. Its repurposing as one of the country’s biggest Mercedes-Benz van showrooms allowed the Dealer’s former commercial vehicle centre next door to become a truck-dedicated facility.

Midlands Truck & Van’s purpose-built branch, in Willenhall, Wolverhampton, is also still relatively new, having opened at the end of 2015 at a cost of £4 million.

Site visit: Midlands Truck & Van Managing Director Steve Hunt, left, and Service Director Michael Carolan are overseeing the company’s latest infrastructure project

Site visit: Midlands Truck & Van Managing Director Steve Hunt, left, and Service Director Michael Carolan are overseeing the company’s latest infrastructure project
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Dorwingear strengthens its connections with Mercedes-Benz Vito and Midlands Truck & Van

Van selection has become an open and shut affair for Dorwingear – the door and window systems manufacturer chooses Mercedes-Benz, for its well-established attributes of reliability, driver appeal and top-quality aftersales support.

Now that built-in connectivity has also been added to the equation, though, the three-pointed star shines even more brightly for the Birmingham-based company.

Dorwingear operates a fleet of 22 vans, all but an older handful of which are by
Mercedes-Benz. The line-up includes 3.5-tonne Sprinters and a pair of small Citan models, but the mainstay of the fleet is the mid-sized Vito.

Latest to arrive via the city branch of Midlands Truck & Van are three Vito 114 CDI PURE models with long L2 bodies. Acquired with competitive funding support from
Mercedes-Benz Finance, they will be maintained by the Dealer under ServiceCare plans.

Like its last batch of Sprinters, the Vito vans came with ground-breaking 4G internet connectivity and the Mercedes PRO connect vehicle management package. A stand-out feature of the Sprinter and Vito ranges, Mercedes PRO connect provides operators with access to a wide range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services.

By connecting companies with their vehicles, the system contributes to improved efficiency and productivity. It monitors everything from the van’s maintenance status to the driver’s style at the wheel, and even the amount of fuel in the tank, while also providing high-level navigation and communication services, and allowing fleet managers to control certain vehicle functions remotely.

Mercedes PRO connect also boosts security by incorporating a tracker, which can pinpoint a van’s exact location. A geofencing function alerts operators should their vehicles leave pre-defined areas.

“Mercedes PRO connect provides a welcome added level of anti-theft protection, but also includes a variety of very useful features to help businesses like ours work more safely and profitably,” enthused Dorwingear Director Craig Dollery.

“Its ability to monitor items like brake fluid levels and pad wear helps us to plan regular maintenance in advance more easily, while the tracking function means we can organise vehicle movements much more easily than before. It’s a really useful tool.”

Founded in 1974 by Mr Dollery’s father, Dorwingear is proud of the reputation for top-quality products and services it has built with customers over many years. Like so many others, the company postponed much of its work during the initial lockdown, to safeguard its workforce and ensure that urgent callouts to key customers including police and health services and train operators were unaffected.

“We quickly established alternative ways of working, taking account of social distancing and other safety restrictions,” said Mr Dollery. “This allowed us to bring people back in and take advantage of the ability to carry out works where sites were all but deserted.”

All Dorwingear’s vans are fitted with roof racks to carry ladders and other items, then allocated to mobile engineers who specialise in servicing automatic doors, access control systems, roller shutters, windows, traffic barriers and powered gates.

Mr Dollery continued: “We’ve tried other makes of vehicle in the past but since switching to Mercedes-Benz six years ago have enjoyed superior reliability and increased ‘uptime’ from our vehicles, while experiencing a high level of customer service from Midlands Truck & Van’s sales and workshop teams.

“Sales Executive Rob Lynock and his colleagues provide a far more attentive level of customer service than we’d received previously. The finance package is very competitive and the ServiceCare rates similarly attractive, while the Dealer’s workshop team do a great job of ensuring that our vans are always available for work when we need them.”

Dorwingear’s new Vito 114 CDIs are powered by economical 2.1-litre common rail turbodiesel engines which produce 140 hp and drive the rear wheels – other Vito variants are available with front-wheel drive.

In addition to the reassuring armoury of safety aids for which Mercedes-Benz vans are renowned, its drivers benefit from the vehicle’s standard-fit Active Parking Assist system, parking sensors and automatic headlights. Other features include a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift selector, a comfort driver’s seat, heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, and heat-insulating glass.

www.dorwingear.co.uk

Driving efficiencies: Dorwingear’s Craig Dollery is impressed with his new vans’ multi-faceted Mercedes-Benz PRO connect technology

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Falcon keeps firms on the move at HPC

Falcon 1

Hinkley Point C (HPC) continues to break records and hit milestones but it’s the businesses and people behind the scenes who are ensuring the project keeps moving on time and to schedule.

Take Falcon Vehicle Solutions, which has bases in Taunton and Bridgwater, as well as a modern workshop in Bridgwater.

The vehicle rental company has provided a wide range of vehicles on contract hire to a number of different local, national and international contractors who are working directly on site at HPC.

Clients include Somerset Larder, which uses LCVs and refrigerated HGVs, Windsor Catering, which uses 3.5t fridge vans and makes use of flexible fleet hire and Construgomes, a Portuguese sub-contractor which has used more than 10 vehicles for workers to use while working at HPC.

Tristan Savage, Managing Director of Falcon Vehicle Solutions, said: “Our flexible approach and wide-ranging fleet, allows contractors to scale up or down their fleet as required. The use of contract hire supports the core fleet of any contractor, with flexible hire being used to scale up during peak requirements.

“Our workshop and maintenance teams mean we can maintain all vehicles in Bridgwater or through our 24/7 breakdown service, both minimising vehicle downtime which is key to contractors working against deadlines.”

Falcon 2 300x225 1

Falcon Vehicle Solutions offers all HPC workers discounted rentals on self-drive car/van hire. The workshop provides maintenance support for any HPC contractor, with a focus to minimise downtime, using highly-skilled technicians and offering a special labour rate for HPC contractors.

The company registered with the Hinkley Supply Chain (HSC) and over the last 12 months has worked with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce-led team and received regular updates on key events and timelines at HPC.

“This allowed us to identify where we will fit best as a provider to contractors during the upcoming phases,” explained Mr Savage.

“From here I was introduced to Natalie Beacham from the supply chain team. Natalie came to visit our site to get a feel for what we could offer and I have now met with Natalie a regular occasions, getting briefed on HPC progress with ideas on how we can fit in and was given a key introduction to a large local business which I am hopeful will lead to a long-term relationship being built.

“I would highly recommend working with the HSC team; they are fully engaged in HPC and they understand the challenges and frustrations that local businesses have in accessing the market.

“They offer free, personal and friendly advice over a coffee, which can be invaluable and allow you to reset your thinking.”

Falcon Vehicle Solutions has been in business over 30 years and is continuing to grow, earning an enviable reputation as a comprehensive fleet provider. From humble beginnings, today the company operates a fleet in excess of 700 vehicles ranging from self-drive cars and vans through to a full range of HGVs and trailers.

The fleet is the most diverse rental fleet in the South West of England and can provide anything from a one-day Luton tail-lift van or a 17-seat minibus hire, to a seven-year contract hire on a bespoke fleet of HGV’s.

Falcon 3 300x225 2

Mr Savage added: “Falcon Vehicle Solutions currently has 32 full time employees who all have a focus on delivering exceptional service to our customers. We have a UK network of sub-contractors who, in partnership with ourselves, will provide dedicated service 24/7 to keep our clients’ vehicles moving.

“We operate a multi-brand fleet and work independently from OEMs giving us the freedom to offer choice and flexibility and listen to our clients’ views and opinions to provide a solution that will fit best to our customers’ requirements.”

More information is available online at www.falconvehiclesolutions.co.uk.

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DMC TRAILERS VALUES SCHMITZ CARGOBULL QUALITY

Contract hire and rental business DMC Trailers has added 20 new Schmitz Cargobull trailers to its fleet because of the equipment’s build strength and consistently high residual values.

The new units, fitted with Carrier Transicold fridges, are supporting the Ballyvesey-owned firm’s existing customers who have specified quality and robust trailers for their operations.

DMC Trailers Sales and Account Manager, Zak Burton, says: “Investing in Schmitz Cargobull trailers makes good business sense. We offer our customers the best in quality and service, and the fact they will need less maintenance means less downtime and costs for all involved.

“For us, we know the total cost of ownership will be low, so they represent great value for money which we can pass on to our customers.”

The new trailers, which have been specified with Dynamic Ramp Protection, join DMC Trailers’ 1,000-strong multi-brand trailer contract hire and rental fleet based in Scunthorpe. For more information please visit: www.dmctrailers.co.uk.

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Falcon keeps firms on the move at HPC

Hinkley Point C (HPC) continues to break records and hit milestones but it’s the businesses and people behind the scenes who are ensuring the project keeps moving on time and to schedule.

Take Falcon Vehicle Solutions, which has bases in Taunton and Bridgwater, as well as a modern workshop in Bridgwater.

The vehicle rental company has provided a wide range of vehicles on contract hire to a number of different local, national and international contractors who are working directly on site at HPC.

Clients include Somerset Larder, which uses LCVs and refrigerated HGVs, Windsor Catering, which uses 3.5t fridge vans and makes use of flexible fleet hire and Construgomes, a Portuguese sub-contractor which has used more than 10 vehicles for workers to use while working at HPC.

Tristan Savage, Managing Director of Falcon Vehicle Solutions, said: “Our flexible approach and wide-ranging fleet, allows contractors to scale up or down their fleet as required. The use of contract hire supports the core fleet of any contractor, with flexible hire being used to scale up during peak requirements.

“Our workshop and maintenance teams mean we can maintain all vehicles in Bridgwater or through our 24/7 breakdown service, both minimising vehicle downtime which is key to contractors working against deadlines.”

Falcon Vehicle Solutions offers all HPC workers discounted rentals on self-drive car/van hire. The workshop provides maintenance support for any HPC contractor, with a focus to minimise downtime, using highly-skilled technicians and offering a special labour rate for HPC contractors.

The company registered with the Hinkley Supply Chain (HSC) and over the last 12 months has worked with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce-led team and received regular updates on key events and timelines at HPC.

“This allowed us to identify where we will fit best as a provider to contractors during the upcoming phases,” explained Mr Savage.

“From here I was introduced to Natalie Beacham from the supply chain team. Natalie came to visit our site to get a feel for what we could offer and I have now met with Natalie a regular occasions, getting briefed on HPC progress with ideas on how we can fit in and was given a key introduction to a large local business which I am hopeful will lead to a long-term relationship being built.

“I would highly recommend working with the HSC team; they are fully engaged in HPC and they understand the challenges and frustrations that local businesses have in accessing the market.

“They offer free, personal and friendly advice over a coffee, which can be invaluable and allow you to reset your thinking.”

Falcon Vehicle Solutions has been in business over 30 years and is continuing to grow, earning an enviable reputation as a comprehensive fleet provider. From humble beginnings, today the company operates a fleet in excess of 700 vehicles ranging from self-drive cars and vans through to a full range of HGVs and trailers.

The fleet is the most diverse rental fleet in the South West of England and can provide anything from a one-day Luton tail-lift van or a 17-seat minibus hire, to a seven-year contract hire on a bespoke fleet of HGV’s.

Mr Savage added: “Falcon Vehicle Solutions currently has 32 full time employees who all have a focus on delivering exceptional service to our customers. We have a UK network of sub-contractors who, in partnership with ourselves, will provide dedicated service 24/7 to keep our clients’ vehicles moving.

“We operate a multi-brand fleet and work independently from OEMs giving us the freedom to offer choice and flexibility and listen to our clients’ views and opinions to provide a solution that will fit best to our customers’ requirements.”

More information is available online at www.falconvehiclesolutions.co.uk.

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Sleek and stylish Mercedes-Benz Vito is the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ for Really Awesome Coffee

Sleek and stylish Mercedes-Benz Vito is the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ for Really Awesome Coffee

Mobile drinks business Really Awesome Coffee is helping caffeine aficionados ease themselves out of lockdown restrictions by providing socially distanced beverages – with the help of its eye-catching Mercedes-Benz Vito vans.

The Coventry-based company owns a growing fleet of vehicles, all of which were supplied by the city branch of Dealer Midlands Truck & Van. A combination of 111 CDI and 114 CDI models, these are operated by mobile baristas, who hold franchises to provide its hot drinks, fruit smoothies, sandwiches and snacks.

Thanks to a simple yet effective system of serving customers while maintaining a safe distance, its franchisees were able to ply their trade even as traditional coffee shops remained closed. Mobile baristas use a portable serving table set up at least two metres from the back of their van, and remote contactless payment technology, so they can serve coffees and snacks without ever getting too close to the waiting customer.

Among those using the system is Steve Silver, who covers the Coventry area. “Demand has soared, and I’m working flat out,” he declared. “Customers contact me via social media to arrange a visit, and in some cases even place their orders in advance. I’m attending workplaces, of course, but also delivering to private addresses.

Steve’s Vito 114 CDI is a long-bodied L2 PURE variant, with leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear selector, Active Parking Assist, and electrically adjustable door mirrors. The standard-fit heat-insulating glass, and optionally added air-conditioning system, meanwhile, make the cab a comfortable workspace in the hottest weather.

“The Vito is just great to drive, so easy and comfortable – more like a premium car than a commercial vehicle,” asserted Steve. “Customers, meanwhile, just can’t get enough of our Really Awesome Coffee.”

Established by Managing Director Kevin Haswell in 2010, the company took on its first franchisee a couple of years later. It now has 53, who between them run 58 vehicles and cover most of the UK.

Really Awesome Coffee’s Vito vans are the most visible representation of its brand, and an important foundation on which success for the parent company and its franchise holders is built.

“When we started out, we knew the choice of van would be hugely important,” explained Kevin. “Ours is a premium product – albeit one that we sell at a competitive price – so image was always going to be a major consideration. The Mercedes-Benz star is a byword for quality and reflects our own brand values perfectly.

“A very high level of reliability, and fast, reliable aftersales back-up, are vital too, as our partners can’t earn a living if their vehicles are constantly in an out of the workshop. The Vito has proved itself to be admirably hassle-free to operate, while the free, MobiloVan 24-hour roadside assistance from Mercedes-Benz provides a welcome safety net, should we ever need it.”

He continued: “The Vito is also the most comfortable and car-like van in its class. We are trying to attract franchisees to come and work with us, and providing them with a vehicle that’s a joy to drive – especially for those who are not used to commercial vehicles – certainly helps.”

Of equal importance, though, is the fact that the Vito offers the perfect template for Really Awesome Coffee’s conversion. The mid-sized Mercedes-Benz comes as standard with sliding doors on both flanks. This means there is easy access to the water tanks, cold stores for milk supplies, and batteries which power the catering equipment on one side, and the large refrigerated display case for sandwiches, snacks and the like, on the other.

The rear of the cargo area, meanwhile, houses the ‘star of the show’, the company’s professional-quality, espresso coffee machine, as well as a professional on-demand coffee grinder, hot-hold cabinet for hot food options, and more storage space.

Really Awesome Coffee came up with its own design for a system that does not require the engine to be left running to power its fridges and coffee machines – rechargeable batteries, supplemented by solar panels on the van roof, provide all the necessary power. Each vehicle also has a roof-mounted pod at the rear, which houses a solid, slide-out canopy, to provide shelter from the elements for baristas and customers alike.

The final element of the equation is the strength of the relationship that Kevin Haswell and his team have built up with Midlands Truck & Van, and particularly its Fleet Van Sales Manager Ben Redding.

“The Vito ticks all our boxes and is absolutely the right vehicle for this application,” Kevin asserted. “At Really Awesome Coffee we trade on the quality of our product, and on the service we provide to our customers. We expect the same focus from our suppliers, and I’m delighted to confirm that Ben and the Midlands Truck & Van team deliver on that score too.”

Really Awesome Coffee franchisees begin their journey with the company by undergoing four weeks of training, initially at the firm’s Coventry headquarters, where they learn the required barista skills as well as being coached in areas such as accounting, marketing and business development by the head office team. When they start work in their home areas their dedicated Franchise Development Manager spends a week providing full-time support ‘on the ground’, then follows up with regular visits every few weeks as their business continues to grow.

The business model is constantly evolving. To early innovations like a mobile app-based loyalty card, Really Awesome Coffee then added another mobile app which alerts regular customers as the van is arriving. Now in development is a system that will allow customers to pre-order their drinks online and pay remotely, so they can still get their coffee ‘fix’ if they’re on a phone call or in a meeting.

www.reallyawesomecoffee.co.uk

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Dom gears up for business ‘pitch’ with his new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Date: 11 June 2020

Seat of power: Dom Coia at the wheel of his latest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Dom gears up for business ‘pitch’ with his new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Independent truck and trailer technician Dom Coia is endeavouring to rearrange a crucial meeting with a potential customer that was postponed when lockdown restrictions were introduced – he is convinced his comprehensively equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can help him to win the business and secure his future.

The Coventry-based Scot, who trades as Alpha Truck Services, has been running vehicles bearing the three-pointed star for 35 years, and a loyal customer of Midlands Truck & Van for more than a decade. Dom’s latest van, the fourth he has purchased from the Dealer, is based on a Sprinter 519 CDI L3 H2 designed for operation at a gross weight of 5.0 tonnes. As with his previous vans, though, it has been downrated to 3.5 tonnes GVW. 

Dom chose this model for its heavier-duty componentry, including the twin rear wheels through which the 3.0-litre V6 engine’s 190 hp output is transmitted to the road. He also had the front axle uprated, to reflect the particularly arduous nature of his work, which takes him out in all weathers and at all times of the day and night.

Dom has remained busy throughout the coronavirus lockdown, helping to keep his principal customer’s parcels distribution fleet on the road. Working night shifts, he helps to maintain and repair up to 200 trucks and trailers at the company’s hub in North Warwickshire, while also attending roadside breakdowns at other times. Like so many others, though, his customer is now facing tough times, so Dom is keen to secure additional work during days and at weekends, including from the breakdown agency with which his planned meeting fell through. 

Smartly finished in metallic silver with flashing LED lights in the grille and a roof-mounted beacon bar at the rear, his new vehicle carries a full complement of tools and spare parts, all of which are stored efficiently in new cabinets, as well as water and diesel in drums. It is also equipped with a 24V electrical system with separate battery and inverter. 

Dom’s first van from the third-generation Sprinter range launched in 2018 offers a class-leading working environment with unrivalled levels of quality, quietness and comfort. Ground-breaking safety features include the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with pedestrian recognition technology and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.

To the vehicle’s extensive standard specification, Dom has added a list of optional enhancements, including safety aids such as Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and fog lamps with cornering function, and others like Comfort seats with armrests for himself and a passenger.

Dom is also taking advantage of the Sprinter’s ground-breaking 4G Internet connectivity. The MBUX multimedia system with optionally upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen provides fully integrated navigation with Live Traffic, VAN-to-X Communication and 3D map display, plus “Hey Mercedes” voice command operation and full smartphone integration.

Cutting-edge Mercedes PRO connect vehicle management technology, meanwhile, includes security functions – including keyless coded entry – which appeal particularly to Dom, given that without the vehicle he cannot do his job. 

“The cab of my new van is just beautiful, and the driving position, with lumbar support and arm rest, amazingly comfortable,” he enthused. “I choose Mercedes-Benz for the build quality and reliability of the vehicles, of course, but its leadership in the field of safety is also key to their appeal. I’m particularly impressed with Blind Spot Assist, which is a fantastic system, while as someone who works permanent nights shifts I also appreciate the reassurance that Active Lane Keeping Assist provides.” 

Blind Spot Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Alert provides visual and audible alerts to help prevent accidents when changing lanes, or reversing. Active Lane Keep Assist alerts drivers when they unintentionally drift or leave their lane, intervening by braking if necessary.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Dom’s Sprinter came with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, and MobiloVan cover, which includes free round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance. “In my experience the manufacturer can always be relied upon to stand by its warranty, which provides complete bumper-to-bumper cover, with no grey areas,” he said.

Equally important, though, is the well-established relationship he enjoys with Midlands Truck & Van. “I wouldn’t dream of going to another Dealer,” Dom vowed. “Coventry Van Sales Manager Gez O’Reilly has devoted so much time to me over the years, and his colleague David McKay was every bit as helpful this time, going to great lengths to ensure that my new Sprinter is perfectly specified.

“They’re just as good when it comes to aftersales,” he continued. “You’ll get slight issues with even the best vehicles, but whenever one does crop up I know I can rely on the Service team at Midlands Truck & Van to resolve it and get my Sprinter back on the road as quickly as possible.”

For more information on Mercedes-Benz Vans, or to request bigger/higher-res image files, please contact:

Steve Warren or John Ripley

Impact Communications, 01926 842126

Steve: 07770 470251, steve@impactcom.co.uk

John: 07771 484595, john@impactcom.co.uk

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Covid-19 Update from Ballyvesey Holdings Limited

Ballyvesey Holdings Limited would like to reassure our customers, our suppliers and our staff that our businesses are very much open and operating as normal, or as near to as possible. It is our desire to continue working, serving and most importantly supporting our customers many of whom are in the front line of this situation that is evolving across our country. We will strive to work with as little disruption as possible, monitoring the advice on the C-19 virus and following the guidance from the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the WHO and local health agencies.

Our sites are open, transport and distribution streams are running and our technicians will continue to carry out repairs and servicing where possible. The majority of our employees continue to work normally with key support staff including sales functioning from remote locations. All can be contacted by phone or email as and when required.

We have implemented various measures across the group to minimise the risk to each other and to you. We will continue to adapt and to change our working patterns as directed by the statutory bodies, whilst seeking to maintain service levels and meet customer demand.

This situation is unprecedented. In 50 years of trading none of us have witnessed a business environment of this nature and while we all have personal concerns we will continue to strive to support our customers and protect our people.  We are here to help …. Stay safe.

 

Directors of Ballyvesey Holdings Ltd.

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DAF UK Sales Conference

At the recently held DAF UK Sales Conference held in Warwick, HTC Group won the PACCAR Finance Dealer of the year, John Mabey Sales Director for PFL stated “They are always totally supportive, and have performed at a consistently high level, funding an average of over 200 new chassis per annum over the last five years, which is a market share of over 46%”.  

Read more news here

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Fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eVito wins a positive reception at Travelodge

Fully-electric
Mercedes-Benz eVito wins a positive reception at Travelodge

The
Mercedes-Benz eVito was the top-quality choice when UK budget hotel giant
Travelodge checked-in its first set of ‘green’ electric vans.

Travelodge
has enhanced its environmental credentials by commissioning two of the
ground-breaking vehicles, which combine a competitive carrying capacity with
zero tailpipe emissions.

Supplied
by Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, both of Travelodge’s new vans will be based
in London and assigned to a multi-disciplined maintenance team responsible for
the upkeep of its hotels. Travelodge is one of the largest hotel chains in
London, and operates 77 properties across the capital.

The
Mercedes-Benz eVito represents a major advance on the road to “the electric
future” envisaged by Travelodge on the livery applied to its new vehicles. Crucially,
it allows operators to meet their emissions-busting targets without having to
compromise on practicality or performance.

The eVito has a gross weight of 3.2 tonnes
and a range of approximately 93 miles. The vehicle comes with three seats and, like
its diesel-engined stablemate, sliding load doors on both sides.

Travelodge’s eVito vans are both long L2 PURE
variants which offer up to 6.0m3 of cargo area, and a payload allowance
of 923 kg. The eVito PURE is also available in extra-long L3 form, with a 6.6m3
load volume and 898 kg carrying
capacity. eVito
versions with the PROGRESSIVE trimline benefit from extra features, both
internally and externally, but incur corresponding slight payload reductions.

Travelodge
is one of the UK’s largest independent hotel chains and operates 590 properties
across the UK, Ireland and Spain. It is one of the few hotel chains to have
invested in its own, nationwide maintenance team.

Scott
Rutherford, Travelodge Director of Technical Services, said: “Our mission is to
deliver affordable travel for everyone, and to become a Greener Travelodge. We
are delighted to be one of the first UK companies to choose the new
Mercedes-Benz eVito, which drives like a dream. We are one of the biggest hotel
chains in London, and these electric vans will certainly help us to reduce our
carbon footprint.”

Travelodge’s new vans are the subject of a
Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement. eVito operators benefit from the
low cost of electricity compared to diesel and petrol, as well as favourable
tax rates and E-mobility support programmes.

Van Sales Manager Gez O’Reilly and his
Midlands Truck & Van colleague, Van Sales Executive Josh Yarnell, secured
for their customer the maximum available grant from the Office for Low Emission
Vehicles (OLEV) prior to handover, relieving Mr Rutherford and his colleagues
of the hassle of having to do so retrospectively.

The
reduction in the capital cost of the two vehicles is reflected in the
attractively priced monthly contract hire rates. So, too, is the fact that the
relative simplicity of its electric motor means the eVito’s maintenance and
repair costs are substantially lower than those of a vehicle with combustion
engine.

“The
eVito is the ideal size for our maintenance engineers, and we’ll now be
monitoring the performance of these first two electric vans closely to see how
this technology can be applied more widely across our business,” added Mr
Rutherford.

The
eVito’s electric motor produces 114 hp and drives the front wheels via a
single-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is instantaneous, while top speed
is restricted as standard to 50 mph (80 km/h), although this can be increased
on request. The column-mounted selector allows drivers to choose between C, E
and E+ (Comfort, Eco and Extended range) settings.

Fully
recharged in six hours from a wall box or at a charging station using a Type-2
connection, the 41 kWh battery is securely mounted in a protective housing
beneath the cargo floor, so does not impinge on the load area. The eVito’s
range – 90-plus miles is comfortably enough for the overwhelming majority of
city-based applications – is supplemented by recuperative charging, but will be
reduced by constant driving with a full load.

The
eVito comes with Mercedes PRO connect as standard. This advanced manufacturer
solution provides operators with an array of fast, efficient and cost-effective
vehicle management service packages. Vehicle data is analysed in real time –
everything from fuel consumption to vehicle locations, trip history,
maintenance status and driver behaviour can be monitored. Dedicated electric
features allow customers, for example, to locate a charge station, optimise
route planning, remotely check the charge status of the vehicle, and
pre-condition its temperature ahead of the journey.

travelodge.co.uk

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Montracon’s MT45 Machinery Carrier Shortlisted for the Heavies Awards 2020

Montracon is pleased to announce that its MT45 Machinery Carriers range has been shortlisted for the Heavies Awards 2020.

Montracon’s MT45 Machinery Carrier product has been shortlisted for Innovation of the Year Trailer (medium weight 3-5 axles) at the up and coming “Heavies Awards 2020”

The Heavies recognises and rewards industry excellence, innovation, outstanding service, efficiency and quality across the entire spectrum of the heavy and abnormal load road haulage sector.

To be shortlisted shows that Montracon has achieved the very highest standard, as judged by an independent panel of industry experts.

The winner will be announced on Friday 20th March 2020, be sure to check back then to find out if we have won.

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Midlands Truck & Van sets its Mercedes-Benz show on the road

Best of breed: The stunning Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport with dog-carrying conversion which Midlands Truck & Van will be presenting at this week’s Crufts.

Midlands Truck & Van sets its Mercedes-Benz show on the road

Ambitious Midlands Truck & Van is preparing to showcase award-winning Mercedes-Benz vehicles at two major events which take place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

The Dealer has commissioned a Mercedes-Benz Vito van with bespoke canine carrying conversion, for display on its stand at Crufts 2020, starting on Thursday (5 March).

Then, in April, Midlands Truck & Van presents a truck and no fewer than five vans – including two fully electric eVito models – at the Commercial Vehicle Show. All will be in the liveries of high-profile customers of the Dealership.

It will be the first time a Mercedes-Benz Dealer has exhibited at the UK road transport industry’s flagship event, and represents a substantial investment by Midlands Truck & Van.

The company’s decision to attend reflects its determination to provide the best possible representation for the brands it represents, and also to ‘spread the word’ about the exciting developments currently taking place within its own business.

Work is now well underway on the construction of a £7-million Dealership in Birmingham. Scheduled to open in October, its new headquarters is taking shape on a seven-acre brownfield site in the city’s Smethwick district.

Meanwhile, Midlands Truck & Van recently spent £3 million on the acquisition and refurbishment of the former Mercedes-Benz of Coventry car dealership in Whitley. It is now one of the country’s biggest Mercedes-Benz van showrooms.

The Dealer’s third branch, in Willenhall, Wolverhampton, is also still relatively new, having opened at the end of 2015. It was developed at a cost of £4 million.

“These are hugely exciting times for our business,” declared Midlands Truck & Van Managing Director Steve Hunt. “We want to shout about our successes, and our heart of England locations mean the NEC is the perfect venue at which to do so. We look forward to welcoming established and prospective customers, as well as representatives of the manufacturer and other guests, to our stands at Crufts and the CV Show.” 

Midlands Truck & Van will also be participating at a host of other events this year. Steve continued: “The latest Mercedes-Benz Trucks, FUSO light trucks, and Mercedes-Benz Vans ranges lead the field in terms of technological innovation. As a result, they offer exemplary levels of reliability and costs of operation, safety and driver appeal.

“Our role is to deliver the first-class experiences that customers for vehicles bearing the three-pointed star or three diamonds badges are entitled to expect. The substantial investments we’re making in our branch infrastructure, and in the development of our people, reflect this company’s commitment to building partnerships with operators that stand the test of time.”

The dynamic Vito Sport 116 CDI which Midlands Truck & Van is taking to Crufts was converted to ‘dog walker’ specification by Vantastec, of Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly. Despite being an L1 (compact) crew van model with a second row of seats, it offers flexible, robust accommodation for up to five dogs of varying sizes.

Two cages are mounted to the floor rails, and there are two smaller ones above, one of which can be divided in two. Each cage has ‘escape hatch’ for use in the event of an accident, and the entire system can be unbolted and removed completely.

The roll call of vehicles on the Midlands Truck & Van stand at the Commercial Vehicle Show which runs from 28-30 April will include new electric eVito models offering zero tailpipe emissions, in the colours of Europcar and Travelodge. Also appearing will be Diesel-engined Citan, Vito and Sprinter models belonging, respectively, to Tructyre, Really Awesome Coffee, and Clancy Docwra, and a tractor unit from the new Actros range – International Truck of the Year 2020 – in CEVA Logistics livery.

Visit Midlands Truck & Van at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham:

  • Crufts, 5-8 March, Stand 4-148
  • CV Show, 28-30 April, Stand 5A20

A dog walker’s dream: The Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport features a bespoke Vantastec conversion and can carry up to five pets of different sizes.

Spreading the word: Van Sales Executive Josh Yarnell will be among those manning the Midlands Truck & Van stand at Crufts 2020

Try this for size: French bulldog Piglet can scarcely contain her excitement at the prospect of a ride in the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport with Vantastec conversion

Branching out: Midlands Truck & Van’s new Coventry showroom is one of the biggest in the Mercedes-Benz Vans Retail network