When it comes to light commercial vehicles, road surface solutions specialist Tripod Crest likes to keep it in the Mercedes-Benz family.
The Northampton-based company runs a fleet of 100 vans, all but a handful of which wear three-pointed stars. The line-up includes examples from all three core model lines – Citan, Vito and Sprinter – which together comprise the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Vans range.
Supplied by Wellingborough Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van, most are panel vans and crew vans with second rows of seats. The majority of these vehicles have undergone conversion to welfare specification by Body & Trailer Services, also of Northampton, and provide a welcome refuge for Tripod Crest’s workers taking breaks while out on site.
The latest additions to the fleet include a 3.5-tonne Sprinter 313 CDI chassis cab with dropside body, also by Body & Trailer Services, which is now on general materials and tool carrying duties. It is the first time Tripod Crest has purchased a new dropsider, the company having preferred previously to buy pre-owned examples of this type of vehicle.
Other recent arrivals include another five Sprinter 313 CDI crew vans fitted out to Tripod Crest’s latest welfare specification. Each has two beds, a kitchen and storage area with sink and microwave oven, and a drying cupboard for wet clothes. In April the company took delivery of seven Citan 109 CDI small vans, for use primarily on tarmac sites.
All of these welfare vehicles are additionally equipped with air conditioning and night heaters, as well as extra ventilation, interior lighting and electrical points.
Tripod Crest maintains its commercial vehicles in-house – Workshop Manager Craig Baker is also responsible for specifying and ordering its vans. “Our lads can potentially be out on site all week, so we endeavour to make life as comfortable as possible for them,” he said.
“We choose Mercedes-Benz vans for their all-round quality and outstanding reliability, while the fuel economy is pretty good too – we’re getting up to 40 mpg from the Citans.
“Safety is another key priority, as we’re very aware of our Duty of Care obligations not only to our own employees, but also to other road users. We take great comfort, therefore, from knowing they’re equipped with a market-leading array of standard-fit active and passive features, to which we add cameras, proximity sensors and audible reversing warnings.”
Mr Baker added: “Intercounty Truck & Van’s sales service is very good, as is its aftercare back-up; although we maintain the vehicles in our own workshop, the dealer will make two parts deliveries per day if we need them, and will get them here very quickly if we’ve an urgent requirement.”
Established in 1982 as a supplier of skilled labour and machinery to the road surfacing industry, Tripod Crest Surfacing Solutions now operates on a nationwide basis, with operatives skilled at working on anything from motorways, trunk roads and airfields, to housing estate roads, private car parks and footpaths.
Tripod Crest Planing was established as a separate division in 1993 and operates a full range of machines, and in 2001 the Group acquired F&T Goodwin, a road contractor with an impeccable reputation built up over 40 years. Over the four years since, Tripod Crest has strengthened the former management team and retained the entire workforce, while the business has continued to trade under its previous name.