Fit-for-purpose Mercedes-Benz Arocs is an mpg winner for GS Hughes

Lincoln-based GS Hughes is running its first Mercedes-Benz tippers for at least 15 years – and the dozen new eight-wheelers from the muscular, Euro VI Arocs range have been quick to impress.

Supplied by city Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van, the Arocs 3240s are powered by 290 kW (394 hp) straight-six engines, driving through smooth-shifting Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions, and are fitted with steel Thompsons bodies. They have made such an impact that the operator has already returned with a second order for five more, identical vehicles.

GS Hughes runs quarries in Lincoln and Grantham and supplies a range of stone and aggregates. It also has waste washing facilities, for recycling sand and gravel, and provides muckaway services to construction and civil engineering contractors.

The new 32-tonners have joined a mixed fleet of 30 six- and eight-wheeled tippers. “Mercedes-Benz has always made good vehicles but for many years it didn’t offer a model that we felt was suited to our kind of work,” observed Transport Manager John Barker.

“Not any more though. Before purchasing these vehicles we carried out a lot of research, which included speaking to other operators in our sector who were already running Arocs chassis. Their unanimous verdict was that the new truck is well-built, reliable, efficient and definitely fit for purpose.

“Intercounty Truck & Van sales executive Stuart Smiles brought a demonstrator over for us to look at, and it was immediately obvious that a lot of thought had gone into its design. The ride height and the way that damage-prone items are positioned out of harm’s way help to make this a vehicle that is completely at home in quarries and on construction sites.”

Mr Barker continued: “Our new Arocs are already living up to their promise and performing very well, with fuel efficiency another pleasing factor. Our work is so varied that comparing one vehicle against another is quite meaningless, but these Mercedes-Benz trucks are clearly more economical than our other trucks, and by a clear margin.

“Intercounty’s service is excellent too – we maintain our own vehicles in-house but the dealer is supporting our workshop with regular deliveries of parts, which are also keenly priced compared to the competition.”

The Euro VI Arocs range comprises tractors and four-, six- and eight-wheeled rigids, with gross weights from 18 to 250 tonnes. All combine previously unseen levels of performance and efficiency with state-of-the-art Euro VI engines, driving through Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions, which offer mpg savings of up to 5% compared to equivalent, outgoing models.


Mercedes-Benz celebrates one-two victory in the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship

A triumphant end to the 2014 Formula 1 season for Mercedes-Benz as MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Lewis Hamilton wins the concluding race of the campaign at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi to take the Formula 1 world championship title for the second time in his career. His team-mate Nico Rosberg ends the season as runner-up. Between them, Hamilton and Rosberg accumulated 16 wins, 18 pole positions, 12 fastest laps and 31 podium finishes. With eleven one-two wins in a single season, the team surpassed the previous record set by McLaren in 1988. The 16th victory of the season in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix means that MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS no longer share the record with any other team for the highest number of wins in one season.

“Congratulations to the new Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “He has truly earned that title with a fantastic performance this year. At the same time, I would also like to congratulate his team-mate Nico Rosberg and all of our staff in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart on this fascinating and highly successful season. Formula 1 is a team sport, and they have all achieved a magnificent result from their joint efforts this year. The fact is that world champions drive Mercedes-Benz. Motorsport has a long tradition at Mercedes-Benz. The very first Mercedes in 1901 was a racing car. Ever since the invention of the first automobile by Karl Benz, our company has been a force for innovation in the automotive industry. Right from the start, Mercedes-Benz regarded racing as a proving ground for some of our most important developments. The new Formula 1 regulations on hybrid power units has taken the sport in the same direction that the automotive industry was already heading. Formula 1 is carrying out pioneering work in areas that will also be of great importance in the car industry of the future.”

Mercedes-Benz already clinched the F1 constructors’ championship in the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS became the first team to win the trophy in the new Formula 1 hybrid era. The knowledge gained from using this advanced technology has already proved of immense benefit in car manufacturing. A prime example is the latest series of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, namely the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID.

“What a great season! Congratulations to the new Formula 1 drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton and to the constructors’ champions MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS,” said Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes Benz Cars Development. “The success of our Silver Arrows works team in developing the Mercedes-Benz W05 F1 Hybrid is not only restricted to the racetrack, however. Formula 1 serves as the fastest research laboratory in the world. Nowhere else are new technologies so systematically and rapidly developed as in the highest echelon of motorsport. This is where racing and series production derive mutual benefit. In designing the world championship-winning F1 W05 Hybrid, the engineers in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart made full use of existing synergies to ensure that the Silver Arrow would take the title in the first year of the new regulations. Conversely, Formula 1 itself comes up with new solutions that have general applicability. In this way, we have shown the world what is possible. The technology transfer between Formula 1 and series production is highly beneficial. In the past, technologies such as petrol direct injection have found their way into series production via the Silver Arrows of the 1950s. Today, the knowledge gained from Formula 1 can help with the similarly complex challenge of designing pioneering road vehicles such as the S 500 HYBRID PLUG IN. The objective is the same in both areas, namely the conversion of efficiency into superior performance.”

Winning both the drivers’ and the constructors’ world championships represents two special milestones for Mercedes-Benz in what was already a very special year. In 2014, the brand with the three-pointed star celebrates 120 years in motorsport and the 80th anniversary of the legendary Silver Arrows. In the 1954 and 1955 seasons, Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes-Benz W 196 R won the drivers’ championship in the premier class of motor racing.

A giant TV screen was erected in the Mercedes-Benz Museum so that hundreds of Mercedes-Benz employees could watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and cheer on the two Silver Arrows. The new Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg will be attending Stars & Cars on 29th November 2014, a special event in and around the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart to mark the end of the sporting year. In addition to the Formula 1 champions and Mercedes-Benz DTM squad, the guest list for Stars & Cars will also include many other current and former celebrities from the motor racing world. Admission for the general public is free of charge.

Article Source –


Therapist launches treatment room inside Sprinter

Qualified therapist Caroline Jones has turned a dream into reality, by launching a mobile deluxe treatment room based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The Zen Ten Spa offers a range of holistic healing, well-being and pamper sessions to individuals and groups of clients. Caroline is also developing partnerships with boutique hotels, restaurants and pubs wishing to add an extra dimension to their customer experience.

Jones purchased her Sprinter 313 CDI Medium chassis cab with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services funding support, from Midlands Truck & Van, Coventry. She has also taken out a Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare contract, under which the Dealer will undertake all routine maintenance.

The vehicle’s purpose-built and climate-controlled box body is the work of M6 Motor Bodies, of Birmingham. Fitted with a folding massage couch, a fruit bowl-style basin in pure mother-of-pearl, gossamer curtains and an abundance of gold-plated fixtures, the room has been painstakingly designed down to the finest detail, to be a relaxing and rejuvenating tranquil oasis.

Jones has been a practicing aromatherapist since the early 1990s, and is also qualified to administer a range of other treatments. She offers a portfolio of ten holistic therapies including Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, Indian Head Massage, Hot Stone Therapy and Foot Rescue, as well as other, lighter alternatives.

“It’s been more than a year since I began evolving the concept of the Zen Ten Spa and having put so much work into the project I’m really excited finally to be up and running,” she said. “My business is not a beauty parlour; it’s a spa, and aimed at a high-end, lifestyle-focused customer base. So given its premium brand values and the unrivalled quality of its products, Mercedes-Benz was the only manufacturer I wanted to work with.”

She continued: “My Sprinter is very smooth and easy to drive, as well as being impressively fuel-efficient. Thanks to Midlands Truck & Van Sales Executive Gez O’Reilly and the team M6 Motor Bodies, the finished vehicle is even greater than the sum of its parts – it’s everything I’d hoped it would be, and more.”

Jones has also benefited from a programme of instruction delivered by the Dealer’s driver-trainer Chris Round, to ensure she can negotiate even the tightest turns to customers’ homes and premises.

Article source


IAA Commercial Vehicle Show

Above: Customers of Intercounty Truck & Van and Midlands Truck and Van are joined by company Directors and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK – Michael Kamper, to take in the sights at the 2014 IAA in Hannover.

Intercounty Truck & Van joined thousands of visitors at the 2014, IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover; the world’s largest leading trade fair for mobility, transportation and logistics. In the 65th year of running the IAA provided, once again, a unique experience for operators with many highlights and innovations on display. The show is renowned for being the ultimate meeting place where global attendees get to interact with the experts and discuss the features of the exhibited ranges, whilst learning about the latest trend demands.

On 30th September – 2nd October, Intercounty’s Managing Director, Steve Shakespeare and Truck Sales Director, Stephen James hosted 5 customers whose own fleets are dependent on having the best logistics solutions to stay ahead of the game. This ultimately comes down to having the right fleet that they can rely upon with vehicles that set the standard, something that Mercedes-Benz have mastered with their current range.

The Daimler Trucks display at this year’s IAA continued to set standards and their stands covering halls 14 and 15 showcased what can only be described as the most comprehensive range of cutting edge commercial vehicles. With a vast array of models, some from today, some from tomorrow, it’s fair to say that the display stole the show.

Key highlights included numerous ‘A team’ trucks – Atego, Antos, Actros and Arocs, a natural gas powered econic and an SLT heavy haulage tractor.

Three of the biggest crowd pullers to the stand were:

The Future Truck of 2025, an aerodynamic driverless truck which uses pulsating LED’s instead of headlights and camera’s instead of mirrors, taking advantage of changes in future truck cab length legislation.

The impressive Actros Fuel Challenger, which is storming the market with its 99% success rate in 300 head-to-head fuel trials.

Optimus Prime – a Detroit diesel powered Western Star 5700 which featured in the film Transformer: Age of Extinction.


Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Mercedes-Benz Trucks: The trucks of tomorrow and cutting-edge technology of today

The trucks of tomorrow and cutting-edge technology of today – Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Fuso at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicles show (IAA) in Hanover

  • Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 – a glance at the future shape of trucks
  • Fascinating technology: new Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit
  • Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego – A-series in top form
  • Innovative M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic
  • High-tech tools and all-terrain specialists – Unimog and Zetros
  • In top form: Fuso Canter with three drive systems

Stuttgart – The A-series are setting the pace: from the Actros and Arocs to the Antos and Atego, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is the first European manufacturer to have rolled out its fleet with Euro VI technology. At the same time the current Mercedes-Benz truck portfolio sets new standards in terms of cost-effectiveness, safety and operating comfort. The same applies to Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks with the Econic, Unimog and Zetros. And now, Mercedes-Benz is topping this with a new natural gas engine and further model variants at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicles show (IAA) in Hanover. A study providing a fascinating vision of the future shape of trucks will also be presented.

Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 – a glance at the future shape of trucks

Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz stand at the IAA will have an opportunity to witness the truck of tomorrow. At the beginning of July, Daimler demonstrated the outstanding capabilities of the autonomously driving “Future Truck 2025″ on the A14 motorway near Magdeburg.

The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 constitutes a revolution in efficiency and safety, a revolution for road traffic and its infrastructure, for professional driving and for the road transport sector. In ten years trucks will be able to drive autonomously on the motorways and highways of Europe. Developed by Daimler Trucks as part of the “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative to save resources and reduce all types of emissions while also ensuring the highest possible standard of road safety. Connectivity is one of the pillars on which this technical quantum leap is founded.

Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the undisguised study boasting a spectacular interior and exterior design at the IAA.

More than 20 trucks from all model series, TechLane, “Driving Experience” Laatzen

From 25 September to 2 October, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the state of the art in truck engineering with around 20 vehicles from all the model series in hall 14/15 at the show. In addition, visitors to the stand and its TechLane will find exhibits explaining the technology that lies behind the outstanding cost-effectiveness of the new truck generation.

Visitors to the show can also experience the very latest truck technology live during the course of test and demonstration drives on the nearby practice site in Laatzen.

Fascinating technology: new Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit is celebrating its public debut at the IAA show. This is the crowning glory of the Actros series, which ushered in the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks and is now Europe’s No. 1 long-distance truck. The Actros SLT copes with a gross combination weight of up to 250 t and is full of fascinating technology. The innovative turbo-retarder clutch (TRC) combines a wear-free hydraulic start-off clutch and a retarder with high brake power. The 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission with a specially developed shift programme ensures the most suitable ratio at all times. The prominent cooling tower behind the cab contains exclusive special technology. Mercedes-Benz supplies the heavy-duty tractor unit in a wide variety of axle configurations culminating in the Actros SLT 8×8, a powerful four-axle truck with all-wheel drive.

Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego – A-series in top form

Appearing together for the first time at an IAA show – the four model series Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego. With a whole host of new features. The Actros, for example, is looking for a challenge right now: in the “Fuel Challengerl” taking place in 22 European countries, it is competing against its competitors in fleets under defined conditions. What we promise: The Actros is the most cost-effective truck, and consumes less fuel than the most economical truck in the fleet taking part. To date the Actros has fought this duel in more than 300 fleets – and emerged the winner in an amazing 99 percent of cases. On average, the Actros achieved impressive fuel savings of almost ten percent.

Power, robustness and efficiency – from a tipper to a semitrailer tractor, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs has all the attributes demanded in tough construction site operations. The Arocs is likewise optionally available with the turbo-retarder clutch, which ensures maximal load-bearing capacity when moving off and manoeuvring with heavy weights and high torque. The new “Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive” (HAD) caters for on-road operation with an occasional need for increased traction. This has selectable wheel hub motors to drive the front axle. The Arocs 6×4 with a low cab mounting height is a new addition to the range. It is suitable for areas with low overhead clearances. The Arocs is now also available with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), the predictive cruise control with transmission intervention. This quickly pays off in on-road operations.

The Mercedes-Benz Antos is the first specialist for heavy distribution operations, and at the same time an all-rounder. With numerous available variants, it can be specifically configured for an individual operating profile. This is aided by the new option of a front axle with air suspension. It is primarily intended for through-loading combinations, so that the necessary height can be precisely set within a truck/trailer combination. The Antos is the epitome of high class, efficiency and excellent handling.

The Mercedes-Benz Atego is the European market leader for distribution trucks with 6.5 to 16 t permissible gross vehicle weight. In the revised version it has the benchmark position with respect to quality, reliability, repair and maintenance costs and longevity in the light and medium truck segments. Like the Antos and Arocs, the Atego is celebrating its IAA debut in Hanover.

Innovative M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic

The new M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic is based on the OM 936 turbodiesel engine from the new 7.7 l BlueEfficiency Power generation. As a mono-fuel engine, it runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) and has an output of 221 kW (301 hp) while delivering maximum torque of 1200 Nm. Figures like these, in combination with its impressive power delivery, place the single-stage turbocharged engine on a par with its diesel-powered counterpart. At the same time, it sets new standards in terms of environmental compatibility, with CO2 emissions up to 22 percent below those of a diesel engine. Using biogas further improves the carbon footprint.

Virtually soot-free combustion obviates the need for a particulate filter of the kind now customary in diesel engines with the introduction of the Euro VI standard. Exhaust gas after-treatment is by means of a three-way catalytic converter. And another advantage: The natural gas engine has an even lower noise level than the already quiet OM 936 diesel engine. The additional weight compared to diesel drive has been halved to only around 500 kg. This is by virtue of gas cylinders with thin steel walls and a carbon-fibre mantle.

High-tech tools and all-terrain specialists – Unimog and Zetros

The Unimog is appearing as a new implement carrier in two model series: the U 216 and U 218 are the particularly compact entry-level models, while the U 318 to U 530 are the successors to the familiar implement carrier. The new generation not only looks attractive, it is above all even more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and its typical characteristics are considerably further enhanced. For example, the new working hydraulics operate precisely and allow fine control, despite an increase in hydraulic power. The implement carrier brings a new version of hydrostatic drive onto the road by the name of synergetic traction drive: the combination of a hydrostat and manual transmission now allows the driver to switch between systems while on the move.

The new all-terrain Unimog models are even more environmentally friendly and efficient, and just as capable off-road as the preceding series. They have the model designations U 4023 and U 5023. From the cab design and cockpit to the engine and its position, the new generation is fundamentally different from its predecessor. As the most powerful engine ever used in the Unimog, the four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 934 develops 170 kW (231 hp) and a powerful 900 Nm of torque from a displacement of 5.1 l. The engine has been relocated to the rear beneath the cab. Owing to this mid-engine position, the vehicle’s centre of gravity is lower while allowing more ground clearance – another benefit for the outstanding off-road handling characteristics.

When outstanding traction and load-bearing capacity are required in extremely difficult conditions, the cab-behind-engine Mercedes-Benz Zetros comes to the fore. It combines extreme off-road capabilities with a high load capacity. As a new and very important aid to traction, an optional tyre pressure control system with push-button controls in the cab is available. Also new is an extended wheelbase with a larger rear overhang for the two-axle model. Preparations are under way for a further engine to power the three-axle Zetros 6×6: it will become available with the globally successful Mercedes-Benz OM 457 in-line six-cylinder engine. This has an output of 315 kW (428 hp) and a maximum torque of 2100 Nm.

In top form: Fuso Canter with three drive systems

The cleanest technology, whatever the application: Fuso is a pioneer in environmentally friendly drive systems for the commercial vehicle sector. The new Fuso Canter E-Cell represents the state of the art for all-electric, locally emission-free light trucks: an operating range of over 100 km, powerful output of 110 kW (150 hp), chassis payload of around 3.0 t and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.0 t. Eight Canter E-Cell trucks have been undergoing practical trials with customers for a year. The Canter Eco Hybrid has already been available in Europe since the end of 2012. This produces fuel and CO2 savings of up to 23 per cent, and is available at a moderate extra cost. The diesel-powered Fuso Canter is even more economical and cost-effective since the move to Euro VI. The Ecofficiency package included as standard reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to nine percent. Now with a permissible gross vehicle weight of up to 8.55 t, with dropsider and tipper bodies ex-factory as well as the further refined all-wheel drive of the Canter 4×4, the Fuso Canter will present itself in top form at the IAA show.


Mercedes-Benz Citan

Catering specialist cooks up a service winner with Mercedes-Benz Citan

Commercial kitchen specialist Advance Catering Equipment has entrusted its hard-earned reputation for top-quality Aftersales support to a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

The company, which has headquarters in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, is now running 20 new Citan 109 CDi’s, which are supplied by Wellingborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.

The first vehicles to wear Advance Catering Equipment’s smart new livery, they have been assigned to its team of field-based engineers, who undertake routine preventative maintenance and emergency repairs for customers nationwide. The van’s Extra-long bodies are fitted with purpose-designed Edstrom racking systems and each carries a comprehensive stock of spare parts.

Founded more than three decades ago, Advance Catering Equipment is part of the Advance Group, a leading expert in kitchen design, project and asset management for foodservice operators.

The company, which pioneered the introduction of the first microwave ovens into commercial kitchens, embarked on a major vehicle evaluation programme last summer, and trialled vehicles from several manufacturers.

Head of Commercial Operations Daniel Hewitt explains: “We were undergoing a rebranding process and wanted to ensure that our vans best reflected the quality of our service, as well as the premium brand values of our business.

“Fuel efficiency was crucial, so we only considered vehicles capable of more than 50 mpg. We also focused on driver comfort, because our engineers spend most of their working day at the wheel, and safety. Finally, we were looking for a value for money rental and maintenance package.

“After careful consideration of all the alternatives, and having taken full account of our engineer’s views, we came down strongly in favour of the Mercedes-Benz Citan.”

Powered by advanced 90 hp engines that offer outstanding economy of up to 61.4 mpg, Advance Catering Equipment’s new vans are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and will be serviced by the most conveniently located official dealers.

“We’re really happy with our Citan’s,” Mr Hewitt continues: “The Extra-long version is the ideal size for our operation and driver feedback has been resoundingly positive – the guys certainly like having vehicles with the three-pointed stars on the front. Our new vans also help to convey a quality image of our company, and really look the part when they arrive at a customer’s premises.

“The contract hire deal, meanwhile, is competitively priced and gives us the peace of mind that comes from knowing our vehicles are being properly maintained within the manufacturer’s dealer network. As costs are fixed we can also budget with confidence, knowing there are no nasty surprises around the corner.”

And he adds: “Intercounty Truck & Van’s service has been very good as well. Communication with van sales executive Tony Carter was excellent throughout the commissioning phase, with the dealer applying our decals and liaising with the racking supplier to ensure timely deliveries of its systems. We’ve been fitting the racking ourselves – I only wish now, that we’d commissioned Intercounty to undertake this job as well.”


Mercedes-Benz Actros off to flyer in MPG Challenge

The Mercedes-Benz Actros has made a winning start to a bold new initiative designed to prove beyond all doubt that as well as being the smartest, most reliable and driver-friendly truck on the road, it’s a champion at the pumps too.

The Fuel Challenger programme invites operators to allow an Actros demonstrator to go head to head with one of their own vehicles, then measure the diesel consumption of both side by side. One month in and the Mercedes-Benz contender has already won nine of its first 10 challenges – the ‘defeat’ was only by a narrow margin and the truck with the three-pointed star was carrying a full six tonnes more than its rival!

The Fuel Challenger tractor units all wear a highly visible and very distinctive white and green livery, and all are fitted with Daimler FleetBoard telematics equipment that is providing mercilessly accurate appraisals of their fuel consumption during the trials.

There are five Fuel Challenger vehicles, all Actros 2545 models with 330 kW (449 hp) six-cylinder engines and aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs. Three are flat-floored, 2.5 metre-wide variants, the other two 2.3 metre versions with 170 mm engine humps.

Director National Sales Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks, Vincente Connolly, declares: “Fuel Challenger might seem like a strategy fraught with risk but we have complete faith in our products. Time and time again, customers who are already running Actros tell us that our vehicles beat those from the competition by a comfortable margin.

“Now, with our Fuel Challenger tractors already on the road, more operators across the country are taking the ‘no-risk’ opportunity to find out by just how much our trucks can reduce their fuel bills and how our Dealer network can add value to their businesses.”



Staples reaps savings from first crop of Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Actros

One of Britain’s biggest vegetable growers has hailed the flying start made by its first Euro VI trucks, 15 Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units.

Dave Baker, Transport Manager at Staples Vegetables, of Boston, Lincolnshire, declared: “They were returning 9.7 mpg straight out of the box, which was brilliant, and after a bit of driver training they’re already into the 10s. I’m really happy with our latest Mercedes-Benz trucks and more importantly, so is my boss!”

Supplied by local Intercounty dealer, Boston, all are Actros 2545 models with flat floored BigSpace cabs and state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines driving through smooth-changing PowerShift 3 automates transmissions. Another two are due to enter service in September, with four more taking to the road in the Autumn.

Staples believes itself to be the UK’s single biggest producer of brassicas and relies on its trucks to deliver cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, sprouts and kale grown on some of the country’s most fertile land.

Mr Baker continues: “Six years ago we didn’t have a single Mercedes-Benz truck on the fleet, but come the New Year every one of our 35 top-weight tractors will have a three-pointed star on the front.”

Working alongside the Euro VI units are seven Actros 2545s with StreamSpace cabs and Euro V engines, which the company commissioned last year, as well as another nine vehicles from the previous Actros model generation.

Staples is purchasing its Euro VI vehicles with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finanical Services. Like those already on the road, the next batch of vehicles will be the subject of six-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance contracts, over the course of which each unit is expected to cover approximately one million km.

Inspections and servicing are being carried out at Boston’s workshop, which is open seven days a week – most of the work on Staples’ vehicles is being undertaken through the night and at the weekends.

Staples’ trucks deliver its produce to supermarket RDCs and wholesalers nationwide, as well as venturing occasionally to the Continent. Underlining the company’s commitment to operational efficiency, its Euro VI Actros spend much of their time pulling new, maximum-length, 15.65m temperature-controlled trailers, which are capable of carrying 30 pallets.

“These latest 21 trucks ad the 14 long trailers we’ve purchased from Gray & Adams represent a combined investment of nearly £2.4 million for our business, which we’re confident will prove to be money well spent,” continues Dave Baker. “Our 63-plated Actros are coming into their prime now and averaging a very satisfactory 10mpg, while frequently hitting the 11s. But given the great start they’ve made, we’re optimistic that once our first Euro VI units have bedded in they’ll soon be doing even better.”

He adds: “I cannot speak highly enough of Intercounty Truck & Van. Sales Executive Dave Mitcham arranged driver training for us, which was delivered by their dedicated CPC driver-trainer. He is very helpful and easy to work with, as are the dealer’s Boston team, headed up by Depot Manager Paul Slater – they’re all decent people and provide a level of service which, in my experience, is second to none.”


CPC Driver Training

Improve your skills. Whatever you drive.

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is a legal requirement for all professional drivers of large goods vehicles (LGVs) over 3.5 tonnes.
To qualify under these regulations, drivers need to complete 35 hours of CPC Driver training every five years, or risk losing their eligibility to drive professionally.

Having helped more than 12,000 drivers operate their vehicle more safely and economically over the past 30 years – Mercedes-Benz has a proud history of driver training in the UK, and this is carried forward when it comes to helping drivers get their CPC. What’s more there doesn’t need to be a three pointed star on your grille to take advantage of this experience, as the content offered is useful and relevant for drivers of all brands of vehicle.

As an approved CPC Driver Training Associate, Intercounty have a range of JAUPT-approved courses on offer. Committed to delivering value for money by exceeding statutory requirements rather than simply providing an exercise in tick boxing, we deliver both in-cab and classroom based training to ensure that drivers can improve both their practical and theoretical knowledge whilst working towards their CPC.

For all course enquiries please contact our CPC Driver Trainer Noel Marno on 07917 721362 or email


Dalrod’s eye-catching Mercedes-Benz Arocs flushes with success

Peterborough based drainage company and sewer specialist Dalrod has a new flagship, a muscular 8 x 4 Mercedes-Benz Arocs with a wind-cheating StreamSpace cab supplied by city Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.

A third-generation family firm, which next year celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, Dalrod offers a range of services including drain cleaning, CCTV surveys, relining, sewer renovation and pump maintenance operations.

The Arocs 3236LK is a real-head turner. It is finished in eye-catching Vanda Blue paintwork with colour-coded bumpers, and has a roof-mounted Kelsa light base, air horns and protective headlight grilles.

Whale Tankers, of Solihull, West Midlands, manufactured and fitted the vehicle’s vacuum system and tank capable of carrying up to 4,000 gallons (18,000 litres) of waste; a high-pressure jetting hose is fed from a second, 250 gallon (1,100 litre) tank of clean water.

The fuel efficient 10.7 litre Euro VI engine’s 265kW (360hp) output is transmitted via an optional 16-speed manual gearbox, specified in place of the standard fit Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 3 automated transmission to the meet the requirements of the ‘split prop’ PTO arrangement that drives the sucking and jetting system.

Key to Dalrod’s decision to purchase the new 32-tonner were the outstanding performance and reliability of a 26-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor which has been in service since 2008, and a 15-tonne Atego commissioned nearly four years ago.

“At over £200,000 this vehicle represents a very significant investment for our business,” explains Operations Manager Derek Bullivant. “Our previous Mercedes-Benz trucks have been excellent – the 2008 six-wheeler is still going strong and the service from Intercounty is very good too, so we saw no reason to look elsewhere.”

Dalrod also operates Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito vans fitted with small jetting units. Another recent addition to the fleet is its first example from the new Mercedes-Benz Citan small van range launched last year – a 109 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model offering an economy figure up to 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 112g/km, it is used by the company’s fleet engineer.

Dalrod was established in 1985 by Walter and Margaret Lane. it also has four regional offices and covers the entire UK, providing customers with scheduled and round the clock emergency services. The founders’ son Dave Lane is now at the helm as Managing Director.

Meanwhile the Arocs, which carries Walter’s private registration plate and bears Magaret’s name, in tribute to the couple who passes away some years ago, is driven by their 20 year old grandson Dan.

“I’ll typically empty anything from a domestic septic tank to an oil interceptor or foul pump station,” says Dan, who joined the family firm on leaving school at 16 and has held his LGV driver’s licence since he was 18. “I’m really pleased with the Arocs and realised that I’m very lucky to be driving such a nice vehicle at such a young age.”


Record registrations rise for Mercedes-Benz vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans continues to break all records within its UK market, as registrations across the range rose by 25% during the second quarter on 2014, compared to the same period last year, marking the sixth consecutive quarter for record-breaking van sales.

Compared with the second quarter of 2013, sales of Citan have grown by 45%, with Vito up by 12%, Sprinter Van registrations rising by 23% and Sprinter Chassis Cab sales up by 50.6%.

Overall registrations for the first six months of 2014 are also up 19% year-on-year, highlighting the strong demand for the vans wearing the Three-Pointed Star.

Service and Parts has also seen significant success throughout 2014, with Customer Pay Parts growth of 7.3% year to date, with a 23% growth in June specifically. This has been supported through retail and R&M workshop hours’ growth of 17% year to date.

In addition, Service 24h roadside assistance attendance times continue to be class-leading at sub 55 minutes, with a roadside repair rate of 85%. Service Contract penetration also continues to grow across all segments, at a rate of 33% year to date.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has also seen an increase in volume, with a 10.9% growth in finance agreements during the first six months of 2014 on Mercedes-Benz vans compared with the same period last year.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “To achieve six consecutive quarters of record sales is an astonishing feat, and I am delighted to report that our half year sales are up 19% on last year, which was itself a record-breaking year.

“Our vans have won seven awards already in 2014, and combined with the unprecedented level of customer sales, proves we are an unrelenting force within the UK market – and the only way is up!”


Mercedes-Benz Actros voted ‘Fleet Truck of the Year 2014’

The Mercedes-Benz New Actros has been voted ‘Fleet Truck of the Year’ at the prestigious Motor Transport Awards 2014. Announced to an audience of 1600 leading representatives from the transport sector, the Motor Transport Awards celebrate the achievements of the industry and recognise innovation, outstanding service, efficiency and quality.

Now in their 29th year, the Motor Transport Awards are widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the Transport Industry and are judged by an independent panel of experts.

Motor Transport Editor Steve Hobson said of the award: “The judging panel, made up of 60 highly experienced industry professionals, singled out the Mercedes-Benz New Actros for its high fuel efficiency, low cost of ownership, excellent parts and service support through a highly focused dealer network, class-leading residual values and unrivalled levels of driver comfort. These are all attributes that make a real difference to truck operators.

“Mercedes-Benz was also praised for being the first manufacturer to ‘break cover’ with Euro VI vehicles, and for doing so much to dispel fears that Euro VI trucks would be less fuel efficient.”

Presented with the award at the official ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, Michael Kamper, Managing Director – Trucks, Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd commented: “I’m delighted to accept this award and see it as a true indication that New Actros, our Customer Services and our Dealer network are exactly what the market demands.

“We pride ourselves in delivering vehicles that are safe, fuel efficient, technologically advanced, robust and trustworthy, and which in-turn are supported by a range of customer services that offer our customers real business benefits, all supported by a team of people who are focused and care.

“Since launch in early 2012, New Actros has found favour with countless fleets across the UK and this award recognises that we are delivering a range of vehicles and services that our customers can both rely on and value.”

Historically Mercedes-Benz trucks have won the coveted Motor Transport Award ‘Fleet Truck of the Year’ category four times in the last decade: 2004 – Axor, 2007 – Axor, 2011 – Axor and now, 2014 – New Actros. For 2014 New Actros beat off shortlisted rivals from Scania and Volvo.

One of Britain’s biggest privately-owned transport companies, Newmarket based Turners, attended the awards and Paul Day, Managing Director, added: “It was interesting to listen to the judges’ positive comments. We operate a fleet of 310 Actros, 210 of which are the new model and we’ve been delighted with their performance, particularly in terms of fuel efficiency, We’re very pleased, too, with the customer-focused service we receive from Mercedes-Benz UK and our local dealer Orwell Truck & Van. Both understand our business and do all they can to support us.”