Lee Longlands furnishes its fleet with six of the best from Mercedes-Benz

Customers of one of the Midlands’ best-loved independent retailers are now receiving deliveries of the new furniture that will smarten their homes, from an equally smart fleet of Mercedes-Benz trucks.

A shared commitment to quality and service prompted Lee Longlands to invest in the six new Atego 7.5-tonners. “Ours is a premium brand, just like Mercedes-Benz,” explained Financial Director Darren Campo. “Customers like to see us turn up outside their homes in the very best vehicles.”

Supplied by Birmingham Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, the Atego 816s have S ClassicSpace cabs and are fitted with Luton dropwell bodywork by M6 Motor Bodies, also of Birmingham. They are the subject of a funding agreement with InnoVent Leasing.

Lee Longlands, which has stores in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leamington Spa, Abingdon and Derby, has enjoyed 10% year-on-year growth since it was restructured in 2011, and reported a 31% increase in operating profit in 2014.

The retailer’s decision to replace its previous home delivery fleet with vehicles bearing the three-pointed star underlines an ongoing commitment to improving its infrastructure. The new trucks are based at Lee Longlands’ distribution centre in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, from where they cover its Midlands heartland.

“Our new Mercedes-Benz vehicles look fantastic,” Mr Campo continued. “Image aside, though, we also need trucks which are technically advanced and robust, because they have to be out on the road and earning, not stuck in the workshop. We’re confident that when it comes to efficiency and reliability the fleet will prove to be second-to-none.”

The vehicles are being inspected and serviced by Midlands Truck & Van under a
Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contract. The Dealer took back the retailer’s previous, non-Mercedes-Benz trucks in part-exchange.

“Midlands Truck & Van and M6 Motor Bodies have both provided excellent service and we’re delighted to be working with two locally-based companies,” added Mr Campo.

The Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Atego range comprises no fewer than 42 variants with four cab designs, in the 6.5-16-tonne gvw light distribution segment. The 816 model as specified by Lee Longlands is powered by a 115 kW (156 hp) version of the state-of-the-art four-cylinder OM 934 engine; other models employ the six-cylinder OM 936.

These engines drive through the smooth and swift-changing, standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission, and offer a 90% reduction in particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, while consuming significantly less fuel and up to 40% less AdBlue than their Euro 5 equivalents.

Meanwhile, Atego drivers benefit from their impressively high torque characteristics, even at low revs, as well as outstanding comfort, visibility and manoeuvrability – the chassis, rear suspension, cab mounting and steering system have all been comprehensively reworked.

Lee Longlands opened its first store in Broad Street, Birmingham, in 1903, shortly after Robert Lee and George Longland formed their partnership. The company they founded now offers the latest in contemporary furnishings, from sofas and dining furniture to carpets, beds and accessories.


Dreams can rest easy, thanks to Mercedes-Benz reliability

The UK’s leading bed specialist has underlined its confidence in the future by embarking on a major programme to replace its entire fleet of long-serving Mercedes-Benz Sprinters with new versions of the same model.

Dreams, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary, is already running 29 fuel-efficient Sprinter 313 CDIs. They are the first vehicles to wear its smart new livery.

Dealer Midlands Truck & Van will deliver another six over the next few weeks, and the retailer intends to complete the process by commissioning a further 53 units during the course of 2015.

The new Sprinter chassis cabs have box bodies by JC Payne, of Walsall, West Midlands. They are being allocated to two-man teams who deliver beds from Dreams’ Home Delivery Depots directly to customers’ homes.

The new fleet is the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, under which the vehicles will be maintained within the manufacturer’s Dealer network.

Key to the retailer’s decision to put its faith once again in vehicles bearing the three-pointed star, were the outstanding reliability and competitive operating costs of its outgoing Sprinter fleet.

Dreams Distribution Controller Shaun Bullock said: “The last fleet of new Sprinters we bought date back to 2004-05. Some of our older Mercedes-Benz vehicles have clocked-up well in excess of 400,000 miles, yet they’re still going strong. Indeed, they have proved over the last 10 years to be brilliant workhorses and we’ve every confidence that our new fleet will be just as reliable and cost-effective to operate.”

He continued: “The new Sprinters have been very well received by our delivery teams, and the fact that Mercedes-Benz dealers are geared-up to service and repair our vehicles outside normal operating hours is also a big attraction, as it means they will always be available for work when we need them.”

Midlands Truck & Van won the business after providing exemplary service support for the vans and trucks based at Dreams’ depot in Wednesbury, West Midlands.

Shaun Bullock said: “The whole process of ordering the vehicles, from liaising with the bodybuilder to delivery, has been excellent. We’re looking forward to arriving at customers’ homes in our gleaming new vehicles, which showcase our new brand identity perfectly.”

Passionate about providing the perfect night’s sleep, Dreams is committed to delivering the highest standard of expert customer advice and service. It offers an extensive selection of high-quality products, including mattresses, bed frames, divans, bedroom furniture and soft furnishings, many of which are hand-crafted in the UK at the Dreams Bed Factory.

Dreams has more than 160 retail stores and a transactional web site – Its head office – known as ‘Bedquarters’ – is located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.


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


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 Vans Continues Record Run

Mercedes-Benz Vans is celebrating another record quarter result, with an increase in registrations by 12%, marking the seventh consecutive record-breaking quarter.

With year-on-year order intake for the end of third quarter 2014 for Citan up at 40%, Vito up at 11% and Sprinter Van up 23%, the star in the Mercedes-Benz Vans range is the Sprinter Chassis Cab, celebrating order intake up 68%.

Out of the nine months so far this year, five have produced best-ever monthly registration figures for Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK – March, May, June, July and August, with July and August registrations returning to pre-recession levels.

Overall registrations are up at 14% compared with the same year-to-date period in 2013, which was itself a record-breaking year.

Service and Parts has continued to exceed expectations in the third quarter, with year-to-date Customer Pay Parts growth of 8.1% over 2013 performance.

Overall workshop hours have grown by 4.7%, driven by an increase of 8.2% in Retail and repair and maintenance hours sold, and Service 24h roadside assistance has continued its class-leading figures, with an overall average attendance time of 58 minutes and a roadside repair rate of 85%.

Continuing the success at Mercedes-Benz Vans, Service Contracts have now surpassed 2013 performance based on 2014 year-to-date figures. Mercedes-Benz Vans has had a total of 6,433 plans activated as at the end of September, in comparison to a total of 6,006 across the whole of 2013.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has also achieved a best ever result in terms of volume financed, funding more than £36 million worth of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the month of September alone. Overall, this result puts Financial Services 9.3% ahead of 2013 year to date, and well on track towards a record breaking year in terms of the number of vehicles funded.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “I am extremely proud to be announcing our third quarter success. Our results really do speak for themselves and it is testimony to the hard work by our colleagues, our products and our overall offering that we are enjoying such a strong performance. Here’s to the next quarter!”


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.”


Go Waste Skips to a new beat with Mercedes-Benz Arocs

The first Mercedes-Benz Arocs to join the fleet of Birmingham-based Go Waste is already giving its new owners fuel for thought, with economical performance from the day it was delivered.

“We would never bother to measure a new truck’s mpg figures until it had been on the road a few months and had a chance to loosen up,” says Managing Director Mick Jones. “But the Arocs is already looking very good – definitely better than any of our other eight-wheelers.”

Supplied by local Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, the 8×4 Arocs 3240 is powered by a 290 kW (394 hp) 10.7-litre engine, driving through a Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission. It has joined the waste management specialist’s fleet of 18 trucks, which work across the West Midlands and beyond.

Fitted with hook-loading gear by Reload Systems, of Oldbury, the Arocs carries a range of roll-on roll-off bodies including large skips, shallower ‘muckaway’ bodies for construction or demolition waste, and platforms for moving plant equipment.

Mr Jones continues: “We’ve had Mercedes-Benz trucks on the fleet before, but not for some years now. Our original intention was to buy a used vehicle but when Midlands Truck & Van sales executive Alan Whateley brought his Arocs demonstrator over to show us, we were so impressed we decided to give one a try.

“The truck has great presence and is clearly built for the conditions it will face in this job. It’s a joy at the wheel too – the automated transmission is very smooth and makes the driver’s life so easy.”

He adds: “The dealer provided a first class service, which included liaison with the bodybuilder. What’s more, the purchase price was highly competitive, as was the rate for the five-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance contract.”

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 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.”


Dr Locks picks another winner with Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport-X

A 100-yard test drive of a dynamic Vito Sport-X van was all it took to convince locksmith Jason Gould that Mercedes-Benz holds the key to long-term happiness at the wheel.

Jason, whose firm Dr Locks is based in Halesowen, West Midlands, had owned a string of Vito and Vito Sport models – but then bought another make of van.

“I fancied a change, and it was a nice vehicle,” he recalls. “But it very soon dawned on me that it just wasn’t a Mercedes-Benz. It lacked the quality and comfort of the Vito, and it didn’t have the ‘feel good’ factor I’d been used to.”

So Jason returned to his local Mercedes-Benz Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, where he was invited to take a quick spin in Managing Director Jon Divers’ ‘company car’, a fire-breathing Vito Sport-X.

“I’d scarcely left the forecourt before I realised that this was the van for me,” says Jason. “It really looks the part and the fact that it’s so quick makes it a real joy to drive. I dropped Jon’s van back at the dealership and ordered my own there and then.”

The Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport-X is powered by a smooth V6 engine that transmits its eye-watering 167 kW (224 hp) output to the road via a five-speed automatic transmission.

Its striking appearance owes much to renowned tuning and body styling specialist Brabus, which designed its 18-inch alloy wheels, customised front spoiler and chrome sidebars. Sport-X models also feature powerful bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime driving lights – as well as enhancing the van’s appearance, these make an important safety contribution.

A former Birmingham City Council carpenter, Jason started his own business in 2005 after buying specialist tools and teaching himself to pick locks. The company was a success from day one and its expert team now provide an emergency 24-hour call out service, as well as offering bespoke security and alarm solutions.

Jason, who is renowned for his own skills as a locksmith and security consultant, uses his silver Vito Sport-X to visit commercial and domestic customers throughout the West Midlands and beyond.

He continues: “As well as having great performance, my Sport-X came with a huge array of active and passive safety systems, all fitted as standard. This, coupled with the manufacturer’s three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, is very reassuring.

“I’ve always received a great service from Midlands Truck & Van and have had the opportunity recently to do a bit of reciprocal work for the dealer, which was nice.”


JGS Couriers Deliver a Star Service

Worcestershire based independent same day delivery company, JGS JGS Couriers, proudly showcase their all Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet as Midlands Truck & Van Ltd catch up with them to see how their vehicles are working for their business.

Sold by Midlands Truck & Van Ltd, John Stubbins, Owner of JGS Couriers, was pleased to confirm that his 10 van Mercedes-Benz Sprinter fleet boasted, “Outstanding performance, Design and Reliability”, and that “the three pointed star on the front reassures our commitment to reliability to our customers”. Each vehicle will travel at least 70,000 miles per year, so having a vehicle fit for purpose is vital to this business’s customer promise.

JGS Couriers pride themselves in their levels of commitment and service to their customers. John Stubbins comments, “We vow to deliver the highest possible levels of customer service by always being punctual for collections, (our response to emergencies is often within 20 minutes), and always keeping our customers in the loop with regular updates.”

jgs-1He continued, “We are as unique as our customer base is diverse, serving clients such as H M Government, Barristers, Solicitors, Architects, Media, Audio Visual, Manufacturing, right to the one man band working to “just in time” deadlines. We are a “Pick up and Put down service” to a lot of these clients, which means they don’t have to specifically employ a driver for that purpose.”

Midlands Truck & Van Ltd’s Used Sales Manager, David Brindle commented, “We continue to enjoy a strong working relationship with John and JGS Couriers. They have been a loyal customer of Midlands Truck & Van for 10 years now and I was delighted when John said that we, “always provide exactly what we require; high end service.” John and his team work very hard for their customers including collecting high value goods from one particular client at 0800 hrs and delivering the same goods to Lyon in France later the same evening!”

Established in July 1999, JGS Couriers specialise in hand carried personal deliveries and time sensitive deliveries. They ensure same day delivery across the UK; operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Nationwide and throughout Europe.