07 March 2013
Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans are built to run and run - and at East Midlands dealer Mertrux, so are the staff!
Workshop Foreman Chris Insley has just notched up the remarkable milestone of 45 years' service with the company, having been there since the day it opened for business.
Mertrux was founded in 1971 by Don Marshall, to take on one of Britain's first Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle franchises. But Chris first worked with Don three years earlier, at a Commer and Dodge agent based in Burton Upon Trent.
Chris is now based at the Derby headquarters of Mertrux, which also has dealerships in Leicester, Nottingham and Mansfield.
He oversees a team of 14 technicians and two apprentices who maintain and repair commercial vehicles from the award-winning Mercedes-Benz range which stretches from the just-launched Citan city van to the mighty New Actros tractor unit, as well as popular Fuso Canter light trucks.
"The job has changed a great deal since I started," says Chris. "There's a lot more record-keeping, and vehicles are much more sophisticated in terms of electronic engine management and other systems.
"The difference in cab space and comfort between a modern vehicle and one from 45 years ago is incredible, while fuel economy and emission controls have improved out of all recognition too."
He continues: "If anything, the pace of change is becoming even faster - now we have the New Actros with a whole new family of ultra-modern engines, and this year will see the arrival of new Mercedes-Benz Atego, Arocs and Antos models.
"You never stand still in this job and there's always something new to learn. That's why, even after all this time, every day still brings a new challenge. And some things don't change, including a lot of the customers - I've been looking after vehicles for companies like WJ Skipper Haulage, of Burton, for most of my career."
Chris and his wife Linda live in Burton-on-Trent and are keen members of the National Trust who also enjoy spending time with their five-year-old grand-daughter, Ruby.
The winner of numerous Mercedes-Benz and industry awards, and an enthusiastic supporter of a wide range of deserving local causes down the years, Mertrux is proud of the number of loyal, long-serving employees on its 150-strong workforce - more than half the staff have been with the company for over 10 years.