12 May 2008
Service engineers working for multi-franchise dealer United Forktrucks reckon they've just gone up in the world – after taking to the road in their new Mercedes Vito vans.
UFT has bought three Vito 109CDI Compacts from Norwich dealer Orwell Truck and Van. They are the first Mercedes on the company's fleet of more than 40 service vans, which is dominated by a rival German marque.
United Forktrucks has a head office in Thetford, Norfolk, and a network of seven other depots nationwide.
The company supplies a comprehensive range of forklifts and other materials handling machines by leading manufacturers such as JCB, Mitsubishi, TCM, Cesab, Hamech, BV and Icem. These are supported by its skilled team of mobile engineers, who maintain equipment under contract and respond rapidly to emergency call-outs.
Managing Director Paul Nichol says: "We are a quality business and are always striving to improve the level of service we provide to our customers.
"Our previous vans have been fine but I'm very demanding and I don't think the supplying dealer's customer care has been up to the mark. Orwell's van sales executive Alan Cardy has been knocking on my door for some time, so I decided to give Mercedes a try."
Mr Nichol continues: These are still early days, of course, but I like what I've seen so far of the Vito. The engineers appreciate their comfortable, well appointed cabs and smooth, responsive engines, while I also think they carry the weight a bit better – we put a fair amount of tools, oils and other materials in these vehicles and the Vitos seem to sit pretty well on the road."
One of the new Mercedes is based at Thetford while the others are working out of London and Boston, in Lincolnshire.
"We're able to get all three serviced overnight by Mercedes dealers, which is important because it means we don't incur any downtime," adds Mr Nichol. "And we're benefiting from the Vito's long service intervals and excellent, three-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
"We've had no issues with Orwell, so as things stand there will definitely be more opportunities for them to do business with us in the future."