Tool hire specialist HSS has underlined its determination to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment by ordering 40 cleaner, ‘greener’ Euro 6 Mercedes-Benz Sprinters well ahead of the next EU emissions deadline.
The move, which sets an example for others in its industry and beyond, marks the first phase in a process that will see the high-profile operator upgrade its entire fleet of more than 400 vans to Euro 6 specification as soon as possible.
The new legislation comes into force on 1 September – from that date, all new vans sold must meet the reduced pollutant limits. However, rather than stock up on Euro 5 vehicles at a lower capital cost while it can still do so, HSS hasas h chosen to embrace the technology early.
Group Logistics Director David Phillips explained: “HSS is determined to run the cleanest commercial vehicles available, in line with our commitment to reducing emissions year-on-year. This is a bold, positive move for HSS and we are extremely proud to be leading the way in the plant hire market.”
HSS has been running dropside-bodied Sprinters, as well as smaller Vito and Citan van models, for the past seven years. The operator knows that as well as supplying vehicles which offer superb reliability and highly competitive running costs, Mercedes-Benz leads the field in terms of emissions reductions – it became the first manufacturer to offer vans which meet the Euro 6 limit as long ago as 2013.
Supplied by north-west Dealer Roanza Truck & Van, HSS’s first Euro 6 Sprinters will all be 314 CDI Long chassis cabs with dropside bodies by PPS Commercials, of Bury. This model’s advanced 143 hp four-cylinder engine employs both EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) and BlueTEC SCR (selective catalytic reduction) diesel technology to reduce emissions.
The Euro 6 legislation demands that outputs of nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants, which have an impact on local air quality, be slashed by more than 50%. The Euro 6 Sprinter’s BlueTEC SCR system easily achieves this requirement by feeding the exhaust gases through a catalytic converter, where they are mixed with the AdBlue® additive which further purifies them before they exit the tailpipe.
At the same time the 314 CDI offers welcome increases in both power, up from 129 to 143 hp, and torque, which rises from 305 to 330 Nm. To increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions HSS limits its delivery vehicles to a maximum speed of 65 mph, but the extra muscle is expected to help still further by reducing the need for gear-changes.
The subject of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services funding agreements, the new vans are due to begin entering service in August and will be maintained within the Mercedes-Benz UK Dealer Network – the fleet is managed on the operators behalf by Leeds-based Contract Vehicles Ltd (CVL).
HSS operates from a network of 300 locations, 50 of which have opened within the last year. It runs 265 Sprinters, 27 of them in Ireland, which are used exclusively to deliver tools and plant equipment to customers, and collect them at the end of their hire periods.
The company’s fleet also includes 137 mid-sized Vito vans, which are driven by engineers who undertake on-site repairs and servicing work, and five small Citans.
As well as projecting a smart, professional image, our Sprinters give us the reliable performance we need in order to deliver on our promise of a dependable delivery service to our customers.”
Roanza Truck & Van Fleet Van Sales Director Wayne Ousby added: “We have been working with HSS for several years, and have developed a highly successful relationship with this most professional of operators. The fact that it has chosen to invest in Euro 6 Mercedes-Benz vehicles now is testament to the determination of David Phillips and his team to take a lead in their own industry, just as we do in ours.”