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John Mitchell puts Mercedes-Benz New Actros to the test

Mercedes-Benz Dealer Western Commercial has gained an important toe-hold in the fleet of John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing, one of Scotland’s best-known transport companies and a former winner of the prestigious Motor Transport Haulier of the Year trophy.

The Grangemouth-based operator is now running a Mercedes-Benz New Actros 2545 tractor unit with flat-floored BigSpace cab. Its straight-six engine generates 330 kW (449 hp) and drives through the latest-generation Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.

Managing Director Iain Mitchell explains: "We’d seen and heard a lot of good reports about the New Actros in the trade press and elsewhere, particularly with regard to its fuel economy. So we decided it was time to try one for ourselves."

The Mercedes-Benz has joined John Mitchell’s fleet of well over 100 top-weight tractor units, which is currently dominated by a rival manufacturer. Its performance – and that of the dealer – is now being closely evaluated.

The New Actros is on general haulage duties with one of John Mitchell’s new SDC curtainside trailers, carrying a wide range of goods across Scotland and the north of England.

"It’s working fully freighted over some challenging terrain so we’re very pleased that the returns have already reached 8.5 mpg, which compares well to our fleet average," says Mr Mitchell.

"The truck is running well, there have been no ‘niggles’ and the ordering and delivery process went very smoothly. We’ll continue to monitor the quality of back-up but so far the team at Western Commercial’s Edinburgh dealership have looked after us extremely well. I hear nothing negative about the truck or the dealer and at John Mitchell that’s the way we like it."

Western Commercial delivered a comprehensive training and familiarisation session when handing over the new vehicle, to ensure that John Mitchell gets the best from the truck and its various high-tech driver aids, as well as the FleetBoard telematics system which comes as standard with all New Actros units.

Vincente Connolly, Director National Sales – Trucks at Mercedes-Benz UK, adds: "Scotland represents a key market for Mercedes-Benz and Fuso Trucks and we’re enjoying some fantastic success. We have an ongoing dialogue with our customers and all the feedback we’ve received tells us that the new range is performing superbly.

"The recent acquisition of this New Actros by John Mitchell is something we are very pleased about here at Milton Keynes and at Western Commercial, and we are excited to see how it performs against the existing fleet."

Established in 1956, John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing remains a family-owned business. Its headquarters site includes storage for up to 2,000 shipping containers as well as a secure, modern 30,000 sq ft pallet rack warehouse. The company’s fleet also includes more than 200 skeletal, tank and bulk tipping trailers.

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