When Regency Glass came finally to replace its trusty 17-year-old Atego 18-tonner, only one manufacturer was in the frame – it had to be another Mercedes-Benz.
The Lancashire-based operator’s new Antos 1824 was supplied by Roanza Truck & Van. It has lined-up alongside an identical Antos, and a pair of 7.5-tonne Atego models, all of which have been supplied by the same Dealer within the last 12 months.
Its predecessor had provided reliable service since joining the fleet in 2000. Two other Atego 18 tonners registered in 2000 and 2002, and a pair of 7.5-tonne Atego trucks which entered service in 2006, remain hard at work.
“The vehicle we’ve retired was still going strong too,” said Director Wayne Fitzmartin, who runs the firm with business partner Darren Beazant. “We’ve only replaced it because it was just starting to look its age.”
Regency Glass has been running Mercedes-Benz trucks since 1991. “They’ve always proved to be exceptionally reliable and long-lived,” continued Mr Fitzmartin. “On two occasions we also tried vehicles by another manufacturer, but we won’t make that mistake again. They were simply not in the same league for build quality.”
Regency Glass acquired its new Antos with the help of competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Despite the operator’s familiarity with vehicles bearing the three-pointed star, in one sense it represents a bold step into an exciting future. That’s because Regency Glass has also become one of the first customers in the country for the revolutionary Mercedes-Benz Uptime system.
This remarkable telediagnosis programme monitors the vehicle to which it is fitted in real time, and flags up any areas of concern, either urgent or ‘advisory’, at an early stage – it can even predict a breakdown before it happens.
The data collected ensures that optimal repair solutions can be planned in good time. So, for example, the system will flag up in advance if a wear-and-tear component might soon need to be replaced. The part can then be ordered, and time set aside for it to be fitted when the truck goes in for a scheduled check. In normal circumstances the worn item might not be noticed until inspected by a technician, which could mean that a second visit to the workshop is necessary.
The concept has already impressed Regency Glass Transport Manager Dave Roberts. “Uptime should help us to further reduce downtime, and keep our trucks out on the road and earning for even longer,” he said.
The new Antos is fitted with a bespoke body, designed and built to the operator’s specification by PPS Commercials, of Bury. This has glass-carrying frames to one side, curtains to the other, and internal lashing points for securing stillages. The frames can be removed when not needed, to reduce the vehicle’s width and improve aerodynamics.
Like the operator’s other trucks, the new Antos is now delivering sealed glass units to window and conservatory fabricators across the North-West, from the manufacturing plant in Leigh which has been the company’s headquarters since it was founded in 1983.
“We’ve built up an excellent relationship with the team at Roanza,” added Mr Fitzmartin. “Our account manager Dawn provides a very professional service and handled all of the bodybuilder liaison for us, making sure we were covered for all the relevant legislation and type approvals. The Dealer’s Warrington workshop is also open 24 hours a day, which means any servicing or repairs can be undertaken outside our own working hours.”