With its fuel-efficient performance and premium quality brand image, Tolchards’ new 15-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego has quickly won a resounding ‘thumbs up’ from the operator.
The fast-growing independent drinks distributor is based in Newton Abbott, Devon, and its first Euro VI vehicle arrived via South-West Dealer City West Commercials.
The truck is an Atego 1518 model with S ClassicSpace cab and advanced 130 kW (177 hp) four-cylinder engine, which drives through a standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission. Its smooth-sided, concertina-style curtainside body, meanwhile, is by Burnell & Son, of Bristol.
Tolchards was founded in 2010 by Jim Mardell, whose vision was to create a company that could respond quickly to the needs of its customers and provide outstanding service with the minimum of fuss.
Today, Tolchards has more than 1,000 trade customers for its extensive portfolio of wines, spirits and locally-sourced ales, ciders, water and soft drinks. Following an acquisition in 2013, it also operates from a second depot, in Petersfield, Hampshire.
The new 15-tonner has lined up alongside a 10-registered 13-tonne Atego, the only other truck purchased from new by the company. It runs four more trucks of various makes and sizes, all bought secondhand.
“We’ve been really pleased with our first Atego,” confirmed Newton Abbott Depot Manager Tony Perkins, who, like most of his colleagues, also has many years’ industry experience. “It’s not let us down once over the last four years, a fact that underlines the outstanding build quality of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”
The new truck makes deliveries to pubs, hotels, cafes, restaurants and the like. It is assigned to local duties on Mondays and Tuesdays, then spends the remainder of the week running between base and Dorset.
“Our first Euro VI vehicle is proving impressively fuel-efficient, particularly on the longer runs, and has won praise from its driver Andrew Shave, who particularly appreciates his comfortable, well laid out cab, and the slick-changing auto ’box. We’re also a very image-conscious company and believe that the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star can only enhance perceptions of our own business as a quality service provider.”
Mr Perkins added: “Our success is based on good old fashioned values and agreements with customers cemented by a handshake and celebrated with a glass or two! Such partnerships protect local jobs and create value within the community we serve, and it’s precisely this kind of relationship that we are building with our local Dealer City West Commercials, who provide an excellent service.”
The Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Atego range comprises no fewer than 42 model variants in the 6.5-16-tonne gvw light distribution segment. Customers can choose from four cab designs, all with new seats and ergonomically designed dashboards, while power comes from state-of-the-art four-cylinder OM934 and six-cylinder OM936 engines.
Drivers of new Atego models benefit from the impressively high torque characteristics of these units, even at low revs, as well as outstanding comfort and manoeuvrability – the chassis, rear suspension, cab mounting and steering system have all been comprehensively reworked.
Euro VI Atego models also offer a 90% reduction in particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, while consuming significantly less fuel and up to 40% less AdBlue than their Euro 5 equivalents.