Leading foodservice wholesaler Bidvest 3663 is running its first Mercedes-Benz trucks following an impressive fuel performance from a demonstrator.
The company ordered 40 Mercedes-Benz Antos rigids – all 18-tonne 1827 models with the sole exception of a 26-tonne 2532 – as well as six 7.5-tonne FUSO Canter 7C15s, from Scottish Dealer Western Commercial. They are being fitted by Gray & Adams with insulated box bodies and multi-temperature Frigoblok refrigeration units.
Graham Rennie, Director of Fleet at Bidvest 3663, said: “The move to Euro VI prompted us to take a fresh look at the market. The Antos is clearly well designed and we’ve heard good things about its fuel economy, while the fact that so many Euro VI Mercedes-Benz trucks are already on the road and operating reliably was another plus point.”
Mr Rennie continued: “We trialled an 18-tonne demonstrator, specified to match the trucks we were already running. It certainly lived up to its billing, returning noticeably better mpg figures than our fleet average. On the strength of that performance we were happy to order our first Mercedes-Benz trucks.
“Western Commercial’s Broxburn branch is reasonably close to Gray & Adams’ factory in Dunfermline, as well as St Boswells-based Jock Borthwick Trucks, which fitted some fridge ancilliaries. The dealer is co-ordinating the build and delivery process very smoothly.”
Bidvest 3663 has a UK head office in High Wycombe, along with four regional distribution centres and 24 depots nationwide. The company prides itself on being able to provide everything from a teaspoon to a complete catering solution for customers of all sizes, and supplies every food option from quality ingredients to finished meals, its portfolio including a number of own line ranges as well as big brands and regional specialities.
Its Antos are now working from premises in Bicester, and serving customers across a busy swathe of the South-East, including Heathrow Airport.
The FUSO Canters, meanwhile, are based at a depot in Ivybridge, near Plymouth. “The Canter is not much bigger than a 3.5-tonne van but it offers an excellent body and payload capacity,” added Mr Rennie. “Even with a fridge body we can still carry three tonnes of product.
“The vehicle’s compact dimensions, low-entry cab and DUONIC automated gearbox also make it relatively easy for our drivers to manoeuvre in the narrow lanes and tight town-centre streets of Devon and Cornwall.”