North London-based S&J Wackett Timber Merchants is doing its bit to protect air quality in the capital after purchasing two new trucks powered by advanced, low-emission diesel engines.
Although one is a Mercedes-Benz Atego and the other a Fuso Canter, both were supplied by S & B Commercials, the reigning Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Dealer of the Year – the German manufacturer’s franchised UK network is also responsible for sales and support of the popular Japanese light truck range.
Working from S&J Wackett’s depot in Tottenham, the two new vehicles are powered by clean, ‘green’ Euro 5 engines and fitted with lightweight, all alloy single-dropside bodies by Hunter Vehicles, of Enfield; the 16-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego 1624 is additionally equipped with an Atlas 105.2 hydraulic crane.
The Atego also boasts MSS (Motor Stop Start) technology which saves fuel by automatically switching off its 240hp 6.3-litre engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, for example in traffic or at lights, then starting it again as soon as the clutch is depressed.
Meanwhile, underlining its environmental credentials, the 3.5-tonne Canter 3C13’s state-of-the-art 130hp 3.0-litre powerplant also meets the Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle (EEV) emissions standard, which is even more stringent than Euro 5.
New rules for the London Low Emission Zone come into force in January 2012. Thereafter, to drive within Greater London, medium and heavy trucks must meet the Euro 4 standard for particulate emissions or incur a daily penalty charge.
Meanwhile, commercial vehicles with gross weights of up to 3.5 tonnes – most of them vans but also including the smallest Fuso Canter, as just purchased by S&J Wackett – are being incorporated within the LEZ regime for the first time. From January, these vehicles must meet the Euro 3 emissions standard.
As S&J Wackett’s new trucks feature Euro 5 engine technology, both fall comfortably within the new limits. Importantly, though, by making these investments now, the company is also protecting itself against future ‘ratcheting up’ of the LEZ regulations.
Founded 25 years ago by Managing Director Simon Wackett and his mother Jean, S&J Wackett bought its first truck from S & B Commercials in 2002. Today, the firm also operates two other Mercedes-Benz trucks, a 7.5-tonner and an 18-tonner.
The company delivers constructional timber, softwoods, hardwoods and sheet materials, as well as the Q-Deck (decking and garden landscaping) and Q-Line (softwood mouldings) ranges, to builders, developers and private customers across the capital.
"We bought the 16-tonne Mercedes to help meet growing demand, and it’s already proving to be a very capable and productive tool," explained Mr Wackett.
"But while we know all about the quality, fuel-efficiency and durability of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, this is our first experience of the Fuso Canter. We’d noticed that many of our customers run Canters and they kept telling us how reliable the vehicle is, while we also like the fact that at just seven foot across the body it’s a very narrow vehicle, which is a big help, given the increasing prevalence of width restrictions in London.
"These are still early days, of course, but despite its size the Canter is clearly built like a small lorry rather than a van, so we’re very optimistic about it."