Long-term Mercedes-Benz operator Allegro Transport is reaping valuable fuel savings from its first Euro VI vehicles.
Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, the company has been buying trucks bearing the three-pointed star from East Midlands Dealer Mertrux for nearly 40 years.
“My father began doing business with Don Marshall, who founded Mertrux, back in the mid-1970s, shortly after it became a founding member of the Mercedes-Benz network,” said Managing Director Andrew Litchfield. “The vehicles and the dealer have always given us first-class service.”
Allegro Transport operates a large fleet of trucks in a variety of sizes and configurations, all but a handful of which are by Mercedes-Benz. Latest to arrive, via the dealer’s Mansfield branch, are a quartet of 4×2 Actros 1843 tractor units with aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs. They are powered by state-of-the-art 315 kW (428 hp) six-cylinder engines driving through smooth-changing Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
“These are our first examples from the latest-generation, Euro VI Actros range, and we’re very impressed,” confirmed Mr Litchfield. “It’s a completely re-engineered truck and despite the fact that there were a lot of scare stories around, about how fuel returns would suffer with the introduction of the new emissions limit, they’re proving to be extremely efficient.
“In their first few weeks on the road they were hitting well in excess of 9 mpg, and frequently reaching 10 mpg. A couple of months on, and the trucks now having bedded in; they’re averaging 10-11 mpg, which represents a significant improvement on our fleet average.”
Plated at 40 tonnes gcw, the Actros are now making deliveries across Europe, mainly of full-load consignments of palletised items for customers in the electrical and automotive sectors. “We opted for 4×2 tractors because they spend so much time on the Continent,” explained Mr Litchfield.
“Our drivers are very impressed with their new trucks and we know from long experience that the back-up from Mertrux will always be there when we need it. The dealer has invested a lot of time and money on its facilities and staff training, and the service we receive from the workshop team at Mansfield is excellent – they are always prepared to work on our trucks over weekends to minimise downtime.”
Founded in 1967 by Mr Litchfield’s father, Allegro Transport is a member of the UPN pallet network and the Road Haulage Association. The company is Crossrail-compliant and holds Bronze accreditation under Transport for London’s Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).
As well as excelling in terms of fuel efficiency, operating costs and driver comfort, Mercedes-Benz Trucks lead the field in terms of safety. The Actros includes in its standard-fit armoury of active and passive equipment an electropneumatic brake system (EPB) incorporating anti-lock braking (ABS) and anti-slip regulation (ASR), which brakes each wheel individually to make the most of available grip and minimise stopping distances.
EPB includes secondary braking – whether by engine brake or retarder – to further improve safety and reduce wear, while in the event of emergency braking the system automatically activates the hazard warning lights to warn following traffic, winning vital extra seconds that could help to prevent an accident. Other standard safety features on the Actros include Stability Control Assist, a rain and light sensor and a seat-belt monitor.