The first New Actros units to join the fleet of long-standing Mercedes-Benz operator Andyfreight are delivering an improvement in fuel economy of more than eight per cent.
The six trucks are averaging 9.3mpg on general haulage work. And as a delighted Managing Director Andy Pountney confirmed: "That’s 0.7 of a gallon better than the vehicles they’ve replaced, an improvement which over the course of a full year is going to save us up to £5,000 per unit in diesel costs."
Founded by Mr Pountney with a single 3.5-tonne pick-up in 1986, Andyfreight is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands, and provides a comprehensive range of haulage, warehousing and distribution services. It operates a fleet of 29 trucks – 22 of them 44-tonne tractor units – all but one of which wear three-pointed stars.
The New Actros were supplied by Rygor Commercials, Kidderminster, which is now inspecting and servicing them under free, two-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
All are 2545 models with aerodynamic, flat-floored StreamSpace cabs, and feature state-of-the-art 450hp engines mated to Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
Mr Pountney continued: "Our drivers are really impressed with their new tractor units. The power outputs are similar to the vehicles they were in before, but the lads are convinced the New Actros perform better, and are smoother too. They love the cabs as well, which is important given that they typically spend two or three nights away each week."
In addition to the New Actros, Rygor also supplied Andyfreight with a pair of 18-tonne Axor 1824s with Mackworth curtainside bodies and tuckaway tail-lifts.
Also new are the Montracon curtainside trailers with tail-lifts which the New Actros are pulling. Their back doors carry the operator’s trademark image of a baby and the message: ‘Just about the only thing not delivered by… Andyfreight’.
Mr Pountney added: "We’ve been running Mercedes-Benz trucks for more than 20 years now because as well as being very fuel-efficient, they’re also outstandingly reliable and command strong residual values."
In the past the company bought top-quality pre-owned trucks from the Mercedes-Benz Used Commercial Vehicle Centre at Wentworth Park, near Barnsley, but in recent years has tended to purchase new vehicles.
"We’ll still buy a second-hand truck if the deal looks good," said Mr Pountney. "We like to pick them up with no more than 100,000km on the clock then run them for three years, by which time they’ll have covered about half a million km. We’ll keep the new ones for four years, which I reckon is the time to sell to get the best residuals."