Britain’s first Mercedes-Benz New Actros rigid has taken to the road in the traditional colours of family-owned haulier Arthur Spriggs & Sons.
Powered by a 450hp Euro 6 engine, the 26-tonner is now undertaking general deliveries from the company’s base in Tewkesbury, where it has lined up alongside five New Actros tractor units assigned to a dedicated contract with Duraflex.
The trucks arrived via Surrey and Sussex dealer Rossetts Commercials, which presented the rigid on its stand at this summer’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Rossetts enjoys a long-term relationship with Arthur Spriggs and is currently processing orders from the operator for another four New Actros tractor units.
Fitted with a curtainside body by Ross Gordon Commercial Bodyworks, of Avonmouth, the ground-breaking rigid is a 2545 ENA model – the new ENA suffix denotes the fact that it has a single-wheeled tag axle; in a first for Mercedes-Benz, 6×2 New Actros rigids can also be specified as DNA variants with twin-wheeled tag axles.
Its flat-floored BigSpace cab is equipped with optional air-conditioned seats, while the advanced engine transmits its power to the road through the latest Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
"It’s an absolutely marvellous truck," declared Director of Operations Chris Spriggs. "The fuel returns are already good and getting better by the week, the driver loves it to bits, and it looks fantastic too."
The same combination of engine and gearbox drive Arthur Spriggs’ first New Actros tractor units. All are 4×2 models and plated for operation at 40 tonnes gvw – three have aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs, the others being ClassicSpaces. Wearing Duraflex liveries they undertake nationwide distribution of upvc window frames and fixtures in curtainside trailers with rear-mounted Moffett fork-lifts.
"Our New Actros are everything we hoped they would be," continued Mr Spriggs. "We were looking for an improvement in fuel consumption and they’ve delivered from day one. Average returns from the tractor units are now coming in at just under 10mpg, which puts them well ahead of the vehicles they’ve replaced."
Those New Actros still to be delivered – two more 1845 ClassicSpaces, another 1845 StreamSpace and a 6×2 2551 with 510hp engine and range-topping GigaSpace cab – will all line up alongside the rigid on the operator’s general fleet.
Arthur Spriggs & Sons’ roots go back to 1918 and the company operates more than 100 trucks and vans of all sizes. A member of the Fortec Distribution Network, it offers everything from a single pallet delivery to a dedicated managed fleet service.
Mercedes-Benz has been steadily increasing its share of the company’s fleet over recent years. Added Mr Spriggs: "I have a lot of respect for Mercedes-Benz products and services, and for the people behind them – they know and understand our business.
"Everything about New Actros says quality, and when you also factor in the reliability, back-up and residual values, it all adds up to an unbeatable package."