One of the best-known figures in the UK road transport industry was the guest of honour as Mercedes-Benz dealer Road Range Commercials took another major step forward in its drive to provide truck operators in North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside with the very highest level of service.
Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell visited the company’s purpose-built dealership on the Deeside Industrial Park in Flintshire, to open its new Authorised Test Facility (ATF).
The specially equipped workshop lane is now being used by inspectors from VOSA, the Government’s Vehicle & Operator Services Agency, to carry out MoT tests on heavy commercial vehicles of all kinds and marques.
Mrs Bell said she was delighted to have been invited to cut the ribbon and declare the ATF open for business. "In my role as Traffic Commissioner, I am keen to meet representatives from across the industry and to learn about developments that will affect operator licence holders," she continued.
"This also gives me an opportunity to promote the role of operator compliance to those who interact with, and provide services to, O-licence holders. We all play a key role in contributing to road safety and fair competition, so I look forward to hearing from operators in the region about the service that Road Range can deliver."
VOSA previously carried out all mandatory annual MoT tests of heavy trucks at its own centres. Now, though, the private sector is being encouraged to provide Authorised Testing Facilities that must conform to stringent criteria, and in which the tests are still carried out by VOSA’s own inspectors.
Like other members of Mercedes-Benz UK’s franchised dealer network, Road Range Commercials has been quick to seize the opportunity to offer operators a quick and convenient local service.
Opened in July having been purpose-built at a cost of £1.5 million, the company’s latest dealership is in Zone 2 of the Deeside Industrial Park. It was designed from scratch to include the dedicated ATF lane, which can accommodate trucks and trailers of all sizes and is equipped to meet full Petroleum Regulation standards; it also includes a 16-metre inspection pit, as well as brake roller and headlight alignment testers, and ‘shaker’ plates.
Meanwhile, the dealer’s own technicians are also trained in tachograph calibration and can undertake MoT tests on vehicles of all marques in the Class 4 (cars, vans and small minibuses up to 3.0 tonnes gross weight), Class 5 (buses with up to 15 passenger seats, as well as ambulances), and Class 7 (vans up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight) categories.
Road Range Commercials sells and supports the entire family of Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans, from the 2.7-tonne Vito to the mighty Actros tractor unit, as well as Fuso Canter light trucks. The range will be joined in the New Year by the Citan, the first city van to wear a three-pointed star. The company also operates a full service truck and van dealership and a van sales centre in Liverpool, and another workshop in Llandudno Junction.