Belfast-based Coastways Storage & Removals appreciates the differing benefits of box and curtainside bodies – so two of its new 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks offer the best of both worlds.
Each has a curtain on one side, which allows for quick and easy loading and unloading of 8ft high wooden containers by fork-lift, but a rigid panel on the other side against which items of all shapes and sizes typically collected during traditional domestic removals can be stacked.
"It may be unusual but we’ve found that this configuration gives us a perfect combination of secure load carrying capability and speedy turnarounds," explained Coastways Director Dominic Murray.
Both Atego 816s arrived via Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI) of Newtownabbey, having been fitted with their unusual bodies by Mulligan Coachworks of Dromore; the same combination of dealer and bodybuilder also recently supplied a third Atego 816 with standard box body.
Coastways has been trading since 1987 and offers a comprehensive range of storage and removal services to householders, businesses and public sector organisations. It operates six trucks, every one a Mercedes-Benz – while two of its new 7.5-tonners replaced older vehicles that had been stood down, the third represents an extension to the fleet, reflecting growing demand for the company’s services.
Much of this demand comes from private customers trapped in house move chains preferring to put their possessions into competitively-priced storage with Coastways rather than risk losing a purchaser.
"We used to run various makes of vehicle," recalled Mr Murray. "But experience proved that the Mercedes lasted better and were more dependable, while the support we’ve received from our local dealer, particularly in terms of parts availability, has always been excellent.
"This is crucial because around 70 per cent of our work is done with containers, so if one of our vehicles is off the road we can’t simply go out and spot hire a box van to replace it.
"Our latest trucks are also being inspected and maintained by Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van, and it’s reassuring to know that the dealer appreciates why we need them turned around very quickly."
Its first vehicles to meet Euro 5 emissions limits, each of Coastways new Ategos also came fitted as standard with an MSS (Motor Stop Start) system. This boosts fuel economy and cuts emissions, simply by switching off the 160hp engine whenever the vehicle is in neutral and stationary for three seconds – for example in heavy traffic or at lights – then switching it back on again automatically as soon as the driver depresses the clutch.
"Local authorities and other public sector bodies are among our biggest clients," said Mr Murray. "So we’re certainly conscious of the impact of our operations on the environment and have noticed a definite improvement in fuel economy from our latest trucks."
Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI) Truck Sales Executive Paul Smyth added: "Coastways Storage & Removals runs a very professional operation, as is clearly demonstrated by the innovative bodies fitted to two of its new Atego 7.5-tonners. It’s a company that’s clearly going places and we look forward to supporting its continued growth."