Hampshire contract lifting specialist Rapid Response Solutions is running its first Mercedes-Benz trucks, a 26-tonne rigid with crane and a pair of 44-tonne tractor units.
Supplied by south coast dealer Pentagon Commercials, the premium specification Actros 2536L and two Actros 2544 MegaSpace models wear eye-catching vinyl wrap liveries.
The tractors are the subject of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services contract hire deals and are being operated by Rapid Response Solutions’ general haulage and freight forwarding division.
However, specialist lifting services are the Havant-based company’s forte and its first order was for the 6×2 twin-sleeper cab crane vehicle. Its 360hp engine is mated to the 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission which is a standard Actros feature, while it also has a rear-steer axle and rear-mounted 45 tonne/metre Fassi crane.
Key to the decision of Rapid Response to purchase its first Mercedes-Benz truck was a demonstration by experienced sales executive Jon Sunderland, a recent recruit to the Pentagon team, of the Mercedes PowerShift transmission’s functionality, and particularly its Manoeuvring Mode – this reduces the rev range to 1,000rpm and thus allows the driver more precise throttle control.
Rapid Response Managing Director Paul Barber explained: "We’ve tried auto ‘boxes by other manufacturers in the past and they’ve not proved to be very successful at low speeds. Our rigid crane vehicles spend a lot of their time on sites, so we were worried that the automatic transmission might not be the way to go.
"But we were assured that Mercedes PowerShift was unlike any automatic gearbox we’d had before, and as soon as we raised our concern Jon was here with a truck to prove the point. We were very impressed – it was, indeed, a huge improvement on anything we’d seen previously."
Not only did Pentagon’s new sales executive recommend fitment of the rear-steer axle, he also arranged a visit to local builders’ merchant Covers, where representatives of Rapid Response were able to witness at first-hand how this set-up contributes to the enhanced manoeuvrability of its Mercedes-Benz six-wheelers.
"Jon spent an awful lot of time and went to a great deal of trouble to convince us that this was the right truck for our operation," confirmed Mr Barber. "We left Covers confident that the vehicle would be able to get in and out of the tight areas we need to access, and so it has proved. We’re very happy with our new Actros."
Founded in 2000, Rapid Response Solutions prides itself on thinking ‘outside the box’ to develop cost-effective answers to the most unusual and complex of lifting challenges. The company operates on a nationwide basis and runs a fleet of seven rigid crane trucks and eight tractor units, as well as a pair of 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinters which were also supplied by Pentagon.