The first Mercedes-Benz truck in 14 years to wear the colours of Cheshire-based bulk tipping specialist E Nixon & Son is specified to maximise payloads and has been quick to impress.
The 6×2 Actros 2445 tractor unit has a narrow, 2.3-metre-wide version of the aerodynamic StreamSpace cab, and a mid-lift axle fitted with small 17.5in wheels in place of the standard 22.5in items, saving a full 250kg. To shave off even more weight, Nixon also chose optional Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels.
The subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the truck is being inspected and maintained in the Deeside workshop of supplying Dealer Roanza, which is close to the operator’s own headquarters.
“Like most of our trucks, the Actros is on bulk haulage work for which we are paid by the tonne,” explained Managing Director Chris Nixon. “So we’ve done everything we can to keep the truck’s unladen weight to a minimum, and give it the highest possible earning potential.”
Family-owned E Nixon & Son runs a mixed-marque fleet of 40 trucks, 30 of which are 44-tonne gvw tractor units. Paired with a 60 cubic yard Fruehauf aluminium bulk tipping trailer, the Actros is hauling sand and aggregates.
Mr Nixon continued: “We’ve run Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the past, but not since 2001. We’d heard a lot of very positive reports about Actros fuel economy and the availability of the narrow cab and smaller, lighter mid-lift meant it was possible to specify a unit that’s as light as we need it to be.
“Now this new Actros has a job on its hands, to convince us that it can be as productive and cost-effective to operate as the best of our other vehicles. The payload figures certainly add up while the contract hire rates are competitive, and we have the peace of mind of knowing our costs are fixed, which helps when it comes to budgeting.
“So while these are still early days, given what we’ve seen so far we’re optimistic that our decision to invest once again in Mercedes-Benz will prove to have been a wise one.”
Chris Nixon is an ardent fan of rallying and names all his vehicles after famous forest stages – the Actros bears the name ‘Wauchope’, after a well-known rally venue in the Kielder Forest area of Northumberland.
Roanza is the newest name in the Mercedes Benz UK Commercial Vehicle Dealer network. The company was formed last year after a merger between Road Range, which served customers in Merseyside, Deeside and North Wales, and Enza, which covered Manchester, Cheshire and Staffordshire.