Mercedes-Benz Dealer Midlands Truck & Van has landed breakthrough orders from Europe’s largest commercial vehicle fleet services company for a £6-million fleet of 7.5-tonners.
Fraikin has taken delivery of 100 Mercedes-Benz Ategos, with a further 35 due to enter service before the New Year.
The first trucks to wear the company’s recently updated livery are being assigned to its rental fleet of around 1,000 vehicles. This comprises everything from vans through to 44-tonne tractor units, and includes specialist equipment such as dropsiders with cranes, and refrigerated trucks and vans.
Business users can hire these vehicles by the day, while for those seeking a longer-term solution the Fraikin Xtend service offers a combination of competitive pricing and the peace of mind of a flexible arrangement.
Crucially, the rental fleet also supports Fraikin’s growing customer base – the company owns another 4,500 vehicles which are being operated by customers through full-service contract hire agreements.
Part of the multi-national Fraikin Group, which was founded in France in 1943, the UK business operates from a head office in Coventry and 10 locations nationwide, the latest of which has just opened at Iver, Buckinghamshire.
Fraikin’s new Ategos are all 816 models with S day cabs, fuel-efficient 115 kW (160 hp) engines and six-speed manual gearboxes. Economy is further boosted and emissions reduced by the standard-fit MSS (Motor Stop Start) system, which switches off the engine whenever the vehicle is in neutral and stationary for over three seconds – for example in heavy traffic or at lights – then automatically restarts it as soon as the driver depresses the clutch.
The trucks’ box bodies, meanwhile, are supplied by JC Payne, of Aldridge, West Midlands, which also fitted their Dhollandia 1.0-tonne column tail lifts.
It is the first time in recent years that Fraikin has ordered Mercedes-Benz trucks in such numbers for its rental fleet. But as Head of Procurement & Supply Chain Nick Solomon confirms: "We have a lot of experience of the Mercedes-Benz product and the 7.5-tonne Atego certainly offers the performance, fuel economy, payload and exceptional levels of driver comfort that our customers look for in a rental truck.
"From an owner’s point of view the whole life costs over the minimum five years that we’ll run these vehicles are also highly attractive. The Mercedes-Benz image and reputation is very high and, we believe, has close synergies with our own brand."
He adds: "We enjoy strong relationships with Midlands Truck & Van and Mercedes-Benz UK, and are very happy to award these important orders to them."
Fraikin’s UK business has enjoyed growth over the last five years, trebling in size and improving its performance. In addition to its rental and contract hire operations, the company also provides a fleet management service which currently looks after some 6,000 vehicles on behalf of customers.