The biggest and the smallest vehicles on the Mark Thompson Transport fleet have two important factors in common – both wear Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars and both are supremely fuel-efficient.
The Warrington-based operator is now running eight New Actros 2545 tractor units with range-topping GigaSpace cabs, and a pair of Citan vans. All arrived via local dealer Enza.
The GigaSpace is the biggest and roomiest cab ever offered on a Mercedes-Benz tractor unit, while the Citan marks the manufacturer’s first foray into the small van market.
Thompson runs a fleet of 46 trucks. Its New Actros are already delivering a very welcome improvement in economy compared to the company’s other 44-tonne tractors.
"Our fleet includes some units from the previous Actros range, which are solid performers in terms of fuel returns," says Managing Director Mark Thompson. "But the New Actros are returning a seven per cent mpg improvement on our trunking runs – that kind of margin would make a big difference to our bottom line if replicated across the entire fleet."
Powered by state-of-the-art, 450 hp straight-six engines, the New Actros are double-shifted – they haul twin-deck trailers to and from major parcel company hubs at night, and make local collections and deliveries during the day.
The Mercedes-Benz Citan also leads its sector in terms of fuel efficiency, achieving up to 65.7 mpg and producing CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km.
Thompson’s new vans are a 109 CDI Long and a 109 CDI Extra-long Dualiner, which has a second row of seats. Both have 90 hp diesel engines and are used for service support and as general runarounds for small and urgent local deliveries.
"The launch of the Citan is good news because it means we can now buy small vans from Enza, as well as our trucks," continues Mr Thompson. "It’s a great little vehicle and a pleasure to drive, while unlike other products in the same class it is also supported by a dedicated commercial vehicle dealer network.
"The service we receive from Enza is excellent," he adds. "The dealer looks after our trucks on weekends, so downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. In our experience Mercedes-Benz vehicles offer top quality across the board and are competitively priced, especially in terms of whole-life cost.
"Our drivers are delighted with these vehicles too. They love the comfort and the huge amount of storage in the GigaSpace cabs, while the Citan is definitely a step up from the average small van in terms of driver appeal."