Aberdeen-based global logistics specialist Grampian Continental is running its first Mercedes-Benz trucks, in the shape of three highly-specified Actros tractor units supplied by local Dealer Caledonian Truck & Van.
All are 2563 models powered by top-rated, 460 kW (625 hp) 15.6-litre straight-six engines which generate 3,000 Nm of torque. Their range-topping GigaSpace cabs are equipped with microwave ovens, fridges, freezers and televisions, making them a real ‘home-from-home’ for drivers who are frequently on the road for a month or more at a time.
Grampian Continental has prioritised safety and operating efficiency. Advanced features include the ground-breaking Active Brake Assist 4 and Proximity Control Assist systems – both components of the optional Mercedes-Benz Safety Pack – and innovative Uptime maintenance technology, which can dramatically reduce the amount of time a vehicle spends in the workshop.
Uptime employs an array of sensors which monitor the condition of the vehicle constantly. Armed with the data they provide, the customer’s Dealer knows precisely what is required before the truck reaches the workshop, so parts can be ordered in advance and sufficient time allocated to complete all tasks in a single visit. The system, which can even predict a breakdown before it happens, ensures Maximised use, one of the three pillars of the manufacturer’s all-embracing RoadEfficiency strategy.
Caledonian Truck & Van’s high-quality, customer-focused back-up was also key to the operator’s decision to invest in its new Actros, which are now being inspected and maintained under three-year Service Contracts.
Grampian Continental Director Neil Bremner said: “Mercedes-Benz vehicles are engineered to a very high standard and this is borne out by our own experience of running its vans, which have proved over the years to be extremely reliable.”
However, the majority of the operator’s 55 vehicles are tractor units. “Optimum utilisation is the crucial factor as far as these trucks are concerned,” continued Mr Bremner. “We need to keep them out on the road and earning.”
Much of Grampian Continental’s work involves servicing the oil and gas, and wind and wave renewable energy industries. Its fleet of tractor units make frequent journeys to Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond – the comfortably-appointed Actros are also air-conditioned, while they carry snow chains allowing drivers to cope with the extreme weather conditions they frequently encounter.
“We spoke to other operators locally who were already running Actros,” recalled Mr Bremner. “Their feedback in terms of the vehicle’s performance, cost-effectiveness and reliability was entirely positive.
“We therefore decided it was time to give Mercedes-Benz a chance to show us what they can do. We’ll be monitoring the new trucks very closely over the months and years to come. The initial signs are certainly positive, while we also take great pride from the smart appearance of our Actros, which look great in our livery.”
Grampian Continental was founded in 2009 by a management team with a long track record of success in the logistics industry. The company also operates from locations in Newcastle and Great Yarmouth, and in the Netherlands and Italy, and has strategic partnerships across Europe and into North Africa.