The latest Mercedes-Benz Actros has made a flying start in the colours of fast-growing retailer Heron Foods.
Commissioned in March, the company’s first two Euro VI tractors to wear three-pointed stars have quickly established themselves as its new mpg champions, while also offering the all-important manoeuvrability needed for high street deliveries.
No surprise then, that Heron Foods has just taken delivery from Dealer Northside Truck & Van of another five units which, like its first two, will be inspected and serviced under five-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
Family-owned Heron Foods opened its first store in Hull in 1979. It now serves customers with “top quality products at the lowest possible prices” from 240 locations throughout the North of England and the Midlands, and is proposing to open up to 30 more in the next 12 months.
The retailer’s new 4×2 Actros 1840s are based at the purpose-built headquarters in Melton, East Yorkshire, which it opened in 2009. They typically operate at 38 tonnes gcw and pull temperature-controlled 13.6m and short, urban trailers by Gray & Adams.
Head of Logistics Karl Dawson is responsible for a fleet of 40 trucks; most are tractor units although the line-up also includes a number of 26-tonne rigids, which are gradually being phased out.
He confirmed: “We deliver round-the-clock to our network of stores, many of which are located in busy town centres, so we need a low impact tractor unit which is small and highly manoeuvrable.
“Having traditionally been a Mercedes-Benz operator, three years ago we started buying vehicles by a Swedish manufacturer because we felt their cab size was better suited to our type of work.
“However, we took a good look at the latest Actros towards the end of last year and realised that the 2.3m ClassicSpace cab with flat roof is no wider or higher than the vehicles we’d been using, while if anything it’s marginally shorter.”
Mr Dawson continued: “The drivers have certainly taken to their new Actros. Not only do they offer the manoeuvrability we need, but we’ve also specified their cabs with extra side glass which makes for excellent all-round vision.
“We’re very happy with their economy too. Last month our first two Euro VI units averaged 9.67 mpg and 9.49 mpg respectively, and these are figures which compare very favourably with our non-Mercedes-Benz trucks.”
Another factor influencing Heron Foods’ decision to invest once again in the three-pointed star, was the exceptional after sales support it has received from the workshop team at Northside Truck & Van’s Hull branch, who also maintain its Euro V vehicles from the previous Actros generation.
“Depot Manager Simon Rennison and his colleagues provide a great all-round service,” Karl Dawson added. “If we have an issue, which you’ll always get from time to time, they’ll pull out all the stops to get it sorted and will keep us fully in the picture throughout.”