All roads led to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when traffic management specialist Lagan Operations & Maintenance needed six new vans for its Lagan Traffic Solutions division.
The Sprinter 313 CDI Long chassis cabs are based at the company’s depot in East Kilbride, from where they are now working on road maintenance projects across Scotland.
The chassis were supplied by the Fleet Department at the Glasgow branch of Central Belt Dealer Western Commercial. They have dropside bodies by Dean Plant Hire, of Bathgate, to Lagan Operations & Maintenance’s own design – the specification includes steps to access the rear of the platform, and systems to protect staff who are working at height. Each vehicle also has cameras to both sides, and the rear, with full colour screens on the dashboards.
Lagan Operations & Maintenance is a division of the Belfast-based Lagan Construction Group, a third-generation family business founded by Peter Lagan in 1962. The company started out in quarrying but has grown to become a major international civil engineering, building and operations & maintenance contractor, working on schemes throughout Britain, Ireland and beyond. Service offered by Lagan Operations & Maintenance include traffic management, safety barrier work, slip forming and surfacing.
Area Manager George Miller, who is responsible for the new fleet, said: “Although this operation only began around 18 months ago, my own experience of traffic management work goes back over 15 years.
“In that time I’ve seen vehicles from all the major manufacturers and it’s clear to me that Mercedes-Benz vans are head and shoulders above the competition. They are the most reliable by a margin, which means they spend a lot less time off the road undergoing repairs.
“They’re also competitively priced, while the fact that they so rarely break down means maintenance is relatively inexpensive too. This contributes to an unbeatable total cost of ownership.”
Mr Miller continued: “These vehicles are out in all weathers with the lights and beacons on, often for 12 hours at a time, so safety and comfort for our hard-working operatives are also key considerations.”
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has won numerous awards for safety and, with its reassuring armoury of active and passive systems, is widely acknowledged as the market leader when it comes to the protection of occupants and other road users.
“The Sprinter’s safety specification is excellent,” said Mr Miller. “But we’ve built upon this by adding measures specific to our application including the cameras, which automatically show a view down the relevant side if the driver indicates to turn either left or right.
“The cabs are very well appointed and we’ve also been impressed with the service from Mercedes-Benz,” he adds. “The ordering process was handled very professionally by Western Commercial, which looked after all the liaison with the bodybuilder on our behalf.
“Then, when one of the Sprinters was off road for a short time with a minor bodywork issue, the Dealer provided a courtesy vehicle straight away. That’s exactly the level of customer service we look for in a trusted supplier.”
In April 2015 H&J Martin joined the Lagan Construction Group of companies, bringing together two family-owned and run businesses with many similarities and synergies. The integration created one of Ireland’s largest construction and civil engineering groups.