From its 700,000 sq ft, 70,000 pallet warehouse, Lenham Storage promises to keep the nation’s kitchens stacked, the larders stocked and the pubs and clubs rocking over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
The family-owned business was founded in 1946 and has been a loyal operator of Mercedes-Benz vehicles since 1968; today every vehicle on its 130-strong fleet, with the exception of four tractor units, wears the three-pointed star.
Keith Abrehart, Managing Director at Lenham Storage said: "This is our busiest time of the year and it’s quite simply a case of all hands to the pump. For us to deliver the level of service our customers require and expect we need a fleet of vehicles that we can rely on – which is where Mercedes-Benz comes in.
"We’re a forward-thinking, environmentally aware company and our fleet has a valuable role to play in reducing our emissions. We’ve operated the first 12-tonne Atego Hybrid in the UK for over twelve months now and we’re seeing fuel savings of around 15% and similar reductions in CO2.
"Additionally we operate a Sprinter fitted with a futuristic aerodynamic Bevan ICON Luton body; this too is showing valuable savings over and above a traditional bodied vehicle.
The Atego Hybrid, sporting the personalised registration GR61 CER (GROCER) was supplied by Mercedes-Benz dealer Sparshatts of Kent.
The 60 hp (44 kW) electric motor offers instantly accessible maximum torque of 420 Nm. It draws its energy from a high-performance lithium-ion battery which is charged mainly during braking, through the conversion of kinetic energy into electrical energy.
When starting off, the vehicle is driven by the water-cooled electric motor, thus ensuring quiet, fuel-efficient and low-emission progress; the 218 hp (160 kW) 4.8-litre internal combustion engine is merely idling during this stage. More fuel is saved during acceleration, when the electric motor assists the diesel.
A dashboard display allows the driver to monitor the performance of the electric motor, confirming whether it is assisting the diesel engine during overtaking or storing energy during braking.
Keith Abrehart added "The Atego is assigned primarily to Waitrose store deliveries, working six days a week and making many deliveries a day in central London. The Sprinter is largely used to deliver food, through our shared user delivery service, to restaurants, bars and clubs throughout London and the South East, so as you can imagine they are both kept busy at this time of year!"
Other recent additions to the Lenham Storage fleet include twelve 6×2 Mercedes-Benz Axor tractor units, which pull a new fleet of ten tandem axle 10.8 metre urban trailers, featuring rear steer and tuck away tail lifts, and ten 15.65 and 14.6 metre long tri axles, also featuring rear steer, on the Department for Transport "Long Trailer Trial".