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Mercedes-Benz Actros is a five-star performer for Owens

One of South Wales’ biggest fleet operators has made its first investments in Mercedes-Benz tractor units since the late 1990s.

Owens Road Services is running five Actros 2546s with flat-floored MegaSpace cabs and 460 hp V6 engines mated to Mercedes PowerShift 2 automated transmissions.

Supplied by dealer Euro Commercials (South Wales), all are the subject of comprehensive CharterWay contract hire packages arranged by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Owens Road Services was founded by brothers Huw and Eurof Owen in 1970. The company employs 500 people at its headquarters in Llanelli, and depots in Port Talbot, Bridgend, Newport, Droitwich and Wrexham.

It provides a range of distribution and storage services, primarily to customers operating within the ‘fast moving consumer goods’ (fmcg) sector, and has just won a prestigious two-year contract to supply shipments between Amazon’s fulfilment centres across the UK, with the exception of Scotland.

Owens also maintains vehicles and calibrates tachographs for other transport operators, and in March opened a dedicated Authorised Testing Facility MoT lane in Llanelli.

Most of the vehicles on the company’s mixed-marque fleet of 200 tractor units and 40 rigids are less than a year old.

Director Eurof Owen recalls: "We’d seen and heard good things about Actros fuel efficiency so, with diesel costs at the top of the agenda these days, decided to try a couple of demonstrators. Both performed impressively but one did particularly well, returning 9 mpg at 44 tonnes."

The five new tractor units that have since entered service are fitted with Daimler FleetBoard telematics systems. All are based at Owens’ Newport depot and pulling 4.7m high curtainside trailers to and from the North-West.

At 8.5 mpg, the Actros are already two-tenths of a gallon ahead of two of the other marques on the Owens fleet, and four-tenths of a gallon better than a third brand.

"Our new Mercedes are certainly living up their reputation," says Mr Owen. "These are still early days but they’re already ahead of the fleet average. Once we’ve put a few more miles on them and they’ve settled down, I’d like to think the mpg figures will get even better."

He continues: "Our drivers have been trained by Mercedes-Benz and report that their Actros are very comfortable, spacious, and easy to drive.

"Euro Commercials, meanwhile, provide a very professional service. Although these are our first Mercedes-Benz tractors for about 15 years, we do run Mercedes rigids so we know the dealer well. We appreciate their attention to detail, and the fact that they always deliver on their promises."

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