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Mercedes-Benz Actros is a perfect blend for whisky haulier McPherson Ltd

Spirits haulage specialist McPherson Ltd has raised a toast to its first Mercedes-Benz truck for more than five years.

Based in Aberlour, on Speyside in the heart of Scotch Whisky country, the company runs a fleet of over 200 tractor units which are a common sight on the region’s roads, pulling a range of polished steel tankers, hydraulic double-deckers and bulk tipping trailers.

In recent years McPherson Ltd has purchased vehicles by two other manufacturers but, said Managing Director David McPherson, the determination of Dealer Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Aberdeen to win a slice of the company’s business eventually paid off.

“Truck Sales Manager Andrew Rennie’s perseverance and professionalism eventually won the day,” he recalled. “Meanwhile, the vehicle has won instant respect for its blend of driver appeal, fuel economy and performance, so we’re delighted with this latest addition to our fleet.”

The Actros 2545 has an aerodynamic StreamSpace cab and is powered by a state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engine, which drives through a smooth Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission. It will be joined in October by a second Actros, this time a 375 kW (510 hp) 2551 BigSpace model.

“We are very impressed by the excellent ergonomics of the cab,” said Fleet Engineering Director Ian Jamieson. “The Actros is a real driver’s delight, with a fantastic standard specification.

“We’d also heard very good things about the model’s fuel efficiency, and since the opening last year of the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Highland workshop in Nairn, we now have something that’s been lacking in the past – a dependable dealer that’s within easy reach and provides excellent back-up.”

He continued: “In its first three months on the road the Actros has performed faultlessly in what is a demanding role, negotiating the narrow and undulating roads of Speyside and accessing distillery sites which can be very tight. The truck is also well liked by its driver and is showing improved fuel efficiency against our current fleet results.”

Like its other trucks, the company’s new Actros is specified to ADR standards for the carriage of Class 3 flammable liquids. The safety-conscious operator has also fitted the unit with a catwalk and large grab handles to the rear of the cab, and a Brigade camera system giving the driver views from the front, sides, rear of trailer and fifth wheel, making the job of coupling much easier and safer. The system also records up to 60 hours of video.

The truck is additionally equipped with the optional Predictive Powertrain Control system – PPC is a clever cruise control that employs 3D GPS mapping to read three kilometres of topography ahead then responds by controlling speed, braking and the transmission to maximise fuel efficiency. Mercedes-Benz says the system can cut fuel costs by up to 5%, though some operators have reported significantly higher savings.

McPherson Ltd provides a range of services to its whisky-producing customers, carrying raw materials including grain to distilleries, as well as bulk whisky in tanks, and casks in its hydraulic-floored double-deck trailers. Meanwhile other vehicles based at depots across Scotland, the North-East and North-West of England undertake a wider range of haulage tasks.

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