When driver Julie Church jokingly asked if she could have a pink polo shirt as part of her uniform, she could never have imagined where it would lead. “Why don’t we get you a pink truck as well?” came the response from her boss at Solstor UK. He wasn’t serious at the time… but six months later that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Latest addition to the family-owned operator’s fleet is a Mercedes-Benz Actros 2545 BigSpace tractor unit, which is turning heads wherever it goes thanks to a striking livery highlighting its support of breast cancer charity the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
Part of the AG Thames Holdings Group, Solstor UK has a head office and central consolidation hub at Crayford, Kent, close to the Dartford Crossing. Its core business entails the provision of Europe-wide temperature-controlled distribution services to the food industry.
Supplied by Dealer Sparshatts of Kent, the Actros is Solstor’s first Euro VI truck and based at its depot in Yaxley, Peterborough, where Julie and her fellow driver Lyndsey Shreeve-Peacock both work. Dubbed The Pink Lady, the new arrival has joined a fleet that includes 19 Euro 5 Actros, which entered service in late 2013.
The company’s UK Business Director Andy Hitchings recalled: “Julie’s request to our Group Fleet Manager sowed the seeds of an idea, so we contacted the Pink Ribbon Foundation to offer our support. As a result we’ve signed an exclusive 12-month contract with the charity, and our strikingly-liveried new Mercedes-Benz tractor and trailer combination is now raising awareness for this very deserving cause as it travels around the country.”
The truck will be seen by millions of people as it clocks-up more than 100,000 miles over the next 12 months, delivering fresh and frozen food products to supermarkets nationwide. Solstor will also be presenting the Actros at Truckfests and other events, and has already netted more than £12,000 for the Pink Ribbon Foundation through the sale to suppliers of advertising space on the trailer and a series of fund-raising events by staff.
Mr Hitchings added: “We’ve been very impressed with the Actros. The Euro 5 versions are the best on the fleet in terms of fuel efficiency, with average returns of between 10.5-11 mpg. We also tried a Euro VI demonstrator before commissioning the new truck and that recorded 11 mpg, so there’s every reason to hope it will perform just as well, if not even better.
“Driver feedback has been excellent too, while we also enjoy an excellent relationship with Sparshatts’ sales executive Geoff Nott, and with the dealer’s service team who look after those Mercedes-Benz vehicles based at Crayford.”
The Pink Ribbon Foundation (Reg. Charity No. 1080839) is a grant-making trust with a mission to fund projects and provide financial support to UK charities which relieve the needs of those who are suffering from or have been affected by breast cancer, or who work to advance the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment.
Chairman of the Trustees Jonathan Prince declared: “The Pink Lady looks fantastic and is sure to be an invaluable aid in raising awareness of the battle against breast cancer. We are extremely grateful to Solstor for their wonderful support, and hope that this marks the beginning of a long and successful partnership.”