Ports haulier Myers Transport is running its first new Mercedes-Benz trucks in nearly 40 years – and they’re already comfortably out-performing its established fleet favourite in terms of fuel efficiency.
Leading the way was an Actros 2545 BigSpace ‘seed’ unit, which the Kent-based operator purchased in November after a six-month trial. “That truck has performed marvellously,” enthused Managing Director Tony Myers. “In fact, at 9.14 mpg it’s set a new standard for economy.”
So impressed was Myers Transport with its first Actros that it returned soon afterwards to Dealer Rossetts Commercials with an order for two more, both with the same, state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engine. This time, though, the operator has chosen range-topping GigaSpace cabs. One of these trucks has just entered service and quickly settled into its stride; the second is due for delivery in January.
The company has specified both its new Actros with the Predictive Powertrain Control system also fitted to the seed vehicle. PPC employs 3D GPS mapping to read three kilometres of topography ahead, then responds by controlling speed, braking and the transmission to maximise fuel efficiency. The system is optionally available for as little as £2.50 per week, and really comes into its own when the vehicle is travelling up or down hills.
Established in 1968, family-owned Myers Transport has headquarters in Aylesford and runs a fleet of 52 top-weight tractor units. It specialises in the provision of traction services from all ports in the South and South-East, and is a preferred supplier to most international freight forwarders, as well as other companies that send their own semi-trailers into the UK from the Continent.
Mr Myers continued: “I have admired the latest generation Actros since its launch at the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show. It’s a fantastic looking truck, with great presence on the road. Our customers like to see smart vehicles pulling their trailers and the Actros ticks this box perfectly.
“The driver feedback has been very positive too. That’s important, and explains why we always choose big, comfortable cabs.”
Myers Transport runs its trucks for three years, after which time its latest tractors will each have covered some 450,000 km. “Mercedes-Benz residual values are always strong so we’d expect to do reasonably well when we come to move them on,” said Mr Myers.
The Actros came with two-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts, and Rossetts’ mobile technicians are undertaking inspections and routine servicing at the operator’s premises.
“We’re also evaluating other makes of vehicle at the moment,” added Mr Myers. “But it’s fair to say that Mercedes-Benz and its dealer are making a particularly strong showing so, provided things continue to go well, they will be looked upon favourably when we come to place future orders.”
As well as excelling in terms of fuel efficiency, operating costs and driver comfort, Mercedes-Benz Trucks lead the field in terms of safety. Their standard-fit armoury of active and passive equipment includes an electropneumatic brake system (EPB) incorporating anti-lock braking (ABS) and anti-slip regulation (ASR), which brakes each wheel individually to make the most of available grip and minimise stopping distances.
EPB includes secondary braking – whether by engine brake or retarder – to further improve safety and reduce wear, while in the event of emergency braking the system automatically activates the hazard warning lights to warn following traffic, winning vital extra seconds that could help to prevent an accident. Other standard safety features include Stability Control Assist, a rain and light sensor and a seat-belt monitor.