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Mercedes-Benz Arocs mashes the Swedes for economy

Tipper operator Pro Haulage is making big savings on its diesel and AdBlue bills after investing in its first Mercedes-Benz truck. The 8×4 Arocs 3243 was supplied by Northside Truck & Van, the manufacturer’s reigning Truck Dealer of the Year.

Pro Haulage trades from Market Weighton, in East Yorkshire, and undertakes a range of aggregates and muckaway work throughout the region on behalf of groundworks and civil engineering specialist Ashcourt Contracts, whose head office is in Hull. Pro Haulage also supports its principal customer’s road planing operations, predominantly at nights and over weekends.

A real head-turner with its silver grille, weight-saving alloy wheels and roof-mounted light bar, the Arocs was painted at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Ashcourt Contracts’ corporate blue colours.

Its steel body is by L Townend, of Holmfirth, while the high-pressure Binotto TFC 145 tipping gear is ideally suited to 32-tonne operations, thanks to its combination of speed, safety, strength and reliability. The light weight of the vehicle’s body and ancillary equipment contribute to its highly competitive payload allowance of 19.5 tonnes.

Proprietor Paul Oxtoby founded his business nine years ago and has always favoured the two Swedish truck brands – his company also runs another eight-wheeler by one of these manufacturers.

“I’d never really considered Mercedes-Benz construction vehicles previously,” he observed. “However, they’ve really gone to town with this new Arocs, designing and building a truck specifically for my kind of application. So I decided to give it a try.”

Mr Oxtoby drives the Arocs, which wears his personalised registration plate P8 OXO. It went on the road in September – 10,000 km later, the truck’s owner is delighted with its fuel-efficiency and exceptionally low rate of AdBlue consumption.

“My other vehicle is now a year old and returning 6.5 mpg,” he said. “Despite the fact that it’s still loosening up the Arocs is already averaging 7.2 miles to the gallon, and I’m confident that once it’s fully slackened off it will be good for 7.5-7.6 mpg. That will put it a full mile ahead! What’s more, the Mercedes-Benz hardly uses any AdBlue compared to the Swedish vehicle.”

Pro Haulage’s Arocs is powered by a state-of-the-art, in-line six-cylinder engine producing 315 kW (428 hp) and driving through a 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.

Although the relationship is still in its infancy, the operator’s early impressions of supplying Dealer Northside Truck & Van are entirely impressive.

“I specified a lot of options including leather seats, a fridge-freezer and satnav system,” recalled Mr Oxtoby. “Northside’s sales executive Chris Dyer was very attentive and efficient, working through my requirements and ensuring that the vehicle which arrived was exactly as ordered.”

He has also benefited from a coaching session delivered by Northside’s driver-trainer Mick Bell. “Mick came out and spent half a day with me in the quarries, which was invaluable,” he said. “He gave me some very good pointers, particularly with regard to the automated transmission – it took a little getting used to but now that I’ve done so I reckon it’s a definite improvement on other auto ’boxes that I’ve tried.”

The Arocs is being inspected and serviced under a Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contract, by the workshop team at the Dealer’s Hull branch. “I drop it off at the end of the day and go home in one of Northside’s courtesy vehicles, then pick it up again first thing the next morning,” added Mr Oxtoby. “It couldn’t be simpler.”

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