The first vehicles from a £3.4-million order for 34 Mercedes-Benz eight-wheelers are now hard at work in the distinctive colours of North-East construction and civil engineering industry leader Owen Pugh.
The prestigious deal represents the operator’s biggest single investment in its fleet, and is a major coup for Mercedes-Benz and supplying Dealer Bell Truck and Van.
Most of Owen Pugh’s new Arocs 3240Ks are being fitted with steel tipping bodies by Lancashire Tippers, of Bolton. However, the company has ordered three alloy-bodied tippers for delivery towards the end of the year, and will also be taking a hook-loader and a tipper-grab, as well as two trucks with ‘cheese wedge’ plant bodies.
The muscular Mercedes-Benz Arocs is purpose-designed and built for construction-related applications. The Owen Pugh vehicles have M ClassicSpace cabs and are powered by state-of-the-art 290 kW (394 hp) straight-six engines driving through smooth Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions.
Owen Pugh, which has headquarters in Dudley, North Tyneside, undertook a comprehensive evaluation exercise involving five other manufacturers before coming down in favour of Bell Truck and Van.
“We were only running three Mercedes-Benz trucks on the fleet previously, so we had no special loyalty to the brand,” explained Paul Cockburn, General Manager of Owen Pugh & Co Ltd, which is responsible for the company’s plant hire and haulage businesses.
“But Bell’s Arocs demonstrator performed particularly strongly, outshining the competition by a margin. It was half a mile per gallon more fuel-efficient than anything else we tried, and was well received by our drivers, who liked the cab layout and high seating position, and preferred the Mercedes-Benz auto transmission to others.
“The Arocs also offers a highly competitive payload,” continued Mr Cockburn. “We will get a whisker over 18 and a half tonnes on the majority of our tippers, which is excellent given their heavy-duty steel bodies.
“No less importantly,” he added, “we were also highly impressed by the professionalism of the Bell Truck and Van sales team. They took the time to gain a full understanding of our operation, and have delivered a product that meet our needs perfectly.
“We were keen to work with another North-East business on this deal and given Bell Truck and Van’s track record in providing unrivalled customer service and after sales support, they were the obvious choice.”
Owen Pugh’s Arocs are being put to work on several high-profile contracts. These include the Morpeth Northern Bypass, where the company is currently undertaking earthworks on behalf of Carillion and transporting aggregates for Lafarge Tarmac. These will be used at the Dalton Park shopping centre in Murton, County Durham, where Owen Pugh is carrying out excavation and re-composting work for the site’s extension.
The Arocs replace older vehicles which are being stood down from the operator’s fleet of 75 trucks, and are the subject of a flexible Agility finance agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Bell Truck and Van Group Managing Director Trevor Simmons said: “We were delighted that the Owen Pugh Group selected us as their partner of choice to deliver this substantial order, and look forward to seeing the fleet in action throughout the North-East in the months and years to come.”