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Mercedes-Benz dealer Orwell’s new ATF is open for business

East Anglia’s Mercedes-Benz dealer Orwell Truck & Van has completed its latest workshop development – a new VOSA-approved Authorised Test Facility (ATF).

The dedicated lane is located at Orwell’s headquarters on the Martlesham Heath Business Park in Ipswich. It is already proving a hit with local operators, with long-standing customer Collins Skip Hire the first to secure a new MoT certificate.

Opened at a cost of more than £600,000, the ATF underlines the dealer’s confidence in the future, and commitment to providing its customers with the highest possible level of service.

Until recently VOSA (the government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Authority) has carried out all mandatory annual MoT tests of heavy trucks at its own centres.

Now, though, and for the first time, the private sector is being encouraged to provide Authorised Testing Facilities that have to conform to stringent criteria, and in which the tests themselves are still carried out by VOSA’s own inspectors.

Like other dealers in the Mercedes-Benz UK network, Orwell Truck & Van has been quick to seize the chance to offer operators a quick and convenient local service. Its new lane is housed in a purpose-built unit. Features include a 16-metre inspection pit and new equipment including brake roller and headlight alignment testers, and ‘shaker’ plates.

Service Director Steve Webb explained: "We have always prepared vehicles for MoT testing. But the big advantage for customers is that they can now have those tests carried out in our workshop, negating the need for a time-consuming trip to a VOSA site.

"Tests can also be carried out when their vehicles are in for routine maintenance or repair. This means their trucks will spend less time off the road and more time out on the road, doing their job and earning their keep."

Orwell also has depots in Norwich, Colchester and Newmarket and offers a full range of repair and maintenance services, as well as installation and calibration of digital and analogue tachographs – the Ipswich workshop team additionally undertake Class 4, 5 and 7 MoT testing on cars and vans.

"Our aim," added Steve, "is to offer our customers a true ‘one-stop shop’ service. We have begun marketing our ATF to new customers, even those who run other makes of truck rather than Mercedes-Benz.

"And we’re confident that once they’ve seen the quality of our people, our products and our facilities, they’ll soon start putting other business our way too."

The ATF testing bay is currently accepting bookings on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 8am to 3pm; Orwell plans to extend testing to a third day from April. A dedicated telephone booking line has also been established – operators wishing to arrange a test, or seeking more information, should call 0845 4 850 500.

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