The latest Mercedes-Benz additions to the fleet of quarrying, civil engineering and construction group Leiths were specified to maximise payloads, with fuel efficiency and safety also high on the Scottish operator’s priority list.
The five Actros 2442 StreamSpace tractor units arrived via the Aberdeen branch of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, the manufacturer’s newly-crowned Truck Dealer of the Year. They ride on full sets of alloys while their mid-lift axles are fitted with small, 17.5-inch wheels. Other weight-saving measures include light PTOs and blowing equipment driven directly from the prop shaft. As a result they are almost a tonne lighter than Leiths’ last batch of ‘standard’ Actros, which have 22.5-inch wheels on their mid-lift axles.
Leiths (Scotland) Ltd is a long-established family business which has enjoyed significant growth over the past 20 years. The group has headquarters in Aberdeen and no fewer than six subsidiary companies which, between them, employ more than 550 people. It has resources across Scotland including 13 quarries, nine concrete plants and seven asphalt plants and is supported by extensive haulage and plant fleets to create an integrated, quality assured business, servicing the construction industry across Scotland.
Operations include quarry production; construction and surfacing; demolition; asbestos removal; contract crushing; transport and haulage; plant maintenance; precast concrete manufacture; special developments and UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) laboratories.
The company has a substantial and diverse fleet of vehicles including tippers, mixers, a volumetric mixer, hook lifts, bulk artics, powder tankers and low loaders, capable of facilitating operations anywhere in Scotland. It also has substantial fabrication facilities, plant and vehicle maintenance workshops and a paint shop for planned and reactive maintenance for its extensive fleet of vehicles and plant.
Leiths also supplies sand and gravel, aggregates and more specialised products including limestone filler, agricultural lime, animal feedstuffs, surface dressing chips and a wide range of decorative aggregates.
Grant Milne, Managing Director of the Quarry Division explained: “As an organisation, we pride ourselves on providing quality products to meet the varied needs of our customers. We need a reliable and efficient fleet to be able to do this which is why we were delighted to work in partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Building close and trusting relationships with our customers and partners is at the core of our business.”
Mercedes-Benz has been making steady in-roads into the Leiths fleet and now accounts for almost a third of the company’s 150 trucks, which work all over Scotland. Fleet Manager Bob Adamson confirmed: “Our previous Actros are still performing very well but these new trucks were chosen specifically for work with bulk powder tanks, where payload is all-important. We therefore did everything we could to minimise their unladen weight.”
He continued: “With support from the technical team at Mercedes-Benz HQ, the Dealer’s Sales executive Keith Johnston helped us to tailor these vehicles to meet our precise requirements. As well as arranging fitment of the non-standard PTOs, he handled all of the liaison with Gardner Denver, who supplied the blower equipment, and made the ordering process as easy and painless as possible. The trucks were duly delivered to the correct specification and in perfect condition, so we’re delighted with the outcome.”
Safety was also key for Leiths, and the Mercedes-Benz Actros leads the field in this regard. Standard equipment includes Stability Control Assist, which can intervene to control the vehicle in situations where there is a risk of a roll-over; Attention Assist, which detects and warns against signs of driver fatigue; and Lane Keeping Assist, which can prevent the truck unintentionally drifting out of its lane.
“Our drivers are really taken with the Actros,” said Mr Adamson. “We’ve had some very positive feedback about how easy and comfortable they are to drive. The new trucks were also very competitively priced while the back-up from Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles’ Aberdeen, Nairn and Ayr workshops, along with others operated by the Dealer’s parent company T.O.M., is excellent. Their Service teams are very helpful and always prepared to do whatever it takes to keep us moving.”
As well as winning the manufacturer’s Truck Dealer of the Year award in February, Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Aberdeen, Ayr and Highland also lifted the Customer Service Dealer of the Year trophy in recognition of its top-quality after sales service, while Andrew Rennie took the title for Truck Sales Managers.