Ramage Transport undertook a competitive trial focusing on fuel economy before choosing 10 Mercedes-Benz trucks for an intensive, high-mileage application.
The Newcastle upon Tyne-based haulier’s New Actros 2545 BigSpace tractor units were supplied by local Dealer Bell Truck and Van, and are assigned to a contract that will see each clock up 250,000 km a year.
Operations Director Robin Ramage Jr, son of Managing Director Robin Sr, was handed the task of finding the right vehicle for the job.
He explains: "We knew these trucks would be double-shifted, with regular runs to the South-East and Scotland. The distances involved meant that even small differences in mpg performance would have a major effect on running costs, so a full fuel evaluation was the obvious way forward."
Ramage obtained demonstrators from several suppliers and ran them against each other in back-to-back trials. The results were striking.
"The Mercedes-Benz New Actros recorded the best figures by a significant margin," recalls Mr Ramage. "It was a full mile per gallon better than our established fleet vehicles and when you come across a truck which produces an improvement of that magnitude it gets your attention. So we put it out again, with three different drivers, and again the returns were consistently impressive."
While fuel performance goes a long way towards explaining why Ramage Transport chose the New Actros, it was not the whole story.
"With such a high-mileage application the quality of the back-up is also crucially important," continues Robin Ramage Jr. "We’d had some Mercedes-Benz Atego rigids from Bell Truck and Van before, and also run Sprinter vans for urgent deliveries. So we already have a good rapport with the dealer’s Longbenton team.
"The fact that free repair and maintenance cover is included within the cost of the vehicle, and that Mercedes-Benz provides first-class, round-the-clock emergency breakdown cover, was also key to our purchasing decision."
A leading member of the Palletways network, Ramage runs 90 top-weight tractor units and more than 100 trailers, as well as some smaller rigids and vans, all of which are adorned with the slogan "Rely on Ramage".
The company offers nationwide delivery of anything from a single pallet to a full load, and also operates over 150,000 square feet of secure, bonded warehousing on two sites in Newcastle.