Streetlighting specialist Marwood Electrical Company has welcomed the introduction by Mercedes-Benz of an extra long wheelbase option for its latest 18-tonne New Actros model.
An established operator of trucks bearing the three-pointed star, Marwood Electrical is based in Paddock Wood, Kent and is now running its first Euro VI vehicle.
The New Actros 1824L arrived via Sittingbourne Dealer Sparshatts of Kent and has an aerodynamic StreamSpace sleeper cab and rear air suspension. It is powered by a state-of-the-art 175 kW (240 hp) engine which drives through a smooth-changing, eight-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission.
Customers for the 18-tonne New Actros can choose from no fewer than 11 wheelbase lengths – the operator specified its latest truck with the longest of these, at 6700mm.
Crucially, this allowed fitment of a 29ft box by Kira (UK), of Chelmsford, Essex. Marwood Electrical’s chassis have previously required extension in order to accommodate these high-volume bodies because the longest wheelbase option available on either the outgoing Actros or Axor 18-tonners was 6300mm.
"The new, longer wheelbase suits us admirably," confirms Tony Walker, Warehouse & Distribution Manager at Marwood Electrical, which has a second, identical vehicle on order, as well as a 7.5-tonne Atego. "We can now fit our big box body without having to extend the chassis, as we’ve done in the past."
Founded in 1958, the company carries the UK’s largest stock of street lighting systems and consumables, as well as offering distribution, design, advertising and recycling solutions. Its box-bodied trucks make multi-drop deliveries to local authorities and contractors nationwide.
The New Actros has joined a fleet of 12 rigid trucks, every one of which wears a three-pointed star. Most are 18-tonners, although the line-up also includes a 7.5-tonner and a pair of 26-tonne tippers with cranes, which are used to collect old street lighting (WEEE) waste from customers’ sites and transport it to approved recycling centres.
The latest vehicle will cover 80,000 km a year. Mr Walker continues: "Our 18-tonne boxes don’t carry huge weights but they are worked intensively and the drivers are invariably away all week.
"Mercedes-Benz vehicles have always proved exceptionally reliable and comfortable, but with the New Actros the manufacturer has taken truck technology to another level.
"The new vehicle’s fuel-efficient Euro VI engine puts us in the forefront in terms of low-emission operation. That’s important because our customers like to know we are keeping up with the latest standards from a ‘green’ perspective.
"This, coupled with excellent driver feedback – the automated transmission has certainly impressed – and Sparshatts’ superb after sales support means we have everything covered."
Marwood Electrical, which also has a depot in Cumbernauld, Scotland, relies on the Dealer to service its vehicles under five-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
"I have worked with Sparshatts for many years," adds Mr Walker. "They’re proper truck people and very responsive when it comes to meeting our operational requirements. Sparshatts’ new workshop in Tonbridge is more conveniently located for us than its previous facility in Tunbridge Wells, which also means we’re incurring less downtime."