Customers and staff members of Quality Marking Services were invited to suggest names for the award-winning company’s two new Mercedes-Benz vans. The result: ‘Kate’ and ‘Pippa’ have now taken to the road.
The road marking and specialist surfacing business is based in Newton Abbot, Devon, and purchased its fuel-efficient Sprinter 313 CDIs from Exeter Dealer City West Commercials, with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Both are from the latest Sprinter range launched late last year and recognisable by its more sculpted bonnet, a reworked, near-vertical, wedge-shaped radiator grille with perforated slats, and revised, more angular headlights.
The new model raises economy and safety to previously unseen levels. Fuel efficiency is improved by at least 7% over the outgoing Sprinter. The latest version also boasts a formidable safety armoury, including several world ‘firsts’. Among them is the Crosswind Assist system, which detects sudden strong gusts of wind and helps to prevent the van drifting out of its lane by applying individual brakes on one side of the vehicle.
"We like to name all of our vehicles," explains QMS Operations Director Greg Clark. "And given that we asked customers and colleagues to offer suggestions for a pair of sisters, I suppose the result was inevitable – the Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton won by a landslide."
Founded in 2001, the family-run firm also operates seven rigid trucks of various sizes, three of which wear Mercedes-Benz stars. It has a smaller Vito van on order too.
The Medium-length, high-roofed Sprinters arrived in Highway Yellow – local specialist A-Signs then applied their eye-catching liveries. "These new vans are a great mobile advertisement for our business, and are turning heads wherever they go," says Mr Clark.
QMS’s highly-trained operatives apply durable line markings, anti-skid surfaces and decorative treatments to roads, car parks, playgrounds and the like, for a wide variety of customers including Government departments, local authorities, construction, facilities management and storage companies, retailers, schools and private individuals.
The Sprinters carry equipment and materials, and are generally used by two-man teams who apply internal markings, for example in walkways, supermarket aisles, warehouses and workshops.
Greg Clark continues: "The first vehicle we bought was a second-hand Sprinter and we’ve been running Mercedes-Benz vehicles ever since, as they’ve always been very reliable and cost-effective to operate. One of the new vans replaced a Sprinter that had been a very good workhorse for seven years.
"I’m told by those who use them that our latest vans are very comfortable, while as an employer that’s always aware of its Duty of Care obligations to staff it’s reassuring to know they also lead the field in terms of safety."
And he adds: "City West Commercials, Exeter, maintains our Mercedes-Benz vehicles and provides an excellent service."