All roads lead to the Mercedes-Benz Arocs for a North-East highways contractor which has just commissioned another three examples of the purpose-designed construction chassis.
Northumbrian Roads, of Prudhoe, took delivery of its latest 8×4 Arocs 3240s from Newcastle upon Tyne Dealer Bell Truck & Van. All are fitted with insulated aluminium tipping bodies by Weightlifter Bodies, of Scunthorpe.
The operator became one of the region’s first customers for the muscular Arocs when it purchased a single vehicle early in 2014. Transport Manager Stephen Atkinson recalled: “We quickly realised that the Arocs is ideally suited to meet the demands of our job. The chassis is robust, but not heavy, while the elevated ride height means minor damage to items like lights and steps are less of a problem than with some other vehicles.”
Bell Truck & Van then supplied an ex-demonstrator followed by two more trucks a year ago. The recent order brings to seven, the number of Arocs on the Northumbrian Roads fleet. Like their predecessors, the new tippers are powered by 290 kW (394 hp) 10.7-litre engines which drive through smooth Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
Mr Atkinson continued: “I’ve received some very positive reports from our drivers on the Arocs’ cab comfort and general ease of use – they particularly like the PowerShift transmission, which makes negotiating busy urban streets much easier. We don’t travel great distances so fuel consumption, though a significant consideration, is not our prime concern.
“By far the most important attribute of any truck for us, is its reliability. Our vehicles must be available for work when we need them, and the Arocs have certainly proved themselves in this respect. They’ve provided excellent service and even when there’s been the odd ‘niggle’, which you’ll always get with any truck, Bell have responded very quickly and done everything we’ve asked of them.”
Founded in 1989, Northumbrian Roads has grown from modest roots to an operation that now turns over in excess of £11 million per year and employs a staff of more than 60 people, while still retaining its family business ethos.
The Arocs range is purpose-designed for the construction industry and related sectors, and comprises tractors and four-, six- and eight-wheeled rigids, with gross weights from 18 to 250 tonnes. All combine rugged build quality with high payloads, low running costs and superb reliability.