The impeccable reliability and impressive performance of a single Mercedes-Benz Sprinter convinced Millbrook Healthcare to make its first significant investments in vehicles bearing the three-pointed star.
The Southampton-based company has purchased 25 Long-bodied Sprinter 313CDIs from local dealer Pentagon Commercials – and it’s already planning to return for more before the end of the year.
Millbrook Healthcare works in partnership with numerous local authorities and primary care trusts. It provides a range of services including wheelchair repair and maintenance, community equipment and homecare products, continence supplies and telecare/telehealth installations, to help residents continue to live in their own homes.
The company operates 123 vans from a network of depots located through south and central England – its new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are based in Bedfordshire and Surrey.
Millbrook Healthcare acquired its first Sprinter, a Euro 4 311CDI model, three years ago, and ran it alongside its established supplier’s vans for comparison purposes.
"That Sprinter hasn’t missed a beat; we’ve not had a single issue," confirmed Contracts Manager Gary Burnham. "What’s more, the drivers have definitely preferred it to our other vehicles, and it’s been more economical on fuel too."
Having been impressed with the fuel-efficiency of its original 311CDI, Millbrook Healthcare can now look forward to even bigger savings from the Euro 5 model which has superseded it. That’s because as well as being cleaner – CO2 emissions are down by 13 per cent – the latest Sprinter 313CDI is also 15 per cent more economical, this improvement equating to an extra 4.5 miles per gallon.
Also key to the appeal of its new vans for Millbrook Healthcare was the market-leading reputation that the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, along with its Vito stablemate, enjoys for safety – both models come with an extensive list of standard safety features, including the Adaptive version of the ESP® electronic stability system, which adjusts its settings to take account of a vehicle’s changing load status.
Mr Burnham – who describes himself as "a big Mercedes-Benz fan" – continued: "We take our Duty of Care obligations to employees very seriously so safety was at the top of our list of priorities when we ordered these Sprinters."
The new vans came with market-leading, three-year, unlimited mileage warranties, while Millbrook Healthcare has also signed-up to a three-year ServicePackage covering all labour, materials and lubricants required in routine servicing at an official Mercedes-Benz workshop.
"Pentagon were very helpful in arranging the ServicePackage, which fixes our costs and therefore allows us to budget with confidence," added Mr Burnham.
Millbrook Healthcare is a subsidiary of Millbrook Industries, which was formed in 1946 as a re-upholstery company. Still family-owned and managed, Millbrook Industries has annual sales worth approximately £53 million and some 450 employees.