Hazardous chemicals distribution specialist Allan Booth Haulage has come up with the perfect formula for reducing its fuel bills, in the shape of its first Mercedes-Benz New Actros.
The company’s latest tractor unit is barely run in, but is already comfortably out-performing its other vehicles in terms of fuel efficiency.
Based in Burscough, near Orsmkirk, Lancashire, Allan Booth purchased its New Actros 2545 StreamSpace from Warrington dealer Enza. The family-owned haulier bought its first Mercedes-Benz trucks in 1996 and since then every new addition to the fleet has worn a three-pointed star.
On the day it entered service the New Actros 2545 was put to work alongside one of the company’s established tractors, hauling the same type of trailer on the same runs.
"We’d heard a lot of positive things about New Actros, particularly regarding fuel economy, so carried out a ‘back-to-back’ comparison to see for ourselves exactly how good it is," explained Proprietor Malcolm Booth. "The New Actros certainly lived up to its billing – from brand new it was a full half a mile per gallon better than the other truck, which itself was only six months old."
Allan Booth has since invested in a new trailer, which is helping to further improve fuel-efficiency. Built by Cartwright, and equipped with a Moffett Mounty loader, this has a European-specification, four-metre roof height – lower than the operator’s other trailers – and a diffuser that smooth the airflow over the back end.
The axle configuration, meanwhile, has been designed precisely to suit the weight distribution – the rear axle being positioned closer to the rear – which allows Allan Booth to do away with the usual ballast and leaves the trailer 1,000 kg lighter than older units doing the same work.
"That would normally mean an increased payload capacity, but the limiting factor for our operation is floor area," continued Mr Booth. "So it simply means the combination is lighter, which aids economy. The new rig is now up to 9.1 mpg, compared to an average of 8.3 mpg from our other vehicles."
The New Actros is transporting bitumen emulsion in a variety of forms, packaged in everything from small drums to IBC containers, for civil engineering and highway maintenance contractor COLAS.
However, it is also fitted with Meller Flowtrans pumping equipment, and can haul bulk liquids in road tanks and ISO tanks on step-framed skeletal trailers.
Allan Booth chose the StreamSpace cab, as it is the most aerodynamic in the New Actros range, while also offering a comfortable working and living environment.
"We put a lot of thought into the specification of this truck, to get the optimum fuel-efficiency," concluded Mr Booth. "And we’re certainly reaping the benefit in the shape of a very welcome saving on our diesel bill. Meanwhile, the driver is delighted with his new truck, which offers superb ride and handling along with an excellent bunk."