Family-owned Penfold Driveways does not commission new trucks very often – but when it does, it buys them to last.
The East Sussex company is now running a highly-specified 8×4 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3263 tipper. It is powered by an advanced, 15.6-litre straight-six engine that produces a range-topping 460 kW (625 hp) output and drives through a Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
Robust and reliable, the muscular Arocs was purpose-designed for construction-related applications. Penfold Driveways’ new truck was supplied by Dealer Sparshatts of Kent and is fitted with a high-sided Thompson Loadmaster steel tipping body and Epsilon M135L HPLS radio remote-controlled crane with grab.
The 32-tonner is used primarily to transport gravels and is additionally equipped with a coupling that enables it to tow pavers, rollers, diggers and other equipment on a drawbar trailer at up to 44 tonnes gtw.
Penfold Driveways has also ordered a 6×2 Arocs 2551 with 375 kW (510 hp) 12.8-litre engine and rear-steer axle, which is to be fitted with a special tar-spraying body and due to enter service in October.
The Crowborough-based operator specialises in the laying of hot tar and bonded gravel driveways, paths and roadways in a variety of colours for domestic and commercial customers throughout the south and midlands; it also offers a recently launched road marking service. The company was founded more than 35 years ago by Victor Penfold, and today five members of his family are also involved in the business.
Victor Penfold’s son Matthew, a Director, said: “We’ve run Mercedes-Benz trucks in the past and have had no problems with them, so it made sense to stick with what we know.”
The Arocs is Penfold Driveways’ first Euro VI vehicle and has lined up alongside the company’s other eight-wheeler, a Mercedes-Benz Actros which it purchased in 2006.
“We’re very pleased with our new truck,” continued Matthew Penfold. “It clearly offers the strength and performance we need – we went for the biggest engine to ensure that it’s ‘man enough’ to work with our fully loaded drawbar trailer.
“I’ve driven the Arocs myself and was very impressed, particularly with the auto transmission, which is extremely smooth – not having to change gear makes life at the wheel so much easier.”
The vehicle is now being inspected and maintained by the workshop team at Sparshatts’ Tonbridge depot. Mr Penfold added: “I’ve known the dealer’s truck sales executive Kevin Haynes for quite a few years now, and he was very helpful in liaising with the bodybuilder and crane manufacturer to ensure that the Arocs is exactly right for the job.”
Available in a huge number of variants, the Arocs range comprises tractors and four-, six- and eight-wheeled rigids, with gross weights from 18 to 250 tonnes. All combine previously unseen levels of performance and efficiency with state-of-the-art engines that offer mpg savings of up to 5% compared to previous models; AdBlue consumption, meanwhile, is reduced by as much as 40%.