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Plant hire partnership pays off again for Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Truck chiefs have been rewarded once again for their willingness to back a fledgling business with finance support, by landing an order for a beavertail-bodied 26-tonner.

Apex Plant’s Alan Marriott and Director National Sales Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks Vincente Connolly shook hands on the deal at the 2014 Commercial Vehicle Show.

The Leicester-based operator’s latest truck was supplied by Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, and is the subject of a competitive funding agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Eye-catching in its smart silver livery, with cab roof-mounted light bar and airhorns, it is now working six days a week, transporting plant and equipment nationwide.

The Antos 2532L has an M ClassicSpace cab and lifting rear axle, and is powered by a state-of-the-art 235 kW (320 hp) straight-six engine which drives through an eight-speed version of the smooth, standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission. Its low-profile, heavy-duty steel body was built by Shawtrack Services, of Mansfield.

Apex Plant Group was founded in 2007 with a commitment to supply the most up to date, productive and reliable plant and equipment and support it with outstanding customer service.

The success of this strategy is underlined by the fact that having started out with one dumper and one digger, the company’s plant portfolio now extends to more than 450 pieces of rental equipment.

Managing Director David Marriott recalled: “Six months after launching the business we decided to purchase our first truck so we approached all of the leading manufacturers and Mercedes-Benz was by far the most accommodating.

“Despite the fact that we had a serious lack of trading history behind us, it was willing to take a gamble and extend credit facilities at a time when we really needed them. We’ve never forgotten the faith that Mercedes-Benz showed back in 2007, so have remained loyal to the brand ever since.”

The company’s first Euro VI truck, which represents an extension to its all Mercedes-Benz fleet, has lined-up alongside three tractor units – one a 68-tonne heavy haulage model from the latest Actros range – two Atego rigids and a pair of vans, one a Sprinter, the other a Vito. Apex Plant also operates a contract haulage division, so in addition to its own equipment the trucks are used to provide transport services for third-party customers.

“We’ve been growing since day one but due partly to the general upturn in the construction industry have seen a marked increase in business levels over the last couple of years,” said Mr Marriott.

“As a result we identified the need to extend the capabilities of truck fleet with a six-wheeled rigid. I’m pleased to report that despite still being very new, in terms of fuel returns the Antos is proving every bit as economical to run as we were promised.”

He continued: “Mercedes-Benz products are very good in terms of reliability, running costs and driver acceptance, but back-up is also crucial. We pride ourselves on the very high service levels that we offer our customers, and we expect the same from our suppliers.

“Midlands Truck & Van maintains our vehicles at its Coventry workshop and its support is second-to-none. And although we’ve only had to call upon Mercedes Service 24h emergency roadside assistance a couple of times, on both occasions the response was excellent. Technicians were in attendance very quickly and we received regular updates throughout – the customer care was outstanding.”

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