“Everybody needs good neighbours,” says the TV theme song… it’s a sentiment to which bulk haulier M&N Transport certainly subscribes, after commissioning the five new Actros tractor units that have completed its transformation to an all-Mercedes-Benz fleet.
The operator runs 30 6×2 tractor units from its base on the West Wilts Trading Estate in Westbury, Wiltshire, a stone’s throw from the headquarters of supplying Dealer Rygor. All are inspected and serviced by the largest member of the manufacturer’s franchised UK network, under Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
And according to Director Mike Burton: “Rygor have been a breath of fresh air. They treat us properly as a customer and are very accommodating. If we have an issue with a truck, as you always will from time to time, they’ll invariably come up with a solution, and if necessary get it straight into the workshop, rather than twiddling their thumbs or making excuses.”
Founded in 2000 by Mr Burton and his wife Natalie, who is Managing Director, M&N Transport specialises in the transportation of aggregates across a large swathe of central and southern England and Wales, and works for some of the biggest names in the quarrying industry. As well as running its own trucks, the company provides regular employment for a number of sub-contractors.
Like the 10 other Actros which it has purchased this year, M&N’s five new units are all 2448 models with flat-floored BigSpace cabs. Their mid-lift axles are fitted with 17.5in wheels in place of the standard 22.5in items. As well as freeing up extra space on the chassis for hydraulics packs, the smaller wheels save a full 250 kg, while M&N Transport further reduces weight by specifying its tractor and trailer combinations with Alcoa Dura-Bright alloys.
Smartly finished with painted bumpers and other items, as well as roof-mounted Kelsa light bars, the trucks are also equipped with upgraded entertainment systems. Power, meanwhile, comes from state-of-the-art 12.8-litre straight-six engines producing 350 kW (476 hp) and driving through Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
M&N Transport was running vehicles by two other manufacturers when it bought its first two Mercedes-Benz Actros in 2009, just as the recession hit. It was quickly won over by their reliability and fuel-efficiency, and by the quality of the back-up. The arrival of its latest five Actros allowed M&N to sell off its last non-Mercedes-Benz tractors.
Mr Burton continued: “We were very happy with the fuel efficiency of our Euro V Actros but the Euro VI versions are even better. They’re averaging just shy of eight miles to the gallon, which puts them at least a quarter of a mile and in some cases up to half a mile further ahead.”
M&N has also just embarked on a trial of the optional Predictive Powertrain Control system, which promises further mpg savings. PPC employs 3D GPS mapping to read three kilometres of topography ahead then responds by controlling speed, braking and the transmission to maximise fuel efficiency. The system really comes into its own when the vehicle is travelling up or down hills.
Rygor Truck Sales Executive Marcus Cahalin said: “M&N Transport is a highly professional fleet operator for which the combination of Mercedes-Benz product quality and our industry-leading after sales support makes sound commercial sense. Its new trucks also look fantastic on the road – we could not wish for a better advertisement locally, for the eye-catching attributes of the latest generation Actros.”