It was a passion for breeding animals that prompted Simon Wisson to turn a hobby into a successful business – and it’s his passion for the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz that keeps his company running smoothly.
Based in Abbotsley, Cambridgeshire, Simon’s Rodents has been trading since 1992 and is now one of the biggest suppliers of pets to the trade throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as being a specialist provider of frozen rats and mice for use as reptile food.
The company’s latest acquisitions from Peterborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van are three Mercedes-Benz vans – a pair of Long-bodied Sprinter 313CDIs and a Vito 113CDI Long – which were converted by Somers Refrigeration, of Long Stratton, Norfolk.
The Sprinters have replaced the company’s two previous Mercedes-Benz vans and can operate at frozen or chilled temperatures, or – thanks to their removable bulkheads – at both in separate sections; the smaller Vito, which is used to visit local clients, also has a chiller unit and is used for transporting live food, such as crickets, locusts and worms.
When carrying live stock all three vans run at ambient temperatures and are fully ventilated. Drivers can also monitor temperatures in the cargo areas from their cabs.
Mr Wisson explained: "It’s vitally important not only to us but also to our customers, that we stay ahead of current and impending animal welfare regulations. With our Mercedes-Benz vans we know we’re doing our best to ensure that our stock is transported as safely and comfortably as possible.
"Having a vehicle that is dependable is also paramount, as our Sprinters can be expected to cover 100,000 miles a year. The freezer and chiller compartments must be kept at constant temperatures, so the last thing we can afford is a vehicle with reliability issues."
Like all Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito vans, Simon’s Rodents latest vehicles are backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and came with Mercedes-Benz Service24h emergency breakdown cover, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.