One of Britain’s biggest vegetable growers has hailed the flying start made by its first Euro VI trucks, 15 Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units.
Dave Baker, Transport Manager at Staples Vegetables, of Boston, Lincolnshire, declared: “They were returning 9.7 mpg straight out of the box, which was brilliant, and after a bit of driver training they’re already into the 10s. I’m really happy with our latest Mercedes-Benz trucks and more importantly, so is my boss!”
Supplied by local Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van, all are Actros 2545 models with flat-floored BigSpace cabs and state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines driving through smooth-changing Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. Another two are due to enter service in September, with four more taking to the road in the autumn.
Staples believes itself to be the UK’s single biggest producer of brassicas and relies on its trucks to deliver cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, sprouts and kale grown on some of the country’s most fertile land.
Mr Baker continues: “Six years ago we didn’t have a single Mercedes-Benz truck on the fleet, but come the New Year every one of our 35 top-weight tractors will have a three-pointed star on the front.”
Working alongside the Euro VI units are seven Actros 2545s with StreamSpace cabs and Euro V engines, which the company commissioned last year, as well as another nine vehicles from the previous Actros model generation.
Staples is purchasing its Euro VI vehicles with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Like those already on the road, the next batch of vehicles will be the subject of six-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance contracts, over the course of which each unit is expected to cover approximately one million km.
Inspections and servicing are being carried at Intercounty Truck & Van’s Boston workshop, which is open seven days a week – most of the work on Staples’ vehicles is being undertaken through the night and at weekends.
Staples’ trucks deliver its produce to supermarket RDCs and wholesalers nationwide, as well as venturing occasionally onto the Continent. Underlining the company’s commitment to operational efficiency, its Euro VI Actros spend much of their time pulling new, maximum-length, 15.65m temperature-controlled trailers, which are capable of carrying 30 pallets.
“These latest 21 trucks and the 14 long trailers we’ve purchased from Gray & Adams represent a combined investment of nearly £2.4 million for our business, which we’re confident will prove to be money well spent,” continues Dave Baker. “Our 63-plated Actros are coming into their prime now and averaging a very satisfactory 10 mpg, while frequently hitting the 11s. But given the great start they’ve made, we’re optimistic that once our first Euro VI units have bedded in they’ll soon be doing even better.”
He adds: “I cannot speak highly enough of Intercounty Truck & Van. Sales Executive Dave Mitcham arranged driver training for us, which was delivered by their dedicated CPC driver-trainer. He is very helpful and easy to work with, as are the dealer’s Boston Depot Manager Paul Slater and his team – they’re all decent people and provide a level of service which, in my experience, is second to none.”