It boasts a lengthy list of optional features, but the most valuable attribute of Paul Blackmore’s first Mercedes-Benz truck came as standard – the impressive fuel efficiency that means it is already comfortably more than a mile per gallon ahead of the vehicle it replaced.
The Kidderminster-based haulier acquired his new 26-tonner from the local branch of Dealer Group Rygor Commercials. A long distance Actros 2536 model, it has a flat-floored StreamSpace cab and is powered by a state-of-the-art 265 kW (360 hp) straight-six, which is paired with a Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
Trading as Paul R. Blackmore, he runs two other 26-tonners and is heavily engaged in the nationwide transportation of flat and coiled steel for German-owned distributor and stockholder Kloeckner Metals UK, which is also based in Kidderminster. The Actros has a lifting tag axle and a 30 ft curtainside body by Fred Smith & Sons, of West Bromwich, with a roof that can be folded back to facilitate loading from an overhead crane.
Mr Blackmore has been a professional driver since 2000, and launched his own business 12 years ago. “Since then I’ve only run six-wheelers, and always of the same make,” he said. “However, on seeing one at a truck show a couple of years ago, I was struck by how fresh and modern in appearance the latest Mercedes-Benz Actros looks.
“It’s taken me a while but thanks to brilliant support from Rygor’s Fleet Truck Sales Manager Jeremy Price I’m now on the road in a fantastic vehicle which is exceeding all my expectations.”
Mr Blackmore continued: “Fuel-wise the Actros is a big improvement on my last truck, as well as the other two which I still own. I was averaging 11 mpg previously, but the new vehicle is regularly returning more than 12 mpg – in fact, in the last couple of weeks I’ve only dipped below that figure twice, and then not by much.”
Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the Actros combines this outstanding economy with striking good looks. Optional extras enhancing its appearance include colour-coded bumpers and door mirror covers, high-visibility bi-xenon headlamps, an external sun visor, and alloy wheels.
Meanwhile, the driving experience is made even more enjoyable and engaging for its owner by the addition of a Top Comfort Pack – the most comprehensive of the three available – which features a grille-mounted three-pointed star that can be illuminated at night, ambience lighting, automatic climate control and a refrigerator. Other options include air-suspended luxury seats, a co-driver’s table, Comfort cab mountings and a high-performance engine brake.
“I really am enjoying my new Actros,” enthused Mr Blackmore, who typically spends a couple of nights away in the truck each week. “The cab is just a very nice place to be and because it stands out I’ve had a lot of nice comments from customers and others.”
The Actros is now being inspected and serviced by Rygor Commercials, under a five-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contract. “The Dealer’s Kidderminster branch is only a couple of miles from where I live so I can leave the truck with them at night, nip home on my bike then return first thing in the morning to pick it up again,” he said.
“Rygor has a strong reputation locally and whenever I’ve gone in everyone has been very friendly. Jeremy has been great too – I had one or two minor issues with the specification of the truck when it first arrived but he resolved those for me quickly and efficiently.”
Jeremy Price added: “Paul and I have put a lot of time and effort into this project but it’s certainly been worthwhile, because his new 26-tonner is one of the nicest I’ve seen. Rygor is committed to Setting Standards, and we look forward to providing the exceptional service that will ensure his ownership experience is as rewarding as possible.”