The first two new Mercedes-Benz trucks since 2004 to wear the bright orange livery of family-owned and run haulier Ronnie S. Evans have made a flying start.
The Actros 2545 StreamSpace tractor units are already matching the best on the fleet in terms of fuel efficiency, and have won a resounding ‘thumbs up’ from their drivers.
So impressed is Llanelli-based Ronnie S. Evans that it now has two more, identical units on order from South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials. The operator offers a broad range of bulk haulage, walking floor and dry-freight transport services covering the UK and Europe.
Its Actros are powered by advanced, 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines, which drive through smooth Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. Both pull new, lightweight, steel tipping trailers by Belgian manufacturer STAS.
The operator, which also has depots in Newport, London and the Midlands, runs a mixed-marque fleet of 18 tractor units, all of which are fitted with telematics systems, side scan sensors and four-way camera recording devices, as well as 60 semi-trailers.
“The vehicles were competitively priced and Euro Commercials was able to offer the right deals at the right time,” said Director Sion Evans, who works alongside his sister Marged and their father, in the business that Ronnie founded in the early 1960s.
“Both of the new Actros are on regular work, and pulling recyclable materials,” he continued. “One is returning between 8.2 and 8.5 mpg, while the other is at 6-6.3 mpg, the discrepancy between the two vehicles being entirely down to the routes they’re on.
“We’re happy with both sets of figures, which put them right up there with our most fuel-efficient vehicles, while the drivers certainly appreciate the comfort and quality of their cabs too.”
Ronnie S. Evans is maintaining the new trucks in its own workshop but relies on Euro Commercials’ Swansea team for warranty and parts back-up. Also key to the deal was the outstanding support the operator has received in the past from Service Manager Kevin Bacon.
“They’ve all gone now but we were running some older Mercedes-Benz units until fairly recently,” said Mr Evans. “Whenever we’ve had a problem Kevin has pulled out all the stops to get it sorted as quickly as possible.”
In addition to the two Actros which have yet to enter service, Ronnie S. Evans has another 16 STAS trailers on order. “They’re two tonnes lighter than a conventional steel trailer, so a lot more productive,” added Mr Evans.
“Like our new Mercedes-Benz tractors they also look great, which explains why we’ve had so much positive feedback from customers and others since we set these new vehicles on the road.”