Actros is cream of the crop for Harpers Haulage25 February 2019

Harpers Haulage, the transport arm of P Harper & Sons, has taken delivery of its first Mercedes-Benz Actros, selected for driver appeal, fuel efficiency and vehicle reliability.

Supplied by dealer Intercounty Truck & Van, the Actros 2548 BigSpace is equipped with a factory-fitted fridge and microwave, and a long-range 490-litre fuel tank in place of the standard 450-litre version.

It is powered by a second-generation 12.8-litre straight-six engine producing 470bhp. The Huntingdon-based operator also specified the manufacturer’s Predictive Powertrain Control system.

Matthew Harper (pictured), transport manager at the family-run business, says that after four months on the road and 27,000 miles, the truck is already delivering a promising performance: “Returns vary but it’s averaging 9mpg, which is very good indeed for our line of work.”

Serving the agricultural sector, Harpers provides a special handling service for potato, carrot and onion crops, which entails debagging, emptying bulkers and grading, before packing produce into boxes and delivering to customers.

Harper says: “The vehicle came highly recommended by a good friend of ours, who told us his drivers love their Actros, that they’re fantastic on fuel, and that he’s had very few issues in terms of reliability.

“Intercounty Truck & Van also put together a very competitively priced package, and the fact that its Peterborough workshop also has a dedicated ATF lane was certainly attractive to us.

“Economy is crucial, of course, and the Actros is certainly delivering as far as fuel-efficiency is concerned. But so, too, is back-up – we’re a seven-days-a-week operation and cannot afford unplanned downtime, so we continue to monitor the dealer’s performance closely.”

The Actros is being inspected and maintained by the dealer on a five-year Mercedes-Benz Complete Service contract.

Laura Cork

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