AV Dawson in the right mode with Mercedes New Actros28 July 2014

Multimodal transport logistics provider AV Dawson has taken delivery of four Mercedes-Benz New Actros tractor units, after trialling two demonstrators and achieving "impressive" fuel returns.

Supplied by dealer Bell Truck and Van, the New Actros 2545s have 449bhp straight-six engines and aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs.

The dealer's Billingham branch will maintain the vehicles under a seven-year Mercedes-Benz R&M contract.

Middlesborough-based AV Dawson runs a 32-strong tractor fleet at its three Teesside sites.

Two of the Actros trucks will operate on long-distance container and general haulage work; the other two are being double-shifted and making local deliveries, many of steel coil to a local car manufacturer.

One of the trial vehicles averaged 8.9 mpg and AV Dawson's senior transport manager Russell Spink says: "We're really impressed with what we've seen so far.

"The demonstrations went very well and the Mercedes-Benz technology looks brilliant, while the feedback from the drivers has been excellent, too."

However, fuel efficiency and driver feedback alone are not sufficient, adds Spinks.

"No matter how good they are, all trucks will break down at some stage. So back-up is every bit as important and we'll also be monitoring Bell Truck and Van's performance to see whether they, and Mercedes-Benz, can provide the level of support that we need."

Laura Cork

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