Supplied by dealer Sparshatt Truck & Van, the Aylesford-based operator’s new additions are both Atego 816 models with 5.1-litre in-line six-cylinder engines producing 114bhp, and are supplied on contract hire through Mercedes-Benz Finance. Their box bodies are by C&D Fabrications, of Faversham.
Qualitex has 14 other Atego 7.5-tonners; half are based at Aylesford, with the others at its distribution centre in Mansfield. In addition, another Atego, with uprated 9-tonne gross weight, transports stock between the two sites. The company also has five Sprinter vans.
Unusually, the 7.5-tonners are specified with ClassicSpace L-cab sleepers as the trucks can be assigned to multi-drop routes in Scotland, the South West or Wales, so drivers are away for more than a day.
“We choose Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks because they’re so robust and reliable. Our vehicles can clock up some pretty high mileages, yet breakdowns are few and far between,” says Kevin Slevin, operations manager for Qualitex.
Contract hire has long been the operator’s favoured method of acquisition, adds Slevin. “It allows us to keep our fleet smart, up todate and fully compliant, and means we can budget with confidence knowing there are no nasty surprises around the corner.”
Despite its longstanding relationship with the dealer, Qualitex still carries out market comparisons on occasion to verify its policy. “We undertook a cost comparison exercise last year, and invited the representatives of three other truck brands to submit quotes,” recalls Slevin.
“We were pleased when this confirmed that our current arrangements are competitive; for our specification of vehicle, we’re certainly within the right price range.”