“We moved to Mercedes-Benz because of its reputation for reliability, and its vehicles have certainly lived up to that promise,” comments Lisa Derbyshire, director of supply chain and operations.
“Not only are they much better in terms of build quality than the vans we were using previously, but the drivers much prefer them and they lead the market when it comes to safety,” she continues.
“The back-up from City West Commercials and other Mercedes-Benz dealers is also superior... And we benefit from quick turnarounds when our vehicles need servicing, while any parts we need are invariably in stock.”
The vast majority of Centaur’s vans are Sprinters – mostly 3.5-tonne 313 CDI models, but also several 5.0-tonnne 513 CDI variants, all fitted with tracking devices and limited to 70 mph – specified to meet its warehouse and distribution network operation.
With the exceptions of two mid-size Vito 111 CDI Crew Vans – used by Centaur’s VetSpace practice management division for shows and exhibitions – its vehicles make multi-drop deliveries of food, drugs and consumables.
Typically, each van services 17 veterinary surgeries every day. The company’s only Citan, a 109 CDI, is based in Inverness and covers the Highlands, where there are fewer drops and much longer distances to cover.