Supplied by dealer Northside Truck & Van, the Doncaster-based operator’s new trucks are six 12-tonners with L-cab ClassicSpace sleeper cabs, and nine 7.5-tonners with a mix of S-cab day and L-cab sleeper ClassicSpace cabs.
The 12-tonners are 1223 models with 5.1-litre six-cylinder engines, delivering 228bhp through PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. The 7.5-tonne Atego 816s employ a 154bhp version of the same powerplant, paired with the same gearbox.
They are fitted with either box or curtainside bodies by Alloy Bodies, of Manchester.
The Atego 7.5-tonne demonstrator was trialled for a week and, says transport manager Dave Smith, “did very well on fuel”.
He adds: “Our previous trucks in the same weight class were returning 16mpg at best, but the Mercedes-Benz produced a figure of 21mpg.
“An improvement of 5mpg and more represents a very substantial cost saving for the business. The drivers really liked the Atego, too, which was another factor that weighed heavily in its favour.”
Two vehicle sizes and two body types, says Smith, gives the operator “the best combination” for varied customer locations.
A longstanding user of Sprinter vans, these are Direct Trade’s first Mercedes trucks. All are replacement vehicles for the fleet and they are supplied on Agility funding agreements with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Inspections and maintenance are being carried out by the dealer under Mercedes-Benz ‘local complete’ contracts. “Northside’s 24-hour servicing capability is invaluable – it means we can get vehicles into the workshop at night, so they’re always available for work when we need them,” says Smith.
The new trucks are expected to be in operation for at least five years, covering 2,000km per week.