The 16 tractor units were supplied by Marshall Truck & Van and work from the family-owned operator’s Andover branch. The subject of a Mercedes-Benz Complete Service Contract, they are now being inspected and maintained at the dealer’s workshop in the Hampshire town.
The new trucks have flat-floored BigSpace cabs and, as 2545 variants, are powered by 12.8-litre, ‘straight-six’ engines in 444bhp trim. They are easily distinguished from their predecessors due to the absence of conventional mirrors; instead, they are equipped with roof-mounted MirrorCam cameras.
By providing much enhanced rear visibility and eliminating forward-facing blind spots, MirrorCam represents a major leap forward in terms of safety. So, too, does the latest, and is even more responsive – at speeds of up to 50 kph, the system can apply full braking automatically when encountering a pedestrian crossing its path.
Both MirrorCam and Active Braking Assist 5 emergency braking technology, which now employs a camera as well as radar, are standard-fit Mercedes-Benz features. Underlining Howard Tenens’ commitment to the protection of its drivers, their colleagues and other road users, it has also added a full suite of safety cameras and sliding fifth wheels with sensors that issue alerts if trailers are not coupled correctly.
Howard Tenens Logistics operates from headquarters in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and a network of 20 locations with premium warehousing nationwide. The company owns a fleet of 100 trucks, 60 of them tractor units, based at Birstall, in West Yorkshire, and Swindon. It supplements this core fleet with substantial numbers of rented vehicles.
Howard Tenens’ decision to buy outright the 16 new tractor units that work from Andover, rather than to lease again, followed confirmation that the biggest customer served by this depot was renewing and extending its contract.
One of Marshall Truck & Van’s Actros demonstration units underwent week-long trials, first at Andover, and then at two other Howard Tenens locations, with instruction provided at each by dealer key account manager Bill Kingsmill and TRUCKTrainer Andy Parker.
Alan Pellow, Howard Tenens’ national fleet & compliance manager, recalled: “The demo went very well. After a little bit of familiarisation, everybody liked the MirrorCam, while the new-generation model was also about half a mile per gallon better on fuel, which holds out the promise of some very welcome savings.”
Pellow continued: “The truck looks great, but aftersales support is just as important. The experience of working with Marshall Truck & Van on the leased vehicles over the last three years was a key factor in our decision to place this order with Mercedes-Benz.”