Supplied by dealer Northside Truck & Van, the Doncaster-based operator’s Atego 1218 is powered by a four-cylinder, 5.1-litre engine generating 177bhp, while its Antos 1824 uses a 7.7-litre straight-six rated at 238bhp.
The new additions join a 31-strong fleet and are in operation delivering commercial catering equipment.
Both have ClassicSpace S-Cabs and box bodies by JC Payne, of Walsall – these are built to a taller-than-standard design to provide 2.5 metres of internal headroom and have large rear apertures capable of accepting items such as display fridges which can be up to 2.4 metres high. The new trucks are also equipped with 1,000kg Dhollandia tail-lifts.
Fleet manager Craig Oldham says the time was right to look at alternative marques: “We researched what was on offer from the other main manufacturers, focusing on three key factors: reliability, because we don’t want trucks breaking down on their way to a delivery; running costs, in terms of both fuel efficiency and maintenance; and ‘uptime’, the amount of time we can expect them to spend on the road, earning their keep, as opposed to in the workshop.”
Oldham also canvassed other operators and received positive reports on the Mercedes vehicles.
“Three months after the Antos and Atego entered service we’re delighted with the way things are going. The fuel returns are very promising and they’ve been extremely well received by our drivers,” he adds.
“Northside Truck & Van’s service has been excellent, too,” says Oldham, highlighting the dealer’s ability to liaise with the bodybuilder, along with the availability of 24-hour servicing at its nearby workshop.
“What’s more, the Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance contract rates are significantly more competitive than those of our established supplier.”