Mercedes truck wins ‘hands down’ in fuel trial for haulier14 September 2017

Northumberland-based haulier T James has taken delivery of four Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks, with four more to follow by the end of this year, after a trial vehicle delivered impressive fuel results.

Supplied by dealer Bell Truck and Van, the haulier’s order is for eight Actros 2548 StreamSpace tractors, with 476bhp six-cylinder engines and the optional Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) systems.

Acquired with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, they will be inspected and serviced by Bell Truck and Van, under five-year R&M contracts.

However, the Actros was not the operator’s first choice, as director Alan James explains: “We wanted to see how a current Mercedes-Benz product would perform and, as our work entails bulk haulage on difficult, hilly roads, thought the robust Arocs might be more appropriate for the extended trial.”

The Arocs seed vehicle beat the operator’s other trucks “hands down at the pumps”, he says: “Over 18 months, it averaged 0.5mpg better than the rest of the fleet and on a long run the difference was even more pronounced. The Arocs was also more reliable.”

After discussing vehicle specification with the dealer, however, the company decided to swap to the Actros.

James explains: “It became clear that we didn’t actually need the construction-oriented Arocs – the Actros would provide the same reliability and economy, while also offering a slightly lower unladen weight, which is a benefit given that most of our loads are priced on a ‘per-tonne’ basis.”

He adds: “The new trucks look great and we’re delighted with them.

“We haven’t had to test Bell Truck and Van’s back-up yet, but we’re confident of receiving high-quality support should we need it.”

Laura Cork

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Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd

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