Supplied by Northside Truck & Van, the trial units were both Actros 2548 models with flat-floor BigSpace cabs, powered by 12.8-litre engines producing 470bhp. Both were supplied on contract hire through Mercedes-Benz Finance.
The ten on order are for the next-generation Actros, arriving later this year: four will be assigned to 4S Distribution, in Rotherham; with six going to Hallam Express, which has depots in Sheffield and Chesterfield.
The two trial vehicles have outperformed the existing marques on fuel efficiency – and David Simpson, managing director of both operators, also cites the service from dealer Northside.
“Our established supplier has been shutting at weekends, whereas the Mercedes-Benz dealer’s Sheffield workshop remains open around the clock, seven days a week. The Actros have been efficiently maintained, with good turnaround times, and Northside also provides a collection and delivery service for preventive maintenance inspections and MOTs, which makes life a lot easier for us,” says Simpson.
“Against this backdrop we had no hesitation in ordering a further ten vehicles from the new Actros range.”
At 4S Distribution, the Actros unit is part of an eight-strong fleet and is delivering fuel performance “in the high nines or low tens”, already ahead of its established vehicles.
Fuel performance is even better at Hallam Express, where the Actros is on five-day-a-week bulk tramping operations: the vehicle is averaging 11.7mpg, which is 2mpg ahead of other units in the fleet.