Oxford Blue rates rigid reliability of Mercedes Atego28 February 2019

Abingdon-based Oxford Blue Scaffolding has put its latest Mercedes-Benz Atego into service, citing vehicle quality and reliability as reasons for sticking with the marque’s 7.5-tonners for 25 years.

Supplied by dealer Rygor Commercials, the new arrival joins its five-strong fleet of Atego 816 trucks spanning three model generations – the oldest of which has been running reliably for ten years.

Acquired with funding from Mercedes-Benz Finance, the new vehicle has a ClassicSpace day cab and a scaffolding body built to the operator’s own design by Atech Coachbuilders of Wiltshire, to carry tubes of up to six metres in length, as well as boards and other fixtures.

The Atego is powered by a 5.1-litre engine which produces 154bhp and is paired with a six-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission – the first time the operator has tried the automated manual gearbox. It is specified with a 4,820mm wheelbase to match the others in the fleet and comes with lane keeping assist technology.

“We purchased our first Mercedes-Benz trucks in 1994 and have been buying them ever since. I can honestly say that in those 25 years we’ve never had one break down on us,” says Andy Durkin, director of Oxford Blue.

“It’s all about money. Given the commitments we make to our customers, I cannot afford to have guys stood at the side of the road waiting for recovery trucks. With the Atego, that never happens – it’s a fantastic product.”

Strong residual values are another benefit, he adds: “When the time finally comes to stand them down, we always get a very good price.

“We could buy cheaper trucks, of course, but as everyone knows, a Mercedes-Benz is a premium product, the best on the market. As well as offering the reliability that is so crucial to the smooth running of our business, when you sit in an Atego cab there’s a real feeling of quality and safety. What more could you ask for?”

Laura Cork

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Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd

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