Rapid Response gets a lift from Mercedes-Benz 20 January 2012

Hampshire contract lifting specialist Rapid Response Solutions is running its first Mercedes-Benz trucks, a 26-tonne rigid with on-board crane and a pair of 44-tonne tractor units.

The premium specification Actros 2536L and two Actros 2544 MegaSpace models are the subject of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services contract hire deals and are being operated by Rapid Response Solutions' general haulage and freight forwarding division.

However, specialist lifting services are the Havant-based company's forte and its first order was for the 6x2 twin-sleeper cab crane vehicle. Its 360bhp engine is mated to the 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission, which is a standard Actros feature. It also has a rear-steer axle and rear-mounted 45 tonne/metre Fassi crane.

Key to the purchase decision was a demonstration by experienced sales executive Jon Sunderland, a recent recruit to the Pentagon team, of the PowerShift transmission's functionality, and particularly its manoeuvring mode. This reduces the rev range to 1,000rpm and thus allows the driver more precise throttle control.

"We've tried auto 'boxes by other manufacturers in the past and they've not proved very successful at low speeds," reveals Paul Barber, managing director, Rapid Response.

"Our rigid crane vehicles spend a lot of their time on sites, so we were worried that the automatic transmission might not be the way to go," he continues.

"But we were assured that Mercedes PowerShift was unlike any automatic gearbox we'd had before and, as soon as we raised our concern, Jon was here with a truck to prove the point," he says.

"We were very impressed. It was, indeed, a huge improvement on anything we'd seen previously."

John Challen

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Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd

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