Thames Group goes with the Mercedes Actros flow

Tractor Units
Three months after they entered service, seven Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units are out-performing general haulier Thames Group’s Swedish-built trucks by at least one mile per gallon, and often more.

So says operations manager Daniel Treadwell, adding: “We’ve had no problems and, while the widely varying nature of our work means it’s difficult to make direct comparisons, they are definitely more economical than our other vehicles.”

Treadwell goes on to say that when his new Actors tractors are running heavy they consistently return 9 mpg, “whereas the Swedes average 7.7”.

Thames Group’s latest trucks are all Actros 2545 models with flat-floored BigSpace cabs and the 450bhp straight-six engines driving through Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.

They have replaced Euro 5 Actros which Thames Group was leasing, and are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Not only does the deal, put together by Sparshatts’ truck sales executive Ben Williams, mean Thames Group is paying less for the new vehicles than it was for their predecessors, but they also came with a higher specification.

Features include colour-coded bumpers and sliding fifth wheels, as well as fridges and the optional PPC (Predictive Powertrain Control) system, which employs digital 3D mapping and GPS to scan the road ahead and manage gear changes and vehicle speed.

Mercedes-Benz claims average fuel savings and CO2 emissions reductions of 5% for its PPC technology, although some operators have reported more substantial improvements.

The workshop team at Sparshatts’ Dartford branch are carrying out routine inspections and maintenance.

“They’re as good as gold,” continues Treadwell. “Our driver drops his truck off and the Dealer provides him with a ‘smart’ courtesy vehicle to come back in.”

Thames Group operates 15 tractor units, a single 7.5-tonne rigid, and a fleet of vans from its base in Dartford, Kent.

The company was established in 1977 by Peter Treadwell. The founder’s son Mark is now managing director.

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