Dale Fleet Logistics operates from headquarters in Newhey, Greater Manchester and acquired the 12-tonne Atego from Dealer Ciceley Commercials. A 1221 model with ClassicSpace L-cab sleeper, the vehicle is powered by a 207bhp 5.1-litre engine.
The company had previously relied exclusively on teams of drivers to pilot diesel-engined vans from manufacturer sites and dealerships to end users nationwide, particularly supermarkets and others operating within the fast-growing home delivery sector.
However, limitations on the distances they are able to travel before needing a recharge meant this was not an option for the electric vans that are now becoming an increasingly viable proposition for so many applications.
A re-think was needed, and the Atego is the result. The truck has a platform body by Fosters Commercials, of Preston, that carries a single van, while a second is towed on a trailer purpose-built for the role by Chieftain Trailers, of Dungannon. This is also used to load the Atego – the first van is driven onto the trailer via extendable ramps, then crosses onto the truck’s platform using a second set that connect the two.
Logistics Manager Matthew Morris explained: “We’ve been in the vehicle logistics business since 2003, and have traditionally driven vans to their destinations around the country. That’s fine for a diesel but doesn’t work for an electric van. Most of the distances to be covered exceed the range of the batteries, and in any case customers understandably want their vans delivered with a full charge. The only alternative is to use a transporter.”
“We already run five Mercedes-Benz Vito minibuses, which we use to ferry our drivers to and from their pick-up and drop-off points. These have proved dependable, efficient and comfortable to use,” continued Morris.
“We also enjoy a long established and very successful relationship with Ciceley Commercials, having moved countless Sprinters from its various branches to some of the country’s biggest and best-known home delivery providers.”