ONE of Britain’s biggest privately-owned transport companies recently took delivery of its 100th fuel-efficient New Actros tractor unit from Mercedes-Benz.
The landmark vehicle, a 450-horsepower New Actros 2545 with narrow, 2.3-meter-wide (90.5-inch) version of the aerodynamic StreamSpace cab, pulls a tank trailer. It is one of four vehicles in the Turners (Soham) Ltd fleet that are assigned to a distribution contract with a leading AdBlue (diesel exhaust fluid) producer.
Recent winner of the Carbon Reduction Through Fuel Efficiencies Award at The Freight Transport Association’s LCRS (Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme) annual conference, Turners runs a fleet of around 1,100 trucks and tractors and 1,400 trailers from a network of 32 locations nationwide.
Liquid and dry bulk food hauling makes up a significant part of the Turners operation, which has its headquarters in Newmarket, Suffolk. Turners has been providing tank truck service for more than 25 years and currently operates more than 600 tanker vehicles.
The food fleet includes more than 125 tractors and 190 tank trailers that are used to transport dry and liquid sugar, milk, fruit juices, glucose, starch, gluten, and other foodgrade products. The carrier serves food industry customers throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
Turners added its first New Actros tractor just over a year ago. It then commissioned a further 58 vehicles shortly before Christmas 2012, and has since taken the remainder in batches.
All are 2545 StreamSpace models but approximately half have full, 2.5-meter-width (98.4-inch) cabs. “We allocate those to the longhaul drivers who are out all week and appreciate the extra space and comfort,” says Tim King, Turners group fleet engineer.
“Our New Actros tractors have been faultless and are now firmly established as the most economical vehicles on the fleet. It’s difficult to quote precise fuel figures because the applications and routes vary so widely, which is why we focus on driving styles.
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“But when operating at 44 tonnes (97,000 pounds) GCW (gross combination weight) for most, if not all of the time, these vehicles are consistently returning mpg (miles-per-gallon) figures in the high nines and even tens. This puts them at between a third and half a mile per gallon ahead of the 440-hp units from the last Actros range, which had been setting the standard for fuel efficiency.”
Turners purchased its first Mercedes-Benz truck from Orwell Truck & Van as recently as 2010. Today, in addition to its 100 New Actros, it also has a similar number of previous generation Actros. These vehicles are all inspected and serviced under seven-year Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance contracts.
“With first Actros and now New Actros, our experience of operating Mercedes-Benz vehicles has been positive. As well as being fuel-efficient they’re also exceptionally reliable and popular with our drivers. That why the New Actros is now our vehicle of choice for mainstream distribution, refrigerator, and container work.
“We’re very pleased too, with the customer-focused service we receive from the fleet sales team at Mercedes-Benz UK, and from Orwell Truck & Van. The dealer understands our requirements and does all it can to support us.”
Orwell Truck & Van Managing Director David Grant says: “I am delighted that by virtue of product excellence and our total commitment to operational support, Orwell Truck & Van has established such a successful working relationship with one of the UK’s largest private sector truck operators.
“The rapid development of our partnership with Turners is a direct result a great deal of hard work by many members of the company team, but particularly our Fleet Truck Sales Manager Martyn Beverley and our Contracts Manager Ryan Cory.” ♦