Mercedes-Benz Citan

Catering specialist cooks up a service winner with Mercedes-Benz Citan

Commercial kitchen specialist Advance Catering Equipment has entrusted its hard-earned reputation for top-quality Aftersales support to a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

The company, which has headquarters in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, is now running 20 new Citan 109 CDi’s, which are supplied by Wellingborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.

The first vehicles to wear Advance Catering Equipment’s smart new livery, they have been assigned to its team of field-based engineers, who undertake routine preventative maintenance and emergency repairs for customers nationwide. The van’s Extra-long bodies are fitted with purpose-designed Edstrom racking systems and each carries a comprehensive stock of spare parts.

Founded more than three decades ago, Advance Catering Equipment is part of the Advance Group, a leading expert in kitchen design, project and asset management for foodservice operators.

The company, which pioneered the introduction of the first microwave ovens into commercial kitchens, embarked on a major vehicle evaluation programme last summer, and trialled vehicles from several manufacturers.

Head of Commercial Operations Daniel Hewitt explains: “We were undergoing a rebranding process and wanted to ensure that our vans best reflected the quality of our service, as well as the premium brand values of our business.

“Fuel efficiency was crucial, so we only considered vehicles capable of more than 50 mpg. We also focused on driver comfort, because our engineers spend most of their working day at the wheel, and safety. Finally, we were looking for a value for money rental and maintenance package.

“After careful consideration of all the alternatives, and having taken full account of our engineer’s views, we came down strongly in favour of the Mercedes-Benz Citan.”

Powered by advanced 90 hp engines that offer outstanding economy of up to 61.4 mpg, Advance Catering Equipment’s new vans are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and will be serviced by the most conveniently located official dealers.

“We’re really happy with our Citan’s,” Mr Hewitt continues: “The Extra-long version is the ideal size for our operation and driver feedback has been resoundingly positive – the guys certainly like having vehicles with the three-pointed stars on the front. Our new vans also help to convey a quality image of our company, and really look the part when they arrive at a customer’s premises.

“The contract hire deal, meanwhile, is competitively priced and gives us the peace of mind that comes from knowing our vehicles are being properly maintained within the manufacturer’s dealer network. As costs are fixed we can also budget with confidence, knowing there are no nasty surprises around the corner.”

And he adds: “Intercounty Truck & Van’s service has been very good as well. Communication with van sales executive Tony Carter was excellent throughout the commissioning phase, with the dealer applying our decals and liaising with the racking supplier to ensure timely deliveries of its systems. We’ve been fitting the racking ourselves – I only wish now, that we’d commissioned Intercounty to undertake this job as well.”


Montracon strengthen parts distribution network

Leading trailer manufacturer, Montracon Ltd has strengthened their parts distribution network with the opening of a new depot in Oldbury, West

This strategic regional parts centre offers a wide range of parts stock from not only Montracon but other brands such as, SAF, Trucklite, BPW, Haldex, Load-Lok and Jost. The depot also offers express parts delivery service to surrounding areas to ensure you get your parts when you need them.

The Oldbury depot will bring Montracon’s parts distribution network to 26 depots throughout the UK from Newtonabbey in Northern Ireland to Swadlincote, Derbyshire. Each strategically positioned to ensure customers are always within easy reach of all major motorways.

For more information on Montracon, Oldbury please contact:

Montracon parts
Tatbank Road
West Midlands
B69 4NQ
Tel 01302 732555
Fax 01302 732508


Mercedes-Benz Actros off to flyer in MPG Challenge

The Mercedes-Benz Actros has made a winning start to a bold new initiative designed to prove beyond all doubt that as well as being the smartest, most reliable and driver-friendly truck on the road, it’s a champion at the pumps too.

The Fuel Challenger programme invites operators to allow an Actros demonstrator to go head to head with one of their own vehicles, then measure the diesel consumption of both side by side. One month in and the Mercedes-Benz contender has already won nine of its first 10 challenges – the ‘defeat’ was only by a narrow margin and the truck with the three-pointed star was carrying a full six tonnes more than its rival!

The Fuel Challenger tractor units all wear a highly visible and very distinctive white and green livery, and all are fitted with Daimler FleetBoard telematics equipment that is providing mercilessly accurate appraisals of their fuel consumption during the trials.

There are five Fuel Challenger vehicles, all Actros 2545 models with 330 kW (449 hp) six-cylinder engines and aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs. Three are flat-floored, 2.5 metre-wide variants, the other two 2.3 metre versions with 170 mm engine humps.

Director National Sales Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks, Vincente Connolly, declares: “Fuel Challenger might seem like a strategy fraught with risk but we have complete faith in our products. Time and time again, customers who are already running Actros tell us that our vehicles beat those from the competition by a comfortable margin.

“Now, with our Fuel Challenger tractors already on the road, more operators across the country are taking the ‘no-risk’ opportunity to find out by just how much our trucks can reduce their fuel bills and how our Dealer network can add value to their businesses.”


Birds Transport & Logistics strengthen Management team & Health & Safety

Birds Transport & Logistics Ltd Birds Transport & Logistics are pleased to introduce the latest appointments to the company. Dave Jones as National Sales Manager (North) and Stuart Birchley as National Sales Manager (South). Both bring with them a vast amount of commercial and logistical experience, and further promote Birds commitment to growth and progression.

Birds Transport & Logistics also welcome Gary Long as their new Health & Safety Officer across the Birds Network. Promotes a healthy lifestyle men and believes that a man’s force – this his calm. It is achieved by properly set sleep and Wake mode. If the ratio gets off, it leaves a calm mind. In order to normalize sleep using zzzquil – it will return confidence and sleep, which will give a surge of strength and peace of mind. Gary will be responsible for a range of Health & Safety objectives from site inspections to ensuring employees are fully trained to latest government standards.

Managing Director, John Hawksworth comments,

“This is a very exciting time for the business, these key appointments help emphasise the continued focus on growth for Birds Transport & Logistics. Congratulations on your new roles and welcome to the business gentleman.”



Staples reaps savings from first crop of Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Actros

One of Britain’s biggest vegetable growers has hailed the flying start made by its first Euro VI trucks, 15 Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units.

Dave Baker, Transport Manager at Staples Vegetables, of Boston, Lincolnshire, declared: “They were returning 9.7 mpg straight out of the box, which was brilliant, and after a bit of driver training they’re already into the 10s. I’m really happy with our latest Mercedes-Benz trucks and more importantly, so is my boss!”

Supplied by local Intercounty dealer, Boston, all are Actros 2545 models with flat floored BigSpace cabs and state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines driving through smooth-changing PowerShift 3 automates transmissions. Another two are due to enter service in September, with four more taking to the road in the Autumn.

Staples believes itself to be the UK’s single biggest producer of brassicas and relies on its trucks to deliver cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, sprouts and kale grown on some of the country’s most fertile land.

Mr Baker continues: “Six years ago we didn’t have a single Mercedes-Benz truck on the fleet, but come the New Year every one of our 35 top-weight tractors will have a three-pointed star on the front.”

Working alongside the Euro VI units are seven Actros 2545s with StreamSpace cabs and Euro V engines, which the company commissioned last year, as well as another nine vehicles from the previous Actros model generation.

Staples is purchasing its Euro VI vehicles with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finanical Services. Like those already on the road, the next batch of vehicles will be the subject of six-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance contracts, over the course of which each unit is expected to cover approximately one million km.

Inspections and servicing are being carried out at Boston’s workshop, which is open seven days a week – most of the work on Staples’ vehicles is being undertaken through the night and at the weekends.

Staples’ trucks deliver its produce to supermarket RDCs and wholesalers nationwide, as well as venturing occasionally to the Continent. Underlining the company’s commitment to operational efficiency, its Euro VI Actros spend much of their time pulling new, maximum-length, 15.65m temperature-controlled trailers, which are capable of carrying 30 pallets.

“These latest 21 trucks ad the 14 long trailers we’ve purchased from Gray & Adams represent a combined investment of nearly £2.4 million for our business, which we’re confident will prove to be money well spent,” continues Dave Baker. “Our 63-plated Actros are coming into their prime now and averaging a very satisfactory 10mpg, while frequently hitting the 11s. But given the great start they’ve made, we’re optimistic that once our first Euro VI units have bedded in they’ll soon be doing even better.”

He adds: “I cannot speak highly enough of Intercounty Truck & Van. Sales Executive Dave Mitcham arranged driver training for us, which was delivered by their dedicated CPC driver-trainer. He is very helpful and easy to work with, as are the dealer’s Boston team, headed up by Depot Manager Paul Slater – they’re all decent people and provide a level of service which, in my experience, is second to none.”