For both its new flagship tractor and its first 26-tonne rigid, Sheffield’s Toutes Directions chose the Mercedes-Benz Actros. Supplied by the local branch of Commercial Motor Awards category winner Northside Truck & Van, both are 6x2s with GigaSpace cabs. However the tractor is a 2553 plated for a 68 tonne GCW and has a 530hp 12.8-litre engine,while the rigid is a 2545 with a mere 450hp to propel its box body from Micra Truck Bodies.
Of the options laden tractor, transport manager Tom Harrison said: “In this case we ticked virtually every box on the extras list, but we always specify our trucks highly.We do so to reward and retain our excellent drivers, not least because around 25% of our work entails long-distance European haulage. If we’re asking the guys to live in the cab for a couple of weeks at a time, it’s only fair that we give them a comfortable environment.”
Turning to the six-wheeler, he adds: “It will be perfect for deliveries that require a bigger vehicle, but for which the access might be a bit too tight for a tractor and trailer. For added flexibility, the body features very wide-opening side doors which combine the best features of a rigid box and a curtainsider.”
The Actros 2553’s driver Peter Molnar, says of his previous Actros 1845, “It was a great vehicle. I’d had that truck from new and become very attached to it. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly eager to swap, but the new Actros has blown me away. It’s a significant upgrade, and not only in terms of power. The new technology, including Proximity Control Assist and the latest version of Predictive Powertrain Control, makes the vehicle so easy to drive, and it’s a great cab in which to live and work over a long trip.”
Tom Harrison and his brother Oliver, who runs the workshop, are the second generation to run Toutes Directions, established by their father, Mark, in 1978. While it initially shifted catering equipment, it soon specialised in transporting mainframe computers and now delivers and installs a variety of high-value equipment in the IT, medical and catering sectors.