4S Distribution and sister company Hallam Express has placed an order for 10 next-generation Mercedes-Benz Actros only six months after receiving its first example of the outgoing model from Mercedes’ Trucks dealer of the Year, Northside Truck & Van.
All are optioned with the new Mirror Cam systems, but not the latest Level two autonomous technology as it was too expensive for the haulier to justify.
Both company’s took delivery of the outgoing Actros 2548 6x2 tractor unit with a flat-floored BigSpace cab with the second-generation 12.8-litre straight-six engine producing 476hp.
Previously favouring vehicles from Volvo, David Simpson, MD for both Hallam Express and 4s Distribution, said: “I haven’t actually seen one of the new Actros yet but I’m looking forward to seeing how the Mirror Cams work.
“The two Actros we’ve been trialling are very good on fuel, while Northside’s back-up is great.”
He added that: “Since having the Volvo, which features autonomous features, we’ve had a few problems. Namely with the windscreens; due to the tech involved, one chip means the whole piece has to be replace, costing upwards of a grand.”
Both units partake in five-days a week bulk tramping operations which involves anything from 44-tonne work to pulling lighter loads.
Ian Egan, operations manager for 4S Distribution said: “In terms of mpg performance, the Actros typically returns in the high nines or low tens, which means it’s between half a mile and full mile per gallon ahead of our established vehicles.”
Egan’s sentiment was echoed by Steve Goodwin, his equivalent for Hallam Express: “The driver’s over the moon with his truck – he’s doing between 2,700 and 3,000km per week, and averaging 11.7mpg, with a best of 12.1mpg. That compares very favourably to the Swedish-built units on similar work and in the mid-nines.”
Simpson added that because of the fuel economy and how they’ve been “efficiently maintained, with good turnaround times, and Northside provides a collect and delivery service for preventative maintenance inspections (PMIs) and MoTs”, they had “no hesitation in ordering 10” new Actros.
The new Actros are arriving in September and will replace units coming off contract, but others will help them meet increasing demands of both businesses. The Actros will also be joined by two DAF XF 480 6x2 Super Space Cabs in September also.
“We’ve got a couple of DAFs on the fleet already, so we thought why not try some new ones and see what they’re like” explained Simpson.