Infrastructure services leader Eurovia has marked its 40th anniversary by commissioning a new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit and King low-loader semi-trailer combination that sets new standards for safety.
The 44-tonne rig has been specified for operation in London and the Home Counties, and is now being used by Eurovia Surfacing to transport road construction plant such as asphalt pavers, backhoe loaders and compactors to and from sites.
Supplied by Dealer S & B Commercials, the 6x2 Actros 2548 has a flat-floored StreamSpace cab with factory-fitted collar and air deflector. Its appearance is further enhanced by a colour-coded bumper and mirrors, and a roof-mounted beacon bar, while Eurovia’s smart livery highlights the company’s four decades in business.
The truck’s advanced, 350 kW (476 hp) straight-six engine drives through a smooth-changing Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission and provides the muscle to pull the new, three-axled King low-loader.
The safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users, as well as its own employees, was at the top of Eurovia’s agenda and the trailer has been specified to reflect the fact that many deliveries and collections of plant are made in darkness.
Features include a new LED lighting system which is built into the shackle wells and illuminates the entire trailer, and a fall arrest system on the neck. The combination is also equipped with a side scan and four-way recordable camera system that meets the FORS (Freight Operator Recognition Scheme) Gold standard.
It is the first ‘semi-slope’ trailer designed and built by Market Harborough-based King Vehicle Engineering to make the job of loading and unloading heavy plant, and particularly rollers which are usually winched onto the bed, easier and safer for operatives.
The ramps can be widened to accommodate outsized plant. On conventional trailers they are hydraulically operated from the nearside only. But given the nature of the work and its commitment to safety, Eurovia has chosen to give its driver the option by fitting controls on both sides. To aid fuel economy, when the trailer is unloaded the ramps can be folded forward and lie flat, rather than being held in a vertical position.
Eurovia Transport & Plant Operations Manager Chris Dixon said: “Mercedes-Benz is a well-established supplier to our business and the fleet includes a number of Actros, among them three of the four units that pull our low-loaders.
“It’s a very good vehicle and has proved to be exceptionally reliable, while the manufacturer’s Dealer Network also offers the coverage and round-the-clock support that we need – we can incur large fines if we don’t get our plant to site on time, so both factors are crucial.”
He continued: “The Actros is also popular with our drivers, who appreciate their comfortable and spacious, flat-floored cabs and the excellent visibility that also contributes to safety.”
Although the three-pointed star features prominently in the Eurovia fleet, the new Actros is the first truck it has purchased from S & B Commercials, which represents Mercedes-Benz in Hertfordshire, Essex and London.
Key Account Manager Vick Croker worked closely with Mr Dixon and his colleague Chris Forrest, Eurovia’s Contracting Divisional Fleet & Plant Manager, as well as with trailer manufacturer King, to specify the new unit, which is now being inspected and serviced at the S & B’s Thurrock workshop.
“Vick and his colleagues have been very helpful,” added Mr Dixon. “We have high hopes for what has already become a close working relationship.”
Vincente Connolly, Director National Sales Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks, added: “It’s always a great honour when a customer marks an anniversary with a new vehicle. This Actros and trailer combination clearly demonstrates Eurovia’s commitment to improving safety, not only for its staff but for other road and site users too. As an established supplier, we look forward to many more years of partnering this sophisticated business.”
Eurovia UK Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurovia SAS, one of Europe’s leading providers of transport and infrastructure services. Eurovia UK is the parent company of a number of operating businesses, including Ringway Infrastructure Services, Eurovia Infrastructure and Eurosigns UK, and is also a major shareholder in BEAR Scotland and Ringway Jacobs, among others.