Hertfordshire-based Forward Trucking Services has marked its 50th anniversary by commissioning a stunning Mercedes-Benz tractor unit in special gold livery.
The truck, which also features twin light bars and polished alloy wheels, is one of two Actros 2548 BigSpace models delivered to the family-owned operator by S & B Commercials. Acquired with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, both are now being inspected and serviced by the Dealer under Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
Forward Trucking Services, FTS Events and FTS Logistics, the three businesses which comprise the FTS Group, run a combined fleet that has been growing steadily and currently extends to 70 trucks. Most are tractor units which work with a variety of semi-trailers including double-deck curtainsiders, although the line-up includes several 18- and 7.5-tonners with tail-lifts. FTS also operates 30,000 sq ft of secure warehousing and storage facilities on its headquarters site in St Albans.
Forward Trucking Services offers a comprehensive portfolio of same- and next-day transport solutions, including ‘one-off’ loads, as well as scheduled transport and contract logistics. FTS Events provides specialised support throughout Europe for the exhibition, entertainment and conference sectors, while FTS Logistics’ focus is on dedicated palletised freight distribution.
The company’s latest Mercedes-Benz trucks are the first it has purchased from new – they are now working alongside six other Actros, all of which were supplied within the last couple of years by S & B Commercials, under the manufacturer’s Approved Used programme. Commercial Manager Pete Samuel confirmed: “Our preference is now for Mercedes-Benz tractors, because they’ve proved completely reliable and impressively cost-effective to operate.
“The first has been worked round-the-clock since it entered service and hasn’t missed a beat – it goes up to the United Pallet Network hub in Lichfield and back each night, then undertakes general work during the day. That truck returns a steady 11 mpg, and just runs and runs. The same is true of its successors, which we like to use for European work because the Mercedes-Benz back-up on the Continent is so good.
“The Actros are also very popular with our drivers, who appreciate their spacious cabs, creature comforts and all-round quality. Indeed, we’ve allocated the anniversary vehicle to two of our best drivers, Bogdan Granaleiriou and Darren Maloney, as a reward for their performance.”
Mr Samuel continued: “In the past we’ve opted for pre-owned vehicles with low mileages and high specifications, because they represent such outstanding value. However, we’ve chosen to buy new this time and, in another ‘first’, to take advantage of the competitive funding on offer from Mercedes-Benz.”
He added: “We’re delighted not only with our new flagship, which looks fantastic, but also with the excellent service we receive from S & B. We can drop in a vehicle at short notice and the Dealer’s workshop team will invariably turn it round very quickly, while its Used Truck Sales Manager Steve Jenkins knows the kind of vehicles we like and looks after us particularly well.
Forward Trucking Services started life as Forward Traffic Services when it was established in 1968 in Islington, north London, by George Mackay Senior, to deliver steel and concrete paving throughout the capital. The anniversary Actros bears the same name, Macbeth, as his first vehicle – it represents a combination of his surname and his mother’s Christian name, Elizabeth.
Having opened new sites in Watford and Luton, the founder retired in the early 1980s, leaving the business in the hands of his son George Mackay Junior. He in turn took a step back in 2005, since when responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business has rested with Managing Director Barry Simmonds.