Hertfordshire’s RH Logistics, a specialist transporter of high-value medical equipment, is ‘fighting fit’ for the future after returning to the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz.
The Stevenage-based company offers guaranteed delivery times to its clients and relies increasingly on Sprinter vans supplied by Dealer S & B Commercials to fulfil its ‘Service-driven healthcare logistics’ pledge.
Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the latest additions to its fleet are three Sprinter 316cdi Long chassis cabs with smooth and responsive 163 hp engines, and aerodynamic ‘Eco Box’ Luton bodywork built in Manchester by Alloy Bodies. The first of these eye-catching vehicles was on static display at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire for this year’s Mercedes-Benz VanExperience Live event.
The new arrivals have lined up alongside the operator’s 12 other Sprinters – three more Lutons and nine panel vans – and six French-built vehicles, which are older, and will be replaced with new Mercedes-Benz vans at the first opportunity
Fast-growing RH Logistics transports a wide variety of equipment including ultrasound systems, monitors, transducers, ventilators and incubators, as well as offering full asset management and storage solutions – its 25,000 sq ft warehouse can accommodate more than 600 pallets.
The company was formed in 2003 by Managing Director Richard Hindle, who has been involved in the business of ultrasound transportation since he was 18. He recalled: “We bought our first Mercedes-Benz van in 2006 but, because I was looking solely at ‘up front’ cost rather than also factoring in the projected longevity of the vehicle, we then moved to another manufacturer. It was a decision I came to regret, as we learned that where vans are concerned, ‘You buy cheap, you buy twice’.”
Mr Hindle continued: “We’ve tried various other makes of van and found that we get two-and-a-half, maybe three years’ use out of them, then they die. Whereas after the same period a Sprinter is still fresh and good to go again.”
Having resolved to return to Mercedes-Benz, RH Logistics purchased Sprinter panel vans from S & B Commercials in 2013, then commissioned its first Lutons a couple of years later. “We’ll definitely be sticking to Mercedes-Benz now, and that’s down to the service as well as the quality of the product,” Mr Hindle confirmed.
“The manufacturer’s 24-hour back-up is fantastic. Incidents with our Sprinters have been rare but when they have occurred, and it might have been something as minor as a faulty sensor, a technician has invariably been on the scene within an hour, resolved the problem quickly and sent us on our way. By contrast, our experience with other makes of van is that whatever the cause of the breakdown, they’ll always tow you back to a garage and then take a week to fix it.”
RH Logistics employs its own, approved mechanic, who maintains its Mercedes-Benz vehicles overnight with technical support and timely deliveries of parts and lubricants from S & B Commercials. “We know the Dealer’s team now, and they’re brilliant,” said Mr Hindle.
He added: “Our vehicles typically cover 150,000 miles a year and are impressively fuel-efficient – the latest ‘Eco Box’ vehicles are returning 32 mpg, which is an excellent figure. Given the profiles of some of our clients, brand image is also very important to us, and here, too, our Sprinters give us an edge. Even after three years on the road they still look new, while there is a definite perception that if you’re running a Mercedes-Benz then you must be a professional, reputable company.”