Europe’s largest provider of express palletised freight services has placed a breakthrough order for a new fleet of 67 Mercedes-Benz trucks. The majority of Palletways’ Actros, Antos and Atego are already in service, with the remainder due to arrive in the coming weeks. The 28 tractor units and all but the smallest dozen of the 39 rigid vehicles are equipped with optional Safety Packs which include state-of-the-art Active Brake Assist 4 and Proximity Control Assist technology. Palletways has also specified fuel-saving Predictive Powertrain Control systems. Supplied by Dealer S & B Commercials, its new trucks are the subject of a contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. They are being allocated to various Palletways owned depots, including those in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Oxford, with inspections and servicing carried out by the most conveniently located members of the manufacturer’s Dealer Network.
Most of the tractors are Actros 2543 StreamSpace models with advanced, 10.7-litre straight-six engines producing 315 kW (428 hp). The line-up also includes four Actros 2548 BigSpace units with 350 kW (476 hp), 12.8-litre powerplants. All of the rigids have ClassicSpace cabs and curtainside bodywork by Lawrence David, of Peterborough, with 18-tonners forming the backbone of the fleet. In addition to the 21 Antos 1824s, Palletways has ordered six 26-tonne Antos 2530s, eight 15-tonne Atego 1528s and a quartet of 7.5-tonne Atego 816s.
Palletways owned operations depot managers and other senior representatives within the business were welcomed to Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ headquarters in Milton Keynes recently, where the manufacturer delivered a presentation on its brand and products. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is also delivering a programme of driver familiarisation – modules can contribute to the 35 hours of periodic training which individuals must undertake every five years to retain their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC).
Palletways owned operations traditionally spot-hired a substantial number of its vehicle but has taken a strategic decision to increase the proportion of its fleet which is the subject of longer-term arrangements. Director of Owned Operations Zac Brown explained: “Palletways owned depots have been operating Mercedes-Benz vehicles on a rental basis for a number of years, and this experience has proved entirely positive. We are now investing in premium-quality products which offer exceptional reliability and fuel-efficiency, and have been very well received by our drivers. “By specifying the latest fuel-saving technology we are demonstrating our commitment not only to operational efficiency, but also to the environment, through the reduction in emissions that we expect to achieve. Meanwhile, hugely impressive systems such as Active Brake Assist 4, with its ground-breaking pedestrian recognition capability, underline our unstinting focus on safety.”
Mr Brown added: “These are still early days, of course, but we are very encouraged by the new partnership we have forged with Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK and S & B Commercials; certainly, both have done everything we could have asked of them. We now look forward to benefiting over the months and years to come, from the customer-focused back-up of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network.”
Palletways was founded in 1994 and operates today through more than 400 independent depots and 19 hubs across 20 countries. Its growing pallet delivery network delivers up to 40,000 pallets every day. With the help of its network members, the company combines resources and connections to ensure goods are delivered quickly and efficiently, leaving customers to focus on managing and growing their businesses.