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Turners tries Mercedes-Benz tractors

Newmarket, Suffolk, UK: Temperature-controlled transport provider Turners has taken the first deliveries from a batch of 30 premium specification Actros 2544 MegaSpace tractor units.

East Anglian dealer Orwell Truck & Van supplied the trucks which, like Turners’ previous Actros units, have the 440hp BlueTec engine but unlike the previous order with flat-floored MegaSpace cabs the latest acquisitions have long distance cab specification.

The company’s first Actros was a ‘seed’ vehicle, purchased in 2010.  Its performance saw six more ordered.  By the end of January, when the last of its new MegaSpace units enters service, Turners will be operating 55 Actros in its 1,000-vehicle fleet with almost a third on temperature-controlled work.

Turners’ latest Actros units are being assigned to refrigerated operations and, like the Long Distance models that preceded them, are the subject of six-year Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance contracts.

Turners is recording average fuel returns of 9.6mpg.  Paul Day, managing director said: “Today’s market is brutal compared to what we’re used to: there’s less work about, and margins are under greater pressure than ever before.  Against such a tough economic backdrop, cost control is paramount.

“The Mercedes-Benz Actros is proving extremely cost-effective to operate.  Its fuel returns are right up there with the very best, while it has also proved exceptionally reliable.”

Turners is recording average fuel returns of 9.6mpg on its Actros 2544 MegaSpace tractors

Turners’ recent orders for Actros represent a major breakthrough for Mercedes-Benz UK and Orwell Truck & Van, which have been jointly striving to gain a foothold in the operator’s fleet for years.  “Our policy has been to focus on a limited number of brands and then to develop long-term relationships,” Day says.

“Historically, Mercedes-Benz have not been represented on our fleet, so it was very hard for them to break in.  The fact that they’ve now done so, and very quickly established themselves as one of our main suppliers, is therefore a considerable achievement.”

Explaining the decision to move up to the MegaSpace cab, Day says: “We believe the higher resale values will cover the extra outlay.  Also, we like to keep our drivers happy and while the response to the Long Distance cab has been very positive, we know they’re going to be delighted with the MegaSpace version.”