Mercedes-Benz Actros Goes Global
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 14:32
Northampton-based Global Road Runners treated itself to the perfect fifth birthday present in the shape of five, fuel-efficient tractor units from Mercedes-Benz Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.
The operator promises customers ‘The Ultimate Freight Service’ and takes pride in a business philosophy based on “old-fashioned values such as honesty, trust and cost-effectiveness”.
The subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, its new trucks are all Actros 2545 models with aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs and state-of-the-art straight-six engines which transmit their 330 kW (450 hp) outputs via Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated gearboxes.
Global Road Runners relies on a dozen tractor units and four 7.5-tonners, as well as a fleet of vans, to provide same, next and any day services. The company offers speedy, round-the-clock responses, and handles anything from a single parcel, to a pallet or a full load.
Since its foundation in 2011 Global Road Runners has leased all of its trucks from a high-profile vehicle rental specialist. However, as founder and Contracts Manager Adam Barnell confirmed: “Business growth prompted us to decide that sourcing our vehicles from a main Dealer, rather than a third-party provider, is now the best way to go.”
He continued: “The Actros is widely recognised as the most economical truck on the market right now, and this reputation has certainly been borne out by our own experience with the two GigaSpace cab units we are still leasing from our previous supplier.
Fully-freighted at 44 tonnes gcw for most of the time, the Actros pull new Cartwright curtainside trailers and are already delivering on Intercounty’s fuel efficiency promise, returning between 10.5 and 11 mpg.
Key to this impressive early performance has been the programme of instruction delivered by Intercounty driver-trainer Noel Marno. “He’s been superb,” said Mr Barnell. “Noel has a great depth of knowledge and is very accomplished when it comes to explaining how to get the very best from the engine and gearbox. Without exception the lads have all said it was well worth listening to him.”
Mr Barnell, himself a driver for 17 years, said Global Roadrunners was now looking to further improve its returns by making full use of the trucks’ Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics hardware. The system measures driving style against a range of criteria that impact directly on fuel consumption, emissions and safety, before calculating a driver grading which, uniquely, incorporates a ‘degree of difficulty’ weighting based on the nature of the assignment.
Targeted training can then be delivered to raise standards. The result, invariably, is a significant improvement in mpg returns, as well as reductions in vehicle accidents, staff absences and insurance costs, through the encouragement of less stressful, and therefore safer, behaviour at the wheel.
He added: “Our Actros drivers are away all week so we specified their new trucks with fridges and they couldn’t be happier. Intercounty, meanwhile, provides great after sales support. Customer Service Advisor Hannah Lawton looks after the service sheets while Customer Service Manager Sue Wingrove has sorted a plan which gets one truck into the workshop each week. The Dealer’s team are really sharp and helpful – I feel entirely comfortable in their hands.”