Chiltern Cold Storage boss Paul Jackson treated himself to a very special Mercedes-Benz truck to mark his company’s 25th anniversary – and promptly took it to Spain to collect a load of fruit and salads.
The 1,300-mile drive back from south of Valencia gave Mr Jackson a perfect opportunity to put the limited edition Actros1 tractor unit through its paces. His verdict: “Stunning! A fantastic looking truck which is exceptionally comfortable and offers huge reserves of power, yet still returned a very acceptable 9 mpg.”
One of only 100 Actros1 models which are being built, the latest addition to the Peterborough-based operator’s fleet was supplied by East Anglia Dealer Orwell Truck & Van. It is based on the 6×2 Actros chassis with range-topping GigaSpace cab, and powered by a mighty 460 kW (625 hp) 15.6-litre, straight-six engine.
Thanks to a comprehensive array of optional technology, comfort features and visual enhancements, Actros1 elevates driver appeal to a new level. It comes in black or silver/black colour schemes, both with distinctive green highlights. However, to mark his company’s Silver Anniversary Mr Jackson chose an all-silver finish with additional chassis infills in a matching shade of green, by SB Components, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
The subject of a Mercedes-Benz Financial Services contract hire agreement, Chiltern Cold Storage’s truck is also fitted with additional Kelsa light bars, top and bottom, and to its high interior specification the operator has added a 20-inch TV screen and a coffee maker.
The Actros1 has been allocated to long-serving driver Wojciech Pospiech. It pulls a new SOR refrigerated semi-trailer which wears a special livery charting a succession of milestones in the development of the business, and is making regular runs to and from the Italian cities of Naples and Milan.
Founded by Mr Jackson as Chiltern Cold Store in 1993, the operator is now a leading provider of bespoke refrigerated transport, pharmaceutical & healthcare logistics services across the UK and Europe, and last year turned over £28 million. It operates a temperature-controlled fleet of 60 trucks, the majority of them tractor units.
“The Actros1 is a lot more powerful than the vehicles I usually buy,” he said. “But its launch coincided nicely with our own anniversary and I’ve maintained a great relationship over the years with Orwell Truck & Van, so I decided to go for it.
“Whenever I buy a new piece of equipment I like to try it for myself and this truck certainly lived up to its billing on the run back from Spain, as it’s a real pleasure to drive. It performed brilliantly as I came back through the Pyrenees, while some of the safety features are particularly impressive.”
Actros1 showcases Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ technological leadership. As well as a Safety Pack that includes the ground-breaking Active Brake Assist 4 and Proximity Control Assist systems, plus a driver’s airbag, it is equipped with a high-performance engine brake and tyre pressure monitor.
Fuel efficiency is enhanced by the well-proven Predictive Powertrain Control system and Fleetboard telematics hardware, and the vehicle comes with revolutionary Mercedes-Benz Uptime maintenance technology. Thanks to an array of sensors which monitor the condition of the vehicle constantly, the customer’s allocated Dealer knows precisely what is required before the truck reaches the workshop. The Dealer can then order parts in advance, while allocating sufficient time during a single visit to complete all tasks.
Inside, the luxurious Style Line interior design is complemented by a leather-trimmed steering wheel and Comfort leather massage seats for driver and co-driver, an uprated multimedia entertainment system and a Premium Comfort mattress. Practical features such as automatic climate control, an electric sunroof and sunblind, a microwave and pull-out refrigerator, and rear overhead lockers also contribute to the ‘feel-good factor’ for drivers.
Externally, the specification includes painted side guards and catwalks, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels with painted hubs, and roof-mounted air horns. Bi-xenon headlamps, LED tail lights and an illuminated grille-mounted star complete the striking look.