The prospect of efficient, round-the-clock back-up was instrumental in convincing long-serving construction dealer Holt JCB to set its own aftersales team on the road in a new fleet of more than 30 Mercedes-Benz vans.
The front-wheel drive Sprinters also offer an additional 100 kg of payload allowance compared to the vehicles they have replaced, and came equipped as standard with Mercedes PRO connect fleet management technology.
Family-owned Holt JCB has sold and supported the world-leading manufacturer’s range of construction and industrial machinery for more than 40 years. It operates from a network of six depots throughout the South West and South Wales.
The subject of a contract hire agreement with established provider Days Fleet, Holt JCB’s new vans were supplied by the Corporate Sales team at the Mercedes-Benz Van Centre Exeter. As H1 L1 variants, the Sprinter 314 CDIs have standard-height roofs and short bodies which offer 1,387 kg carrying capacities. Their 2.1-litre turbodiesel engines produce 143 hp and return 35.8 mpg (combined cycle).
Equipment operators benefit from Holt JCB’s planned maintenance support, while the dealer commits to respond to urgent requests for assistance within four hours. However, as General Manager – Aftermarket Mark Sydenham confirmed: “If a machine’s down we’ll move heaven and earth to get there, so will often reach the site in half that time.”
Painted, ply-lined and fitted with non-slip flooring at the Mercedes-Benz factory, the new vans are kitted out as mobile workshops, complete with secure storage for tooling and spare parts, workbenches and washing facilities. They are assigned to Holt JCB’s Field Service Engineers, Field Service Technicians and Master Technicians.
The comprehensive inventory of on-board equipment includes 3,000-watt inverters which negate the need for generators and are used by technicians when recharging air-conditioning systems, as well as for charging power tools, laptops and other items.
Mr Sydenham continued: “We specialise in heavy plant machinery, so a lot of the parts we carry are heavy too. The 100 kg of payload we’ve gained by switching to Mercedes-Benz is therefore proving very useful.
“Front-line colleagues also appreciate the relatively square, practical dimensions of the Sprinter’s cargo area. Our previous service vans had a mid-height ‘waistline’ which meant that the walk-through area between the racking was quite narrow. That ‘alley’ is signifcantly wider in the new vans, and as a result they’re easier to move about and work in.”
The new vans are now working from all of Holt JCB’s branches, and are being maintained at the most coveniently located Mercedes-Benz workshops. Key to the operator’s decision to change vehicle brands, were the Sprinter’s unrivalled reputation for reliability and durability, and Mercedes-Benz Vans’ industry-leading commitment to keep its customers’ businesses moving.
All vehicles supplied through the manufacturer’s official Retail network benefit from three-year, unlimited mileage warranties, and MobiloVan cover, which includes free round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance, 365 days a year. As commercial vehicle specialists its Dealers also appreciate the fundamental importance of keeping vans on the road and earning, while many workshops help to maximise uptime by offering extended opening hours.
“We’re very happy with the service we receive from Days Fleet, which is why it has retained our business,” said Mr Sydenham. “I particularly like the fact that I know who I’m dealing with, and that if an issue arises there’s always someone on the end of the phone who will deal with it.
“However, the aftersales back-up on our previous vans fell frustratingly short of what we expect. If our vehicles aren’t available for work we can’t do our jobs, so this caused us some major headaches. I’m very optimistic that by moving to Mercedes-Benz we’ve now put all of that behind us.”
The third-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a technological tour-de-force, thanks to its reassuring armoury of active safety features and 4G Internet connectivity.
Days Fleet is part of the Swansea-based Days Motor Group, and one of the UK’s leading independent providers of vehicle funding, leasing and management services to private and public sector fleets. Its Business Development Manager Ashley Davies commented: “We worked very closely with the Mercedes-Benz team to come up with the right package for Holt JCB, and are delighted, once again, to be supporting this very prestigious client.”