Date: 9 March 2015

Mercedes-Benz milestone

Suffolk haulier Bacton Transport has marked 10 years of trading with its local Mercedes-Benz Dealer by investing in another eight new Actros tractor units, all of which represent extensions to its fleet.

Fuel-efficient trucks, enthusiastic driver feedback and outstanding after sales support from Orwell Truck & Van are the cornerstones on which the relationship has been built over the last decade.

The latest arrivals are all Actros 2545 models with aerodynamic StreamSpace cabs, and are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. 

They have lined up alongside eight other tractor units from the current Actros generation, five of which were among the first to enter service in the UK, having been on the road since the autumn of 2012, as well as four MegaSpace units from the previous Actros range.

Euro VI

A member of the Road Haulage Association and of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Bacton Transport is based in Stowmarket and provides a comprehensive range of palletised freight and contract distribution services throughout the UK and Ireland. Underlining its commitment to safety, it has achieved Silver accreditation from Transport for London’s Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The company’s roots go back to the 1950s, when TW Gooderham began transporting cereals and grains from farms to markets in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. Today, it is run by his grandsons, Managing Director Charles Downie and Director Edward Downie, who succeeded their father James on his retirement.

Bacton Transport’s first Euro VI trucks are powered by state-of-the-art 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines which drive through smooth Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. In a ‘first’ for the operator, they are also equipped with optional Predictive Powertrain Control systems – PPC is a clever cruise control that employs 3D GPS mapping to read three kilometres of topography ahead then responds by controlling speed, braking and the transmission to maximise fuel efficiency. Mercedes-Benz says the system can cut fuel costs by up to 5%, though some operators have reported significantly higher savings.

PPC Savings

The introduction of Bacton Transport’s new trucks coincided with the delivery by SDC of six new curtainsided semi-trailers with tail-lifts for horticultural work; another six trailers are due from Montracon in April.

Edward Downie said: “We commissioned our first Actros in 2004 and the fuel efficiency and driver acceptance were both very good from the outset. The new-shape Actros have performed particularly well in terms of fuel efficiency, regularly returning over 10 mpg. We look forward to seeing by how much the PPC systems can improve on figures which are already excellent.”

He continued: “The CharterWay contract hire packages are competitively priced and allow us to budget with accuracy, while Orwell Truck & Van’s back-up is outstanding. Its workshops are highly efficient so that routine inspections and servicing are carried out with the minimum of fuss, and we have a 100% MoT test pass rate. Experience has also shown that if we need anything doing at short notice, they’ll bend over backwards to accommodate us.”

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