In 2015 stone and aggregates specialist GS Hughes purchased its first Mercedes-Benz trucks for more than 15 years. Today, all 42 of its vehicles wear three-pointed stars.
The Lincolnshire-based operator has just completed the transformation of its fleet by commissioning another 20 Arocs eight-wheelers. Supplied by East Anglia Dealer Orwell Truck & Van, they are fitted with steel Taperlite tipping bodies by Boweld, and Edbro front-end rams.
Most of the new trucks are 3240 models with advanced, 10.7-litre, 290 kW (394 hp) straight-six engines, which drive through smooth Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions. The only exception is a 3246 model with more powerful, 335 kW (456 hp) variant, which has been allocated to driver Ken Wilkinson as a reward for his 27 years of loyal service.
GS Hughes runs quarries in Lincoln and Grantham, operates waste washing facilities for recycling sand and gravel, and provides muckaway services to construction and civil engineering contractors.
Its trucks are based at a purpose-built site on the outskirts of the village of Eagle, near Lincoln, which offers direct access to the main A46. The company moved to these new premises earlier this year – they offer greater scope for expansion than its previous home nearby, while also minimising the need for its trucks to use the narrow village centre streets.
“In the three years since we acquired our first dozen Mercedes-Benz Arocs, this model has proved to be very popular with our drivers and extremely well suited to our kind of work,” confirmed Transport Manager John Barker.
“It’s a very thoughtfully designed vehicle. The impressive ground clearance and the way that damage-prone items are positioned out of harm’s way, help to ensure that this truck is completely at home in quarries and on construction sites.”
He continued: “The Arocs have proved economical and cost-effective to operate, too. Our work is so varied that comparing one vehicle’s mpg performance with another’s is difficult. However, the Mercedes-Benz trucks have been significantly more frugal from the outset than those by other manufacturers which they replaced. We’ve also suffered very little, if any, unplanned downtime.”
GS Hughes’ latest Arocs are the subject of a flexible, low-cost Agility funding agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “The package is competitively priced and, just as importantly, allows us to choose from a range of options at the end of the term,” observed Mr Barker.
He added: “Orwell Truck & Van’s service has also been excellent. We maintain the vehicles in our own workshop but the Dealer supports us with regular deliveries of GenuineParts, which are keenly priced compared to the competition.”
Purpose-designed for construction and associated applications, the muscular Mercedes-Benz Arocs range comprises rigid vehicles with two, three and four axles, any number of which can be driven, and tractor units. The comprehensive, six-cylinder engine line-up extends from a 7.7-litre unit in 175 kW (238 hp) trim, to one with a 15.6-litre displacement and 460 kW (625 hp) output.