Wincanton has praised the performance of its first, directly commissioned truck mixers, 25 Mercedes-Benz Arocs eight-wheelers which have just completed a highly successful year in service.
“They’ve proved every bit as reliable and cost-effective to operate as we’d hoped, while driver feedback has also been resoundingly positive,” confirmed Ranald Forbes, Director of Construction at Wincanton. “In short, the 8x4 Arocs is perfectly suited to the role.”
In 2016 the largest British logistics company became the first 3PL provider to enter the ready-mixed concrete supply chain. Having identified significant potential for growth in the sector, it then drew up a detailed specification for additional mixers to be based on 32-tonne Arocs chassis which it ordered from established supplier Orwell Truck & Van, the Mercedes-Benz Dealer for East Anglia.
Purpose-designed for construction-related applications, the muscular Arocs is available as a rigid, drawbar prime mover or tractor unit, in a variety of configurations and with on- or off-road frame – as N3 variants designed primarily for on road use, Wincanton’s trucks are fitted with front and rear underrun protection.
All are Arocs 3240 LB (mixer) models with air suspended rear axles, which allow the chassis to be lowered when necessary to facilitate loading in batching plants, and advanced, 290 kW (400 hp) six-cylinder engines that drive through 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions.
As drivers can be working away from base for days at a time the Arocs have air-conditioned L- ClassicSpace sleeper cabs with optional comfort features including fridges and microwave ovens. Their 8m3 Cifa drums, meanwhile, were fitted by the Italian manufacturer’s UK agent Wilcox Commercial Vehicles at its factory in Peterborough.
Safety is a key focus for Wincanton and in addition to a comprehensive Mercedes-Benz specification that includes the Active Brake Assist system, the Arocs are equipped with recordable cameras, side and corner sensors, and indicators that issue verbal warnings when the vehicle is turning left, all of which are by Brigade Electronics. Forward-facing MiX Telematics cameras also provide live feeds over the Internet.
Following an expansion earlier this year of the relationship between the two companies, which also entailed the employment of 16 new drivers, 21 of Wincanton’s Mercedes-Benz mixers are now working on behalf of Aggregate Industries.
Ranald Forbes said Wincanton was offering customers in the construction industry access to some of the most sophisticated safety and performance technologies on the market.
“These vehicles, and our Ready-mix offering, were designed specifically with industry challenges in mind, and meet the needs of the Aggregate Industries business and drivers alike.
“Not only do our Mercedes-Benz Arocs meet the requirements of our Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) accreditation, but their top-notch safety, reliability and performance features assist us in attracting the best drivers, to the ultimate benefit of our customers.”
Wincanton envisages eight-year lives for its Arocs mixers and opted for the N3 specification to reflect the fact that N3G variants which do not have underrun protection may be banned from many towns and cities in the relatively near future.
The company enjoys partnerships with customers across all business sectors, and runs a fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles, many of which wear Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars, from 200 locations across the UK and Ireland. Wincanton takes pride in offering a comprehensive portfolio of services which are both flexible and scalable – it can handle anything from a single container to the provision of a complete supply chain solution.