Spud firm’s ve­hi­cles are just s-mash-ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness Daily - By JOHN KRALEVICH

POTATO haulier AB Texel UK has har­vested a bumper crop of its own in the shape of five new Mercedes-benz trac­tor units.

All are premium spec­i­fi­ca­tion Ac­tros 2446 Long Dis­tance mod­els with small-wheeled (17.5in) mid-lift axles that of­fer a weight sav­ing of about 250kg com­pared to the stan­dard, 22.5in ver­sion, and 550-litre fuel tanks in place of the usual 450litre items.

The Peter­bor­ough-based com­pany runs 28 trac­tor units, all of which work at 44 tonnes gvw and are equipped with the lat­est real-time track­ing, man­age­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, al­low­ing cus­tomers to ben­e­fit from pre­cise up­dates on de­liv­ery sched­ules. This core fleet is sup­ple­mented with rented ve­hi­cles.

Its new Ac­tros are the sub­ject of a MercedesBenz Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices con­tract hire ar­range­ment and ar­rived via city dealer In­ter­county Truck & Van, based in Yax­ley, near Peter­bor­ough, which is also main­tain­ing them.

They are the only ve­hi­cles on the AB Texel fleet to wear three-pointed stars. How­ever, the op­er­a­tor re­cently stood down a batch of MercedesBenz Ax­ors that had reached the end of their five-year lives, and its Dutch par­ent op­er­ates more than 200 trac­tors by the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer.

“The Ac­tros came highly rec­om­mended by our col­leagues in The Nether­lands,” said man­ag­ing di­rec­tor David Eady.

“Ini­tial im­pres­sions of its com­fort and drive­abil­ity are ex­tremely pos­i­tive and the driv­ers are cer­tainly happy, while the small mid-lifts have given us a very use­ful in­crease in pay­load. The trucks are still bed­ding in, of course, but we’re also en­cour­aged by the early mpg re­turns.”

AB Texel UK trans­ports a wide va­ri­ety of agri­cul­tural and other prod­ucts, but pota­toes ac­count for most of its work – it trans­ports some 400,000 tonnes a year. While its trucks do ven­ture on to the Con­ti­nent, it is es­sen­tially a do­mes­tic op­er­a­tion, col­lect­ing pro­duce from grow­ers

and de­liv­er­ing it to the fac­to­ries, pro­cess­ing plants and stor­age fa­cil­i­ties of blue chip food com­pa­nies.

The Ac­tros pull bulk trail­ers with con­veyor belts in the floors – the trailer is sim­ply un­hitched then plugged into the cus­tomer’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply so that un­load­ing can take place, while the truck re­turns with one that has pre­vi­ously been emp­tied.

AB Texel UK will now be mon­i­tor­ing the per­for­mance of its new Mercedes-benz units to see how they stack up against its other ve­hi­cles.

“We’re look­ing for a long-term re­la­tion­ship with a sup­plier who will work with us as part of a team, and have high hopes for these Ac­tros and our new part­ner­ship with In­ter­county Truck & Van,” added Mr Eady.

“It took us prob­a­bly seven months to de­cide what we were go­ing to do ve­hi­cle-wise but the dealer, and par­tic­u­larly its truck sales ex­ec­u­tive Paul Hind, were very good – they didn’t has­sle us but did ex­actly what we wanted, when we wanted it done.”

AB Texel has been in busi­ness since 1925 and is now con­sid­ered to be the largest and most suc­cess­ful potato trans­port spe­cial­ist in Europe.

For more de­tails, visit www. ab­texel.co.uk homes could even­tu­ally be con­structed over 15 years in 10 phases.

The Oakham North de­vel­op­ment is lo­cated on land be­tween the Oakham by­pass and Bar­leythorpe Road in Oakham.

rec­om­mended: The Mercedes-benz Ac­tros 2446.

hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence: Mike Ram­say, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of DMC Soft­ware, col­lects the Sage Cir­cle of Ex­cel­lence Award from Brendon Flat­tery, CEO of Sage (UK).

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