Les Smith Haulage’s first Mercedes-Benz trucks for six years have won enthusiastic driver feedback while also delivering impressive fuel returns trumped only by “amazing” reductions in AdBlue consumption.
The Swindon-based operator acquired its five new vehicles from the local branch of Dealer Group Rygor. Two are Actros 2545 BigSpace tractor units, the remaining three being 18-tonne Antos models with StreamSpace cabs and curtainside bodies by Burnell & Son, of Bristol.
Family-owned Les Smith has been trading for more than 40 years and provides haulage, distribution and storage services – it owns 30,000 sq ft of secure warehousing – throughout mainland UK. Founder Les Smith passed away last year and the business is run today by his three sons, Tony, Nick and Danny.
Les Smith enjoys a relationship with Rygor that goes back more than a quarter of a century. Its latest order has allowed it to meet increased customer demand – while two of the new arrivals have replaced trucks which have been stood down, the other three are additions to a fleet that now stands at 36 vehicles.
Although Les Smith offers short- and long-term contract solutions, its new Mercedes-Benz trucks are on general duties. Nick Smith, who has specific responsibility for the fleet, said: “Our latest Mercedes-Benz trucks are already right up there with the best in terms of diesel consumption, with the Euro VI Actros the best part of a mile per gallon ahead of its Euro V predecessor. This is encouraging, as they’re still bedding in so there’s potential for further improvement as they loosen up.
“What’s more obvious, though, is the amazing reduction in AdBlue usage that we’re seeing,” continued Nick Smith. “Our tractor units are averaging 1,000 miles a week and we’re getting three weeks between fills from the Actros – that’s a massive improvement on our other, non-Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which are consuming AdBlue at three times this rate, so need refilling on a weekly basis.
“The drivers love their new trucks too,” he said. “It’s not only about driveability – the smoothness of the engines and Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions – or the comfortable, spacious and well laid out cabs. But it’s also about a general feeling of all-round quality, as demonstrated for example by the satisfying way in which the doors open and close. The Mercedes-Benz product is undeniably superior from a driver’s perspective.”
As previously, Les Smith is relying on Rygor to inspect and service its latest Actros and Antos models under Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts. “We’ve been with the Dealer since 1991 and they’re very good,” reported Tony Smith.
“If ever we have a problem we know we can rely on the team at Rygor, Swindon, to get the vehicle into the workshop and turned around as quickly as possible.”
He added: “We’re delighted with our new trucks. The deal was competitively priced and our order was handled very professionally.”
Truck sales executive Marcus Cahalin commented: “Rygor’s commitment to Setting Standards and dedication to vehicle uptime means we’re ideally placed to supply the finest vehicles on terms that suit the operator, then back them up with industry-leading after sales support. We’re delighted to be supplying vehicles once again to Les Smith Haulage and look forward to building on what is already a very strong relationship.”