Samworth Brothers take on 48 new Mercedes-Benz Actros

Temperature-controlled distribution specialist Samworth Brothers has taken delivery of 48 new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units, having been impressed with the fuel efficient and uptime of the 18 units it bought a year ago.

The latest additions to the Leicester-based fleet are all from the new-generation Actros range and arrived, like their predecessors, via East Midlands dealer Mertrux Truck & Van.

Most are Actros 2545 models with flat-floored StreamSpace cabs and 12.8-litre in-line six-cylinder engines which produce 450hp. But 10 are Actros 2546 variants with 460hp 10.7-litre ‘straight sixes’. They have 2.3m StreamSpace cabs, the narrower of the two widths available, and 320mm engine tunnels.

All feature MirrorCam, which replaces conventional mirrors and represents a major safety advance, while also offering improvements in fuel economy due to the streamlined profile of the camera housings. They also include the Multimedia Cockpit and enhanced versions of the Active Brake Assist and Predictive Powertrain Control systems.

The new trucks line-up alongside the 18 Actros 2545 StreamSpace units that have impressed since they entered service with Samworth Brothers in December 2018.

Samworth Brothers operates more than 120 trucks, as well as bout 230 semi-trailers of various configurations – it also supplements the fleet with rental vehicles. The bigger, flat-floored units are on nationwide distribution work, much of which entails pulling double-deck trailers. The smaller models are assigned to more local duties.

“We make a lot of collections from production facilities in and Leicestershire,” said Samworth Brothers operations director Paul Marrow. “The fact that the 10.7-litre Actros are so much more compact, and offer better low-down visibility, makes life easier for drivers. These trucks are interchangeable between shunting and distribution activity, though, which means we have the flexibility we need within the fleet.”

Marrow added that the company has good relationships with Mertrux’s fleet truck sales manager Bob Holt and his colleagues, and with Mercedes-Benz’s strategic account manager Matt Lee. “Mertrux are very supportive, while we’ve felt from the outset that Mercedes-Benz really wanted our business and had a fantastic vehicle which could meet our high expectations,” he said. “So it’s proved.”

The operator maintains its trucks in-house but relies on Mertrux for technical assistance and management of parts stock. “The feedback I get from my vehicle maintenance and transport managers is really positive,” continued Marrow. “In the 12 months we’ve been running them our first clutch of Actros have proved totally reliable and haven’t spent anything like as much time in the workshop as other vehicles we run. The dealer’s response times, meanwhile, irrespective of whether the query relates to service or parts, are always very good.

“We spend a lot on fuel, so economy has obviously been a huge factor in our decision-making process. We’re getting a better mpg performance from our first Actros than we do from other, comparable vehicles, and I’m very excited about the additional benefits in terms of further reductions in diesel consumption which the new models offer.”

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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