Boughey Distribution is replacing its 100 strong fleet of trucks with Mercedes-Benz Actros. The company’s almost £8 million investment follows an innovative 16 week driving trial, including competitive ‘shoot-outs’ with four different manufacturers. Boughey operates more than 200 trailers and manages 900,000 sq. ft. of warehousing from its headquarters in Cheshire. Also a member of the Palletline network, the firm works for some of the UK’s largest retailers in the ambient grocery sector.
The four manufacturers who took part in the comprehensive Boughey trial were MAN, Volvo, DAF and Mercedes. Each manufacturer supplied the vehicle model they considered to be the best specification for Boughey’s needs, equipped with telematics. Over four months, the Boughey drivers each drove all four rival trucks on a variety of routes and the results were carefully adjusted to take into account varying weather, payload and terrain, all of which have a significant impact on fuel efficiency and engine performance. The four vehicles also took part in two ‘shoot-outs’ over predetermined motorway routes chosen to test performance rigorously. The four manufacturers each provided a driver trainer who drove first providing tips and advice, before the Boughey driver took over for the second leg.
At the end of the trials, Mercedes came first in terms of overall fuel efficiency and it also scored top marks for consistency by showing the least variation between the different drivers. However, Boughey Group Fleet Engineer, Paul Brimelow, confirms that there was far more to this major purchasing decision than just running costs.
Paul explains, “While value for money and whole-life cost were clearly important considerations, it was Mercedes’ great support package that sealed the deal for us. In terms of driver training provision, technician training, diagnostic equipment and parts stock, as well as a dedicated parts person/administrator based on-site, we are happy that we have picked the clear, most committed winner. What’s more, our drivers were really positive about the Actros and there’s no doubt that the trucks look great too.”
So far, Boughey has taken delivery of 53 Mercedes Actros 2545 units with BigSpace cabs. The remaining 47 will have arrived by the end of October 2017.
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