So striking are its new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units that Felixstowe-based Coastal Global Services has noticed a pronounced upturn in applications from drivers since it set them on the road.
Parent company Coastal commissioned the five fuel-efficient trucks to coincide with its 10th anniversary, and they wear an eye-catching livery that features logos highlighting the milestone.
Supplied by Ipswich Dealer Orwell Truck & Van, the Actros 2545s have flat-floored StreamSpace cabs with fridges. Their wind-cheating lines are further enhanced by roof-mounted wind deflectors and collars by Hatcher Components, of Framlingham, while to eke the maximum distance from every litre of fuel they are also equipped with Mercedes-Benz Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) systems.
Coastal Global Logistics (CGL) operates from headquarters just outside the UK’s busiest container port, and specialises in imports and exports worldwide. It works with some of the world’s largest ocean freight carriers, and is recognised as a market leader within the waste export market.
Coastal Global Services (CGS), meanwhile, was formed just three years ago to support CGL clients – in addition to container transport, it undertakes general UK haulage and palletised distribution in curtainside trailers.
Powered by state-of-the-art, 330 kw (450 hp) straight-six engines that drive through Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions, Coastal Global’s first Mercedes-Benz trucks have replaced vehicles by three other manufacturers.
Director Peter Vincent enthused:
“These new units take us to another level. The Actros is a very striking vehicle and with their new graphics and anniversary logos ours look awesome; you certainly can’t miss them!”
CGL has signed-up to CharterWay contract hire agreements from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Each Actros will cover some 120,000 km per year, with inspections and servicing carried out by Orwell Truck & Van.
“These are still early days but we’re developing a very good relationship with Orwell,” confirmed Mr Vincent. “They’re very easy to work with at all levels – I was at school with one of the guys on the Service desk – and both parties were equally happy with the deal that we struck.”
Mr Vincent’s fellow Director Stuart Mail manages the CGS fleet, which also includes five Swedish-built tractors. He revealed:
“We’ve not had the Actros for very long but we’re definitely getting more interest now from good, highly professional drivers who have seen them on the road and want to join our organisation.”
He continued: “I’m really happy with these vehicles. The Actros is exceptionally well appointed and laid out, and very comfortable too. It’s a real pleasure to drive, so naturally our drivers are over the moon.”
After just five weeks in service the new trucks were already recording mpg returns in the high nines. “That’s excellent already but they’re still bedding in, so we confidently expect this figure to improve over the weeks to come,” added Mr Mail.
Their Predictive Powertrain Control systems are certainly contributing to the vehicles’ fuel-efficiency. PPC is an innovative cruise control that employs digital 3D mapping and GPS data to scan the road ahead. Armed with this information it manages gear changes and vehicle speed, making full use of the truck’s EcoRoll function to restrict diesel consumption and CO2 emissions.
By also applying engine braking at every opportunity the system reduces component wear and tear, while drivers are less stressed and safer because it leaves them free to concentrate fully on the road ahead. Tests have shown that PPC can deliver savings of 5%, although many UK operators have reported much higher gains. The system is available as an option on new Actros and can now also be retro-fitted to vehicles already on the road.