Sixth sense pays off for Mercedes-Benz operator Murray Hogg.

An early switch to Euro VI trucks by Mercedes-Benz has paid dividends for Murray Hogg. The high-profile operator was among the first in the North-East to take delivery of vehicles which meet the latest emissions standard and it has continued to invest ever since.

Dealer Bell Truck and Van has just supplied the North Gosforth-based haulier with another 10 Actros. Six are 2545 BigSpace tractor units with 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six engines, the remainder being 26-tonne 2532s with 235 kW (320 hp) powerplants.

The rigids are all curtainsiders by Lawrence David, of Peterborough, and wear the colours of high-profile customer Stelrad, the UK’s leading radiator manufacturer. It sells its radiators through building and plumbing merchants, and relies on excellence from its hauliers to meet agreed timescales and quality requirements for deliveries.

Ken Peet, Stelrad’s Supply Chain Director, said: “Murray Hogg’s use of these new Euro VI trucks fits in perfectly with our own environmental policy and ongoing drive to reduce our carbon footprint. “As well as taking major strides in our manufacturing processes, additional environmental savings through our logistics operation will help us to make significant progress year-on-year to provide the most energy efficient and cost-efficient service to our customers across the UK.”

The new trucks all drive through smooth MercedesPowerShift automated transmissions and are additionally equipped with innovative Mercedes-Benz Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) systems, as well as Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics systems.

PPC employs three-dimensional GPS mapping to read three kilometres of topography ahead, then responds by controlling speed, braking and gear changes to maximise fuel efficiency. Mercedes-Benz says the system can cut fuel costs by up to 5%, though some operators have reported significantly higher savings.

FleetBoard, meanwhile, provides traffic office staff with a highly detailed, real time picture of exactly what each truck on a fleet is doing throughout its working day. It also produces in-depth reports on driving style, highlighting incidences of harsh braking, over-revving, ‘green band’ driving, and the use of engine and exhaust braking that can adversely affect the vehicle’s fuel consumption. This data can then be used to coach drivers on how to achieve the maximum efficiency from their trucks.

Euro VI came into force on 1st January but Murray Hogg bought its first vehicle to meet the standard last summer. Colin Hogg, a Director of the firm run by his family since 1928, said: “There were a lot of scare stories at the time, about how Euro VI would have an adverse effect on fuel consumption and reliability. We never believed the rumour-mongers though, and we’ve been proved right.

“The 14 Euro VI Actros we’re now operating are averaging 9.48 mpg, which compares to the 9.39 mpg achieved by our Euro V trucks. Meanwhile, AdBlue consumption by the newer trucks is significantly lower.”

He continued: “We’ve been using Mercedes-Benz trucks without problems for many years. They’re always very well built and the service we receive from Bell Truck and Van is first class.”

Murray Hogg runs a fleet of 90 commercial vehicles, including articulated units and rigids, some with specialised features such as cranes, double-deck trailers and tail lifts, as well as vans for urgent deliveries, and car transporters for its Vehicle Movements division. A member of the Pall-Ex palletised freight network, it also operates 75,000 sq ft of secure warehousing.








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