Thirty-five years after he launched his business, W.I.T. Transport Solutions founder Phil Brown has commissioned a special Mercedes-Benz truck to mark the milestone.
The Actros 2545 BigSpace tractor unit arrived via the Mansfield branch of East Midlands Dealer Mertrux and wears a livery highlighting the anniversary. A real head-turner, it is fitted with lightweight Alcoa alloy wheels and Kelsa LED light bars, as well as colour-coded and chrome trim.
Mertrux, which represents Mercedes-Benz in the East Midlands, has been a trusted supplier to W.I.T. since day one. Indeed, Mr Brown still has an invoice for the first vehicle supplied by the Dealer to the company previously known as Worksop Industrial Tippers – the £5,700 bill relates to a 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz 608D delivered in 1979, two years before he acquired the business.
W.I.T. Transport Solutions is still based in Worksop and has specialised for many years in the transportation of bulky, lightweight goods. It is the major logistics partner of Schütz UK, which has a production facility in the town, and for which it provides a nationwide delivery and collection service for new and used intermediate bulk containers – an alternative to the traditional 45-gallon drum, the 1,000-litre IBC is designed to contain liquids such as paints, chemicals and fuels.
The operator runs approximately 40 tractor units and drawbar combinations. All but three of these vehicles are by Mercedes-Benz. Unlike the anniversary Actros, most of the tractors are 4×2 variants and plated for operation at 38 tonnes gcw – the company’s trailer fleet includes three extra-long 14.6m curtainsiders by SDC, which offer the same, 56 IBC carrying capacity as a drawbar rig with 12-tonne Atego prime mover.
W.I.T. usually buys new vehicles but its latest Actros is an ex-Mertrux demonstration unit. Mr Brown purchased the vehicle at the suggestion of long-serving driver Maurice ‘Moggie’ Button.
“Moggie reminded me that this was our 35th anniversary and suggested I might like to buy him a smart new truck to mark the occasion,” he laughed. “It struck me as a great idea so I decided to take him up on it.”
Although it specialises in the distribution of high-volume goods, W.I.T. also undertakes general haulage work and the 44-tonne combination provides additional flexibility to meet all requirements.
The new Mercedes-Benz is equipped with a host of optional extras to make life more comfortable for its driver, include a fridge and microwave oven. “It’s no surprise that Moggie loves his Actros and has already presented it at a couple of truck shows,” said Mr Brown.
As with its other tractors, W.I.T. is taking advantage of the free, two-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contract that came with its new Actros. For the rigids, and for older vehicles, the operator carries out inspections and routine maintenance in its own workshop, but relies on the Dealer for warranty work and regular parts deliveries.
Mr Brown continued: “Mercedes-Benz trucks have always been exceptionally reliable and, particularly in recent years, impressively fuel-efficient. But it’s difficult to buy a bad truck these days, which means that relationships and the quality of the after sales back-up are crucial.
“I’ve been a very loyal customer of Mertrux and have lost count of the number of vehicles I have bought from its Key Account Manager Martin Stock over the years, during which I’ve always been able to rely on the Dealer for timely, professional support. We also speak regularly to Steve Allen, After Sales Manager at its Mansfield branch, who leads a first-class team.”