The latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz-dominated fleet of Pontyclun-based LVT Transport has been specified to service a new contract with a global logistics business.
The fuel-efficient Sprinter 314 CDI Long chassis cab was supplied by South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials, and is fitted with an unusual Luton body. Built by Commercial Truck Bodies, of Caerphilly, it has one rigid side and one curtainside, allowing easy, 3.0-metre-wide access for fork-lift trucks.
LVT Managing Director Ceri Leigh declared: “With new customers coming on board in 2018, we’re laying firm foundations for future success by continuing to invest in premium quality Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”
Mr Leigh gained his first experience of the light haulage industry in 2005, when he purchased a Sprinter from Euro Commercials, after being made redundant from his previous job as an engineer. He delivered newspapers initially, then moved onto multi-drop and same-day work for DHL and TNT respectively, before winning his first major contracts from two high-profile kitchen and furniture retailers. Mercedes-Benz vans have formed the backbone of his fleet as the company has grown.
Mr Leigh teamed up with co-owner and fellow Director Amy Van Tiel in 2013, when they rebranded the company as LVT Transport. In 2016 the two broadened their service offering by forming LVT Warehouse & Distribution – they started out with 3,500 sq ft of storage space but so successful has the new venture been that since then they have more than tripled the total capacity, and plan to have in excess of 30,000 sq ft of warehousing before the end of 2018.
LVT specialises in ‘white glove’ delivery services for furniture, beds, kitchens and other bulky items, covering residential properties and retail premises. Its uniformed drivers and two-man teams position each product in the room of the customer’s choice, unpack and assemble it, then remove all packaging.
The company runs a fleet of 15 vans, of which nine are 3.5-tonne Sprinters – four are Lutons, the remaining five being panel vans. Its only other Mercedes-Benz is a stylish Vito 119 CDI Sport Crew van, which Mr Leigh purchased last year from Euro Commercials, to transport crews who service the flat-assemble side of the business, and to “create the right impression” when attending meetings. The Vito, like the Sprinter which has just entered service, is the subject of a flexible, low-cost Agility funding agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
“We’ve always chosen Mercedes-Benz vans for their outstanding reliability,” said Mr Leigh. “We work our vehicles hard and need them to keep our business running, rather than spending time laid up in a workshop, or stopped at the side of the road.
“We purchased a Sprinter five years ago which now has 320,000 miles on the clock, and is still on its original engine, gearbox and clutch. It has never let us down. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, though – it’s just what we’ve come to expect. So good has that vehicle been that while it’s no longer covering the whole country, we’re keeping it for local deliveries.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, LVT Transport’s vehicles come with three-year manufacturer’s warranties that have no mileage limit – a major ‘plus’ point for Mr Leigh – and MobiloVan cover, which includes free, emergency roadside assistance.
“We’ve used MobiloVan a couple of times over the years and it’s been brilliant,” enthused Mr Leigh. “Most recently, one of our guys broke down in Brighton. A technician from the local Mercedes-Benz Dealer turned out, swapped a heat sensor, and the van was on its way again within just over an hour of the initial call. Given the delivery commitments we make to our own customers, fast, efficient after sales support like that is priceless.”
He continued: “Reliability and back-up are crucial for a high-mileage operation such as ours, but they are not the only benefits of running Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Our Sprinters are great to drive, economical to run, and equipped as standard with a comprehensive list of safety features.
“Euro Commercials provides a great service, too. I bought my first van from sales executive Scott Williams and he’s still looking after me to this day. We’ve built up a genuine friendship and he knows our business inside out, which means the process of ordering new vehicles is invariably simple and straightforward.
“We also take advantage of the Dealer’s out of hours servicing capability. The fact that we can drop a van off at 5pm and pick it up again at 6am the next day means our vans are always available for work when we need them.”
Source: Uk Haulier