Breakdown specialist Millers Recovery has hooked itself a couple of new stars in the shape of a pair of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans from Dealer Ciceley Commercials.
Both are based at the operator’s headquarters in Longton, near Preston, and allocated to technicians who undertake roadside and on-site repairs to commercial vehicles and plant, as well as static generators.
The two vans are Millers’ first from the latest-generation Sprinter range. One is a 3.5-tonne 314 CDI variant with fuel-efficient 143 hp, four-cylinder engine, the other a 519 CDI with range-topping 190 hp V6 and gvw uprated from the standard 5.0 to 5.5 tonnes.
Kitted out to a custom design specified by its driver, Diagnostic Specialist Guy Horner, the more powerful of the two vehicles has become Miller’s new fleet flagship. It also took pride of place on the operator’s stand at the recent Recovery Tow Show 2019.
Exterior features of his L3 H2 (long-bodied, high-roofed) van include an eye-catching livery with colour-coded grille, mirrors and bumpers, as well as alloy wheels, chrome trims, and Trafficlear beacons and lightbars with solar charging capability.
Bott racked out the cargo area to carry a full complement of tools and spare parts. Fixtures include a 3,000-watt invertor and compressor system to power electric and air-driven equipment, and a diagnostic bench for testing circuit boards and the like.
Guy Horner has been yearning to get back behind the wheel of a vehicle bearing the three-pointed star since he joined Millers three years ago. “At the time we needed a van at very short notice,” he recalled. “We opted for an ex-demonstrator by another manufacturer because it was readily available.
“I really wanted a Sprinter, though. I know from previous experience that they’re superbly reliable, as well as cost-effective to operate, but the latest model has also brought technology to the van market which we’ve not seen previously.”
The Sprinter breaks new ground, thanks to its 4G Internet connectivity. Mercedes PRO connect offers a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services, while the cutting-edge Mercedes MBUX infotainment system incorporates a user-friendly voice control function.
The transformed cab interior, meanwhile, offers the most car-like driving experience yet seen in a van. Mercedes-Benz has reinforced the previous version’s market-leading safety armoury by introducing the autonomous Active Brake Assist system, which features another ‘first’ in the shape of pedestrian recognition technology, and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.
“I’ve been racking up the miles in my van and it’s a real pleasure to drive,” enthused Guy. “The MBUX voice control is fantastic, and really makes my life easy. For example, I can operate the satellite navigation simply by saying ‘Hey Mercedes’, and telling it where I want to go. This means I can concentrate on my driving, without having to look at the screen, saving a lot of time and hassle.
“Our vans came with top-quality standard-fit alarm systems and deadlocks too, which has saved us something like £1,000 per vehicle by negating the need to install aftermarket equipment.”
Guy continued: “Both vehicles are perfectly specified, and that’s testament to the many hours of hard work that sales executive Lee Haworth put in to help us get them right. He’s been an ‘absolute diamond’ throughout.”
Millers’ fleet includes heavy breakdown trucks, low-loader trailers and plant, and four other vans. Despite the fact that the operator also operates its own large and busy workshop, the new Sprinters will be maintained by Ciceley Commercials under Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare plans.
Servicing the vehicles within the manufacturer’s Dealer network protects their MobiloVan cover, which includes free emergency roadside assistance. Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, they also came with three-year, unlimited mileage warranties.
“The contract maintenance rates were very competitive, and we know the guys at Ciceley will keep our vans in perfect running order,” said Guy. “We have complete faith in the reliability of our Sprinters, but it’s good to know we can call on MobiloVan should we need to.”
Source: Uk Haulier