Mercedes Benz Atego 2528LL

Soft drinks brand Tango is famous for its bold and brash advertising – but despite their eye-catching liveries, its latest delivery vehicles are keeping a very low profile!

Parent company Britvic has purchased a dozen, highly-specialised 6x2 Mercedes Atego ‘Lo-liner’ rigids to distribute canned and bottled Tango to pubs, shops, cinemas and fast-food outlets across Britain.

The Atego 2528LL is a standard factory model with full air suspension giving a significantly reduced chassis height for ease of loading and unloading in urban distribution applications. Britvic’s vehicles arrived via Mercedes Benz’s factory in Molsheim, France, where their non-lifting tag axles were converted to steering axles, for even greater flexibility in tight-access situations.

Supplied by Oxford dealer Mudie-Bond, the trucks have been downplated to 21 tonnes gvw in order to qualify for the most favourable tax bracket. However, as they are based on the biggest Atego chassis, their standard specifications include cruise control, speed limiters and Telligent maintenance dashboard display, allowing flexible servicing intervals.

Britvic Distribution Manager Phil Rowe says: "We are in the process of replacing an old fleet of trucks with step-frame bodies, which gave a very low working height. We looked at the market and found that the Atego offered the lowest platform that we could achieve on a new rigid.

"Having such a low vehicle allows us to move most of our distribution runs to one-man operation, which clearly has a major, positive impact on our productivity levels.

"Driver comfort is also a major factor for us," he continues. "We have specified extras including air-conditioning and electric windows and the feedback from our drivers has been very positive."

All 12 Atego are the subject of five-year Mercedes Benz repair and maintenance contracts.

"Because of their specifications these vehicles were never going to be cheap," continues Mr Rowe. "But price and maintenance costs were also considered before the order was placed. The r&m package represents a very good deal and allows us to plan our budgets into the future.

"The new Atego are part of a fleet of 120 trucks working from 12 distribution centres nationwide. We are currently planning to purchase another 20 vehicles this year, and will certainly be looking at Mercedes Benz again."

John Baker, Mercedes Benz Truck Sales & Marketing Director, adds: "The Atego 2528LL was designed for precisely this type of application, so it’s good to hear that it has helped a major player like Britvic to make important improvements in productivity – they know they’ve been Atego’d!"

Published : 22/02/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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