Utilities contractor Clancy Group has taken delivery of more than 500 Mercedes-Benz vans, which are now supporting a range of well-known service providers.
Mercedes-Benz dealer Midlands Truck & Van handled the order, which largely comprises Sprinter models.
Clancy Group first switched to the three-pointed star just over four years ago. “Our Mercedes-Benz vans have proved to be far more reliable than those we’d operated previously,” explained head of Clancy Plant David Janes.
“That’s a key quality in this industry – we need our vehicles to be out there and working, so the fact that they are hardly ever off the road for anything other than routine maintenance is crucial. They’ve also been impressively cost-effective to operate, across a tough working regime in which each averages around 30,000 miles per year.”
Most of the new vans are fitted with Mercedes PRO connect technology, which uses 4G internet technology to provide operators with access to a range of fleet management service packages.
“We see great potential in the way PRO connect can help us by collecting a raft of highly detailed information on the way our vehicles are working,” Janes added. “These are early days, and we’re only just beginning to explore the ways in which we can best use the system, but we believe it will enable a significant improvement in the way we manage our Mercedes-Benz van fleet.”
The vehicles are operated by Clancy Plant and are now working on contracts held by other Group divisions, whose customers include many leading utility providers. They wear several different liveries, some of which bear the names and logos of businesses Clancy Group supports.
The 553 units delivered include 445 3.5-tonne Sprinter 316 CDI panel vans and chassis cabs, the latter being fitted with tipping or dropside bodies, or access platforms. Midlands Truck & Van has also delivered 84 Vito vans, 20 Citans, and four X-Class pickups.
Most of the Sprinter panel vans were specified with 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmissions, to make life easier for drivers working in urban environments. They are equipped with compressors and generators by On-Board Power of Liversedge, West Yorkshire.
“Typically, these vans transport the teams who dig holes in the road, together with all their tools and equipment, which frequently includes excavators towed on trailers,” explained Janes. “Others are kitted out as rapid response vehicles – if a burst water main is reported, for example, specialist teams have to react to the call-out within two hours.
“The Vito vans carry out similar tasks to the Sprinters, but are deployed at locations which are better suited to a more compact vehicle, while the Citans and X-Class pickups are allocated to roles such as leak detection and meter fitting, or to supervisors.
“Although these vans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they share the same attributes of outstanding build quality, reliability, economy, comfort and impressive safety specifications, as well as first-class aftersales support. Whichever way you look at it, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are far better than any we’ve operated in the past.”