Raleigh, one of Britain’s best known bicycle companies, has invested in a pair of Mercedes-Benz 7.5-tonners. The new trucks arrived via east midlands dealer Mertrux. They are fitted with Derbyshire Coachbuilders box bodies and have joined a DAF fleet of articulated tractor units and demountable rigids that work out of Raleigh headquarters in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.
Steve Wigley, distribution manager for Raleigh UK said: “We are increasing the size of our 7.5-tonne fleet and cutting back on the number of artics that we run, because we’re finding it increasingly difficult to deliver to retailers in town centres where access is becoming more of an issue. This has also been made possible by the fact that we now deliver our bicycles in cartons, 85 per cent built but with the front wheels removed. Doing so has made a huge difference and means that we can now carry about 100 bikes on a 7.5-tonner, which is a pretty reasonable load and means the operation is economically viable.”
It was the Mercedes-Benz offering a full-sized, factory-built sleeper cab on the smallest Atego that won the deal for Mertrux. “Our drivers go all over the UK and regularly spend nights away in their trucks, so space and comfort are very important.”
“Other manufacturers can’t offer a high-roofed sleeper as a standard fitment on a 7.5-tonner and we didn’t want to ‘bolt-on’ a third-party conversion, so the Mercedes was the obvious choice.These are still early days, of course, but initial impressions are very favourable. The quality and finish of our new Atego look very good and the driver feedback has been excellent.”