10 May 2018

Mercedes-Benz Actros oils the wheels of success for Chemical Corporation

Chemical Corporation returned to the tried and trusted formula of Mercedes-Benz trucks supplied by South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials for its 35th anniversary flagship.   The arrival of the eye-catching 26-tonner has taken Chemical Corporation another step closer to its goal of a fleet in which every vehicle wears a three-pointed star.

The arrival of the eye-catching 26-tonner has taken Chemical Corporation another step closer to its goal of a fleet in which every vehicle wears a three-pointed star. “We’ve tried other makes of truck in the past, but they’ve not offered the same reliability or efficiency, so we’re only buying Mercedes-Benz now,” said the Caerphilly-based company’s Operations Director Steve Stewart.

The Actros 2533 has an aerodynamic StreamSpace cab with colour-coded bumpers and door mirror covers. At its heart is an advanced, 10.7-litre straight-six engine which produces 240 kW (326 hp) and drives through a smooth and fuel-efficient Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission. A steering back axle provides the enhanced manoeuvrability needed to access tight locations, and can be lifted when running light to reduce tyre wear.

The truck’s curtainside body, meanwhile, is by Commercial Truck Bodies, also of Caerphilly. It is fitted with a 1.5-tonne DEL column tail-lift, and wears an ExxonMobil livery – Chemical Corporation is one of two authorised UK distributors for the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company.

The Actros is now working alongside the operator’s four other trucks, three of which – a pair of 18-tonners and a 10-tonner – are also Mercedes-Benz models supplied by Euro Commercials. This time, though, Chemical Corporation has incorporated a new system for dispensing its products, which represents a major step forward in terms of both health and safety, and productivity.

Established in 1983, the company supplies ExxonMobil lubricants to vehicle workshops and other customers. It previously undertook deliveries throughout the South-West and Wales but was recently rewarded for outstanding service with its appointment to cover the Midlands region as well.

Rather than employing tankers, Chemical Corporation transports its lubricants in 1,000-litre IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) – the new Actros carries up to 14 of these. This gives the operator the flexibility it needs to handle orders of different products in smaller volumes, and to carry additional items such as barrels of grease.

It also means the trucks can be used to support other parts of the business. For example, Chemical Corporation provides a nationwide service to US-owned Sage Oil Vac, for which it distributes the pumping equipment and lubricants needed to undertake rapid oil exchanges on offshore and onshore wind turbines.

Drivers of Chemical Corporation’s previous vehicles have had to access their vehicle beds to connect the hoses and dispense lubricants from the IBCs. The Actros, by contrast, features a new concept, which allows the necessary connections to be made, and the pump operated, from ground level – the Alpeco pumping system is housed beneath the vehicle floor, as are three hose reels which are colour-coded to prevent cross-contamination.

Steve Stewart explained: “Over and above the cost of the chassis, we’ve invested some £50,000 on fitting and equipping the body of our new Actros. That’s significantly more than we’ve committed in the past, but it’s money well spent.

“The pumps were previously mounted on the beds, which ate into our carrying capacity, while the fact that the driver no longer has to climb on top of the tanks to make the connections eliminates any risk of a fall from height. To further enhance safety, we’ve also added a full complement of cameras.”

 The Actros is the subject of a five-year Mercedes-Benz Service Contract, under which inspections and maintenance are being undertaken at Euro Commercials’ Newport branch. “The workshop team provide first-class support, with excellent levels of communication,” continued Mr Stewart. “I also get on very well with Euro Commercials’ Sales Executive Huw Salway, whose advice on specifying the new truck was greatly appreciated.”

He added: “We’re delighted with our new flagship. It looks fantastic, and long-serving driver Stuart Herd is also over the moon with his comfortable, well-appointed Actros.”