James Burrell is building towards FORS Silver accreditation with additional orders for the new-generation Mercedes-Benz Arocs.
James Burrell became one of the first UK customers for the new-generation Mercedes-Benz Arocs when it commissioned a single six-wheeler in October 2019, and the independent merchant is now running an additional four identical trucks and placed an order last autumn for a further six.
The Gateshead-based company operates from a network of 10 branches throughout the North-East and Yorkshire, and each day its 36 trucks — the majority of them 26-tonne Mercedes-Benz dropsiders with cranes — deliver in excess of 1,000 tonnes of material.
Supplied by Dealer Bell Truck and Van, James Burrell’s latest 2532 L models have ClassicSpace S-cabs and are easily distinguished from previous variants by the absence of mirrors. Instead, they are fitted with the manufacturer’s MirrorCam system which is said to offer much-improved all-round visibility as well as increased fuel-efficiency thanks to the compact and streamlined camera housings.
Other new features include the Multimedia Cockpit, which replaces conventional switchgear with twin screens — the upgraded interactive version specified by James Burrell comes with a larger 12in instrument panel and extra functionality — and Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking technology.
James Burrell has held Bronze accreditation from the Fleet Operator Scheme (FORS) for several years, but its sights are now set on the next, Silver level. Assistant Transport Manager Graham Johnston said: “With their comprehensive safety specifications, these impressive new trucks can only help us to achieve this goal.
“The feedback on MirrorCam from our drivers is overwhelmingly positive. They tell me the images relayed to the screens on the truck’s A-pillars are crisp and bright, and that they can see a lot more of what’s going on around them, with fewer blind spots, than would be possible with normal mirrors.”
The Arocs are fitted with bodywork by Dependable Bodies, also of Gateshead, and rear-mounted Hiab cranes that work with brick and block grabs. Their 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder engines produce 235 kW (320 hp) and are proving impressively economical.
Graham added: “The new trucks are certainly pulling out some very good mpg figures. Obviously, routes and loads differ, while the cranes are driven by the engine PTO (power take-off) so also consume fuel when they’re working. But at 10 mpg our latest Arocs look to be between 1.2 and 2 mpg ahead of the fleet average, which is very encouraging.”
The next six trucks, which are due to enter service in the spring, will also be Arocs 2532 Ls with dropside bodies and cranes, but in a new departure they will have steered rear axles for enhanced manoeuvrability.
Graham concluded: “Mercedes-Benz has consistently accounted for the majority of our vehicles for years. The manufacturer has always led the way in terms of innovation, while its products have traditionally been competitively priced and great all-rounders.
“Our Mercedes-Benz vehicles are exceptionally reliable and easy to maintain, and we benefit from Bell Truck and Van’s excellent parts back-up, all of which helps to ensure that the whole-life costs of operation stack up well.”
For more information on the next generation Mercedes-Benz Arocs, head to: https://www.mercedes-benz-trucks.com/en_GB/models/arocs.html