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Dealer Pentagon Wins Breakthrough AET Group Orders

Dealer Pentagon Wins Breakthrough AET Group Orders

Actros 2551 - AET Transport (10)

Mercedes-Benz Dealer Pentagon Wins Breakthrough AET Group Orders

Twelve months ago the AET Group was not running a single Mercedes-Benz truck – today, tractor units bearing three-pointed stars are in service with three of its businesses.

The Poole-based operator provides specialist heavy haulage, temperature-controlled distribution and crane services through its AET Transport and Dorset Crane Hire divisions. Meanwhile, sister companies AET Andover, Curvin Transport and Eaton Transport offer warehousing and storage services, as well as general haulage, and next-day and palletised deliveries via the Palletways network.

The Group is now running six Mercedes-Benz Actros tractors, all of which were supplied by south coast Dealer Pentagon Commercials. It also has a 16-tonne Atego with Transload curtainside body and tail-lift on order – this vehicle will be assigned to a contract with boiler manufacturer and supplier Hamworthy Heating, also of Poole, and specified with several features, including a four-way camera system, designed to protect cyclists, especially when operating in London.

Most of the new Actros are 2551 models with BigSpace cabs and state-of-the-art 375 kW (510 hp) six-cylinder engines. Three wear Eaton Transport livery, while two – one an ex-demonstrator with range-topping GigaSpace cab – are used by AET Transport’s factory relocations team to move machinery, plant and other large consignments throughout Europe for the likes of Airbus, Britax, Rolls-Royce and Sunseeker. The remaining vehicle is a 2545 BigSpace model with 330 kW (449 hp) straight-six, which has joined the Curvin Transport fleet.

The AET Group runs 44 trucks across its various businesses. According to Managing Director Andrew Trotter, the Mercedes-Benz Actros have won a resounding ‘thumbs up’ from their drivers, while also quickly establishing themselves as its new mpg champions.

“We ordered our first Actros for AET Transport after Pentagon’s truck sales executive Chris Flynn provided us with a demonstration unit,” he recalled. “Over the two-week trial that vehicle consistently returned between 8.5 and 9 mpg, which was very impressive given that our established supplier’s trucks typically achieve 7.5-8 mpg on similar work.”

The AET Transport vehicles pull step-frame trailers and will each cover 120,000 km per year. “Their first assignment took them across to Cornwall to load up, and then straight down to Slovakia. You can’t beat bedding them in properly!” laughed Mr Trotter.

The three Eaton vehicles, which entered service shortly before Christmas, are scheduled to clock-up 160,000 km annually. These units trunk double-deck trailers to and from the Palletways hub in Lichfield at night, then make local deliveries from 10-metre (33ft) urban trailers during the day. For added safety, they are fitted with the optional Lane Assist system, which issues an audible warning should the truck start to ‘wander’ out of its lane.

The AET Group also operates a six-bay workshop manned by four fitters who maintain many of its trucks, along with its 50 semi-trailers, 27 fork lifts and various vans, among them a couple of Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and a Citan – AET also has a Sprinter dropsider on order for Dorset Crane Hire.

However, its new Actros are serviced and inspected at Pentagon’s Poole depot, under three-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts. “The dealer collects and returns our vehicles, and is providing a very good service,” added Mr Trotter.

As well as excelling in terms of fuel efficiency, operating costs and driver comfort, the Mercedes-Benz Actros leads the field in terms of safety. Its standard-fit armoury of active and passive equipment includes an electropneumatic brake system (EPB) incorporating anti-lock braking (ABS) and anti-slip regulation (ASR), which brakes each wheel individually to make the most of available grip and minimise stopping distances.

EPB includes secondary braking – whether by engine brake or retarder – to further improve safety and reduce wear, while in the event of emergency braking the system automatically activates the hazard warning lights to warn following traffic, winning vital extra seconds that could help to prevent an accident. Other standard safety features include Stability Control Assist, a rain and light sensor and a seat-belt monitor.

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