Yearsley Logistics bought its first Mercedes-Benz Actros 11 years ago, following a successful fuel trial. The UK’s largest frozen food logistics service provider continues to undertake cost comparisons and to buy more Actros because they keep on winning.
With headquarters at Heywood, near Manchester, Yearsley Logistics operates a fleet of 200 tractor units, every one of which now wears a three-pointed star. Like most of the vehicles they have lined up alongside, the latest arrivals from North-West Dealer Roanza Truck & Van are all Actros 2545 models with flat-floored StreamSpace cabs and impressively economical 12.8-litre straight-six engines producing 330 kW (450 hp).
The new trucks are fitted with optional Mercedes-Benz Predictive Powertrain Control system – an innovative cruise control that employs digital 3D mapping and GPS data to scan the road ahead. Armed with this topographical information the system manages gear changes and vehicle speed, making full use of the truck’s EcoRoll function to restrict diesel consumption and CO2 emissions. By applying engine braking at every opportunity it reduces component wear and tear.
Low Total Costs is one of the three pillars of Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ all-encompassing RoadEfficiency strategy and a key element of its ‘value proposition’.
Will Maycock, Yearsley Logistics’ Head of Transport, said: “Although we’ve been very happy with our Actros fleet and with the support from Mercedes-Benz, we continue to benchmark our trucks against the competition.
“These exercises encompass whole-life cost analysis based on factors including fuel consumption, capital cost, and maintenance. I’m happy to say the Actros keeps coming out on top, with excellent mpg returns and first-class reliability which means incidences of downtime are extremely rare. As a total package, it’s the best vehicle out there.”
Greater Safety is another of the manufacturer’s RoadEfficiency pillars and in this respect Yearsley Logistics is breaking new ground. The latest Actros are the first it has specified with optional Mercedes-Benz Safety Packs.
Representing outstanding value for money, the Safety Pack features the remarkable Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking system – which incorporates a world ‘first’ in the shape of pedestrian recognition – as well as Proximity Control Assist and a driver’s airbag.
“We’re always keen to test out any new technology that can increase safety, for the benefit of our own staff and everyone else on the road,” continued Will Maycock. “The feedback from our drivers has already been very positive. Obviously, Active Brake Assist doesn’t intervene in normal circumstances and only comes into play in an emergency situation, but they certainly appreciate the fact that it’s there.”
Another element of the Safety Pack is Proximity Control Assist, with stop-and-go function, which eases the workload on the driver by maintaining a safe distance from the vehicles in front. It can even reduce the risk of rear-end collisions by automatically bringing the truck to a halt in stop-and-go traffic, then allowing it to move off again when space allows.
Yearsley Logistics’ Actros tractor units work with 300 temperature-controlled single- and double-decked trailers. Operating from a national network of ‘SuperHubs’ and subsidiary cold stores, they service customers ranging from the biggest supermarket distribution centres to small corner shops.
The company continues to invest heavily in its facilities as well as its fleet. With phase one opening this year, its £65-million SuperHub in Peterborough will be the largest cold store in the UK, and able to accommodate 150,000 pallets. This new SuperHub South will complement its established Superhub North, at Heywood and SuperHub Midlands, at Hams Hall, near Birmingham.
Managing Director Tim Moran explained: “Our customers require a logistics solution that is fit for the future, in the best locations possible, thus reducing the number of miles our food travels. The new Peterborough site will meet these commercial requirements and operational need in a safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.”