We were thrilled at Relay to have been exclusively featured in a comprehensively informative PR release issued on behalf of Mercedes-Benz. It also included some very fine images of vehicles in our Mercedes-Benz fleet.

Titled "Relay races ahead with its latest order for load-sensitive Mercedes-Benz trucks from Marshall Truck & Van," the article’s opening words are: "When it comes to its truck fleet, Relay Technical Transport’s baton is in safe hands with its tried and trusted Mercedes-Benz Dealer and dry freight body specialist."

This is absolutely true, because the service we have received from Marshall Truck & Van’s sites in Hampshire and Dorset through the years has been truly excellent. We could not have wished for more proactive, efficient and helpful support from a supplier partner.

Relay’s latest order has been for five Mercedes Atego 12-tonners and two Mercedes 18-tonne Actros trucks with VBG couplings for drawbar trunking for our Coatbridge Depot in Lanarkshire.

But the story doesn’t end there!

Decades of Dynamic Partnership

We were also pleased that the article spoke of the long-standing association we have had with Horton Commercials, who have consistently provided us with a first class service from their base in Dorset for the fitting and liverying of our vehicles. Both they and Marshall Truck & Van have made invaluable contributions to the operation of our vehicle fleet and our ongoing acquisition policy.

It is worth remembering that, because of Relay’s specialisation in the movement of sophisticated and delicate electronics, the vehicles we use have to be fitted to the highest quality specifications, frequently including bespoke features.

For instance, here’s how the article describes the requirements on the recently purchased Atego trucks.

"Body specifications include insulated roofs, load lock tracking, padded tie rails and diesel/electric Eberspacher heaters with full-length airsocks to protect fragile cargoes such as photocopiers and printers, audio-visual and telecommunications equipment, and vending and coffee machines. The trucks are also fitted with Bär Cargolift cantilever tail-lifts – the Atego’s have 2.0-tonne capacities, while those on the Actros are rated at 2.5 tonnes."

Updating and Upgrading the Fleet

Relay’s Operations Director Tom McMahon was happy to make his own contribution to the story. “I’ve been with this business for 23 years and can’t recall us running anything other than Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks. The Atego has been ever-present because it’s such a fantastically reliable piece of kit. We currently have in excess of 30 and they just don’t let us down.”

Both FUSO and Mercedes-Benz Trucks belong to the Daimler Truck family. Relay finds that FUSO Canter 7.5 tonne trucks are ideal for navigating through urban congestion on smaller scale deliveries. Our fleet in its totality is remarkably flexible and we have the most apt vehicles for any given collection or delivery.

Tom also had information to give about our fleet acquisition over the months ahead: "Sixty months is the average age across the fleet right now, but that will come down significantly once we’ve replaced the remaining, older vehicles, which we’ll be doing this year."

When looking at the road transport and haulage sector as a whole, Relay’s fleet is comparatively youthful. However, it is vitally important to maintain a dynamic and proactive fleet acquisition policy, both to gain the maximum levels of operational performance for our customers and also to continually reduce carbon emissions.

Running a top class commercial vehicle fleet operation is highly dependent on the quality of those that supply and fit the vehicles to be launched onto the road. Relay has been very fortunate in receiving the very best services in both areas. 

As Tom McMahon declared: "The back-up is where we need it to be and the relationships we have with Marshall Truck & Van Sales Executive John Sunderland and Horton Commercials Sales Manager Richard Hall could not be better. I’ve known both for years. They understand our business and what we require, and the whole process works very smoothly." 

Which really says it all!