Coultons Bread toasts fuel-efficient new Sprinter

Liverpool bakery Coultons Bread has slashed £1,500 from its weekly fuel bill after switching half of its 85-strong van fleet to economical Mercedes-Benz Sprinters.

The company’s previous vehicles cost an average of 45p per mile to run. But managing director Howard Hunter reports that his Sprinters have cut that figure by a third to just 30p per mile.

Coultons also has bakeries in Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. It produces 700,000 loaves a week, which it delivers to shops and supermarkets across the North of England in Luton-bodied 3.5-tonne vehicles.

The company bought its first Sprinters in early 2012 and since then Mercedes-Benz has been steadily increasing its share of Coultons’ fleet – just over half of its vehicles now wear three-pointed stars. The latest 16 are all 316 CDI Long chassis cabs with 120 kW (163 hp) engines and bodies by Ken Rosebury, of Rochdale.

Hunter said: “We’d been experiencing problems with our previous vehicles and were looking for alternatives. We knew that Mercedes-Benz vans have a great reputation for reliability so we decided to give one a try.

“It was a big improvement from the outset, in terms of both mpg performance and overall build quality. That van is still working hard for us and has cost pennies to keep on the road. The only replacement parts we’ve had to buy are brake pads but even this was down to the driver not the vehicle, an issue picked up by the telematics system we use to track and monitor all our vehicles.”

He continued: “Our Sprinters have continued to provide much improved fuel performance and far better reliability than the vehicles we’re phasing out. As a result we’ve benefited from a welcome cut in our running costs as well as far less downtime.

Hunter added: “Road Range have looked after us very well and the fact that they offer out-of-hours servicing is another major advantage.  We’ve not had to call upon it but it’s also very reassuring to know that Mercedes-Benz provides round-the-clock Service24h emergency breakdown support.”

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