The latest model of Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are delivering MPG savings for Stone Hardy, who offer servicing and repair of tail-lifts and shutters for commercial and passenger vehicles.
The Northampton-based company has ordered 37 vans from Hughes of Aylesbury – the majority are 3.5-tonne Sprinter 313 CDI Blue Efficiency models, although the line-up also includes five smaller Citan 109 CDIs. Once the last of these new vans has entered service next year, every one of Stone Hardy’s 68 service vehicles will be a Mercedes-Benz.
The latest Sprinter is easily distinguished from its illustrious predecessor, thanks to its sculpted bonnet, more vertical, wedge-shaped radiator grille with perforated slats, and revised, more angular headlights.
The new model also incorporates new technology that makes it the most fuel efficient and safest vehicle in its class. Mpg performance is up by 7% over the outgoing Sprinter while the returns from Blue Efficiency variants – which incorporate a raft of additional measures designed to further reduce diesel consumption – are improved by a further 6%, to as much as 44.4 mpg.
“It’s too early to get an accurate picture,” said managing director Paul Clark. “But the first guys out in the field to whom we’ve allocated the latest model Sprinters report that they’re definitely making fewer visits to the filling station, which is encouraging.”
The vehicle’s array of ground-breaking safety systems, meanwhile, includes Crosswind Assist, which detects sudden strong gusts of wind and helps to prevent the van drifting out of its lane by applying individual brakes on one side of the vehicle. Other new electronic aids additionally available as options include Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist.
“We’re always conscious of our Duty of Care obligations, and are also fitting our vehicles with reversing cameras and beepers,” he added. “The fact that we’re sending our employees out in the safest vans on the road is very reassuring.”
Stone Hardy’s latest vans are the subject of a contract hire agreement with Lex Autolease and will be maintained by Mercedes-Benz Dealers and at Ryder facilties, depending on which is the most conveniently located.