Rail plant operating specialist Railway Drainage Ltd (RDL) has invested in five fuel-efficient Citans from Mercedes-Benz of Weston-super-Mare.
The vans have been assigned to RDL’s supervisors and crane controllers, who travel all over the country to oversee and undertake work.
Based in Maisemore, Gloucestershire, RDL is a civil engineering project management and logistics company. It was founded to support the former Railtrack in replacing and repairing the ageing railway infrastructure, initially by undertaking lineside drainage projects.
RDL quickly began taking on more varied work, however, and is now licensed by Railtrack’s successor, Network Rail, to operate road/rail vehicles, rail-mounted maintenance machines and on track machines.
Staff previously used car-derived vans, 4x4s and pick-ups to visit sites. But after reviewing its transport arrangements the company decided to switch to a single vehicle model.
Safety director Paul Saddington said: “We wanted something that would be cost-effective to run and practical, because our supervisors have to carry tools and equipment, as well as small quantities of materials from time to time.
“The Citan ticked both boxes admirably, while being a Mercedes-Benz it also has the upmarket brand image we were looking for to complement our own reputation as a quality business.”
Acquired with flexible funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, RDL’s Long-bodied Citan 109 CDIs are powered by 66 kW (90 hp) common-rail diesel engines and were ordered with optional Driver’s Packs, which include air conditioning, Parktronic proximity sensors and electric folding mirrors. The cargo areas, meanwhile, have been fitted with water tanks and heaters to provide washing facilities.
“Our new vans will each cover up to 50,000 miles a year,” Saddington continued. “The Citan is the perfect size for this role and we’re already achieving some very worthwhile savings on our fuel bill, thanks to its light weight and economical engine.
“Our staff are also delighted with their new vans, which I’m told are comfortable and easy to drive. They’re proud to be driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles so will look after them and treat them as their own.
“The service from Mercedes-Benz of Weston-super-Mare was very smooth. The dealer took back our previous vehicles in part-exchange, which was a weight off our shoulders, while the finance was competitively priced and the vehicles arrived on time and in perfect condition.”