Canter test drive pays off for prize draw winner HTA Group

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Metal products manufacturer HTA Group has won a year’s free use of the 7.5-tonne FUSO Canter truck.

Hundreds of commercial vehicle operators that took Canter test drives at dealerships nationwide were automatically entered in the competition staged by Mercedes-Benz (responsible for sales and support of the FUSO light truck range in the UK).

The Canter test drive paid off for the Coventry-based HTA Group.

Mark Vale, group finance director at HTA Group, said: “We were considering a Canter anyway, which is why we took the test drive. So to win the use of a brand new vehicle for a full year is a real bonus, and came as a very welcome early Christmas present.”   

HTA’s new truck arrived via local Dealer Midlands Truck & Van. Powered by a fuel-efficient 110 kW (150 hp) engine mated to a DUONIC transmission – the world’s first dual-clutch automatic for light trucks – it has a curtainside body by Fred Smith & Sons, of West Bromwich, which also applied HTA’s livery.

The Canter 7C15 came with a 12-month Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance contract – Midlands Truck & Van will be undertaking the mandatory six-weekly inspections and all servicing, as well as replacing tyres when necessary, at its workshop on Wheler Road in Whitley, Coventry.

The prize could not have come at a better time for fast-growing HTA Group.

As well as a pair of 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor trucks (also supplied by Midlands Truck & Van in 2012) the company ran a 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego which it was preparing to stand down after six years’ reliable service.

“The Canter is a ready-made replacement for our Atego,” said Vale. “It’s fulfilling an operational need and has been quick to impress, particularly because of its exceptionally high payload potential.

“The beauty of this truck is that although it’s clearly very well built and has a reputation for durability, it is also the lightest vehicle in its class. That means we’re able to carry approximately four tonnes, which is the best part of a tonne more than we’d get on a conventional 7.5-tonner.

“Given that we’re carrying steel, weight rather than cubic volume is the limiting factor in our operation. So a payload gain of this magnitude makes a welcome contribution to increased efficiency and productivity.”

As well as delivering finished products, the Canter transports items to sub-contractors’ premises for plating and painting.

HTA Group has a diverse customer base that includes companies operating in the oil and gas, construction, defence, automotive, rail, marine, nuclear and exhibition sectors.

Its own trucks serve businesses operating within the Midlands region.

For deliveries further afield, HTA relies on third-party transport providers.

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