Marston’s is calling time on its long-established, mixed-marque van fleet after deciding to work towards an all-Mercedes-Benz line-up.
Marston’shas just taken delivery of eight short-bodied, high-roofed Sprinter 314 CDIs from the local branch of Dealer Midlands Truck & Van. Five replace older vehicles which have been stood down, while the remaining three are extensions to the fleet.
The company runs approximately 50 vans, many of which were inherited through acquisitions.
While Marston’s allocates some of its vans to engineers who maintain its pub infrastructure, most are assigned to its distribution team and used to make urgent deliveries of anything from a single case of pop, to kegs and casks of beers.
They also service pubs and other locations at which access is restricted.
The new Sprinters have been dispersed between its six breweries and other depots nationwide, and will be maintained under Mercedes-Benz Service Care plans by the most conveniently located dealers.
Marston’s group fleet manager Kevin O’Rourke said: “We have a decidedly mixed fleet of vans and trucks at the moment, with vehicles of all ages and just about every brand represented.
“This situation is neither efficient, nor cost-effective, so we took a step back, conducted a full review of our distribution operation and concluded that a ‘one badge’ fleet represents the best way forward.”
Marston’s embarked on a competitive tender process from which Mercedes-Benz and its Dealer Midlands Truck & Van emerged as the winners.
“As far as the vans themselves are concerned, we’ve had no qualms about committing to the Sprinter,” said O’Rourke.
“It has a great reputation for build quality, safety and low whole-life costs of operation, and this is borne out by our own experience.
“The fleet already included a number of Sprinters, while we’ve run others in the past, and they seem consistently to outlive other makes of van.
“The 314 CDI model’s fuel-efficient, Euro 6 engine is also well proven, and will protect us against any issues regarding emissions legislation.
“We were impressed from the outset by their attitude and professionalism.
“Rather than focusing on quick sales, they have recognised the scale of the opportunity and made it clear that they want to build a lasting partnership.”