Clancy Group has placed an order with Mercedes-Benz dealer Midlands Truck & Van for more than 500 light commercial vehicles.
Most are Sprinter models with Mercedes PRO connect technology, which the utilities contractor is predicting will deliver “a step change” in its fleet management capability.
Mercedes PRO connect uses 4G Internet technology to provide operators with access to a range of fleet management service packages.
Head of Clancy Plant, David Janes, said: “We see great potential in the way PRO connect can help us by collecting a raft of highly detailed information on the way our vehicles are working.
“These are early days, and we’re only just beginning to explore the ways in which we can best use the system, but we believe it will enable a significant improvement in the way we manage our Mercedes-Benz van fleet.”
The vehicles are operated by Clancy Plant, and are now hard at work on contracts held by other Group divisions, whose customers include many of the UK’s leading utility providers. They wear several different liveries, some of which bear the names and logos of the businesses Clancy Group supports.
The 553 units delivered this year include examples from across the entire Mercedes-Benz Vans range. The majority – 445 in total – are 3.5-tonne Sprinter 316 CDI panel vans and chassis cabs, the latter being fitted with tipping or dropside bodies, or access platforms. Midlands Truck & Van has also delivered 84 mid-sized Vito vans, 20 smaller Citans, and four X-Class pickups.
Most of the Sprinter panel vans were specified with 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmissions, to make life easier for drivers working in urban environments. They are equipped with compressors and generators by On-Board Power, of Liversedge, West Yorkshire.
“Typically, these vans transport the teams who dig holes in the road, together with all their tools and equipment, which frequently includes excavators towed on trailers,” explained Janes. “Others are kitted out as rapid response vehicles – if a burst water main is reported, for example, specialist teams have to react to the call-out within two hours.”
He continued: “The Vito vans carry out similar tasks to the Sprinters, but are deployed at locations which are better suited to a more compact vehicle, while the Citans and X-Class pickups are allocated to roles such as leak detection and meter fitting, or to supervisors.”
Clancy Group is one of the largest privately-owned construction firms in the UK.