Mercedes-Benz fuels efficiency drive for Musgrave


Retail group Musgrave is enjoying mpg gains after investing in a new fleet of 28 Mercedes-Benz Axor trucks.

As well as supplying the vehicles, the manufacturer has provided a programme of specialist training on fuel-efficient driving, which is helping to deliver improvements in overall consumption.

Musgrave Retail Partners is based in Belfast and its new trucks arrived via Newtownabbey dealer Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI). The fleet comprises 16 6×2 rigids and a dozen 4×2 tractor units. All are the subject of a five-year contract hire package from Mercedes-Benz CharterWay, a commercial vehicle brand of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, and operated on Musgrave’s behalf by logistics partner Wincanton.

The 26-tonne Axor 2533s are fitted with Gray & Adams box bodies – seven are also refrigerated and divided internally into three compartments, allowing them to carry frozen, chilled and ambient temperature food products together.

Musgrave Retail Partners NI makes around 1,600 deliveries per week from its central distribution centre at Belfast Harbour Estate to a network of 350 independent shops across Northern Ireland. Its brands include SuperValu, Centra and Mace and its vehicles collectively travel approximately 47,000 miles each week. An impressive 95 per cent of deliveries are achieved within a two-hour ‘window’.

Switching to triple-compartment bodies has allowed the company to increase flexibility and reduce vehicle movements, taking more than 1,400 miles off that total and reducing the company’s weekly fuel bill by £2,000.  Like the rigids, the Gray & Adams trailers pulled by the Axor 1843 tractors wear striking liveries carrying key messages about Musgrave’s local sourcing policy and community involvement

Mark McGartland, Logistics and Supply Chain Director said “We are delighted to have set these new Mercedes-Benz trucks on the road. Our aim is to service our retail partners the best we can and these latest additions to our fleet will put us in a better position than ever to do so. These Axors will make us robust in the face of competition.”

He continued: “This investment confirms once again, our dedication to growing our brands. The contract hire deal to which we’ve signed up is highly competitive and means that all our expenses apart from fuel – even tyres and road tax – are covered by a single, predictable payment.  “The training provided by Mercedes-Benz is also helping our excellent drivers to get the very best fuel performance from these trucks, making the whole package even more attractive.”

The Axor range has a new face for 2011 – and plenty more besides. As well as the bold reworked grille and other external updates, new Axor benefits from a series of interior enhancements.  These features, which have also been incorporated on new Atego models, include a multi-function steering wheel which is pneumatically adjustable for height and reach and enables drivers to operate the radio, telephone and driver information system without removing their hands from the wheel. A new graphics-capable instrument cluster which includes an ecometer, helps save fuel, while the upgraded seats have new contours and comfortable, hard-wearing covers. There is also more in-cab storage, while a 23-litre electric coolbox has been added to the list of optional extras.


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