Twenty-three Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 311CDI high roof vans are going into service with tail-lift and vehicle shutter door repair and maintenance specialist Stone Hardy.
To be used by mobile engineers, they're being fitted with Bott racking systems. In some cases racking is being removed from the vans previously used, refurbished and installed in the new Sprinters instead.
All the vans are being supplied through dealer Hughes of Aylesbury under a five year contract hire agreement arranged by Lex Vehicle Leasing. Equipped with Gentili 2000 ladder systems they will cover an average 32,500 miles annually apiece and will be expected to tow 1.5-tonne trailers containing test weights.
With its head office in Northampton, Stone Hardy has seven regional sales and service centres.
Elsewhere, two powerful, well-equipped Sprinters — one a 318CDI with 184hp on tap, the other a 315CDI that can call on 150hp — have been acquired by conservatory valeter Fargil. Both high roof long-bodied models, they're fitted with air-conditioning, suspension seats, satellite navigation, Parktronic parking sensors and compact disc changers.
Based in Sturminster Marshall near Poole, Dorset, Fargil cleans and polishes conservatories both internally and externally. As a consequence the Mercedes carry 400-litre water tanks, generators to power cleaning tools and ladders. Their load areas are racked out.
Both Sprinters were sourced from Poole dealer Pentagon Commercials and came with a Mercedes-Benz service package. All labour costs, materials and lubricants required for routine servicing in Pentagon's workshops will be covered for five years/60,000 miles, whichever is reached first.
“We anticipate that 10 per cent of the business we do from now on will be generated by people noticing our smart new vans out on the road,” says Fargil proprietor, Donald Minchin.
Further north, Scunthorpe's Harlequin Office Furniture is using a new Sprinter 311CDI Extra Long with a super-high roof to make deliveries nationwide. With 17m3 of cargo space it offers a 4.7m load length and an interior height of more than 2.1m.
“A lot of our products are around six feet (1.83m) high,” says Harlequin chairman, Terry Teesdale. “Thanks to the extra roof height they can be stood up in our new van rather than having to be laid down flat. We can now carry more items for a single drop rather than having to make a couple of journeys.”