Think of a local dealer and you’ll likely conjure up an imagine of a small-town garage – somewhere that’s been around for ages to which the locals return every time they need anything from an oil change to a new van. 

Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles specialist Intercounty Truck & Van is like that, but much bigger. It has been in business for more than 20 years and its footprint extends across the east of England, the Midlands and into the home counties – with operations in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. It has a total of five sites in Wellingborough, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Boston and Dunstable, the latter being its most recent addition. 

Despite its wide geographical reach, the retailer is just as happy handling the sales, service and maintenance for the smallest of outfits as it is the very largest, and counts a wide array of sole traders among its customer base. At the other end of the spectrum, it conducts fleet support and handles daily LCV repairs and maintenance for major operators, such as supermarkets, courier firms and the emergency services, and has long-standing relationships with big-name fleets such as Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest supplier of building materials to the construction, DIY and home improvement markets, with which it has worked since 2008 and supplied more than 1,000 vehicles over the years. 

The company’s sales arm covers the full spectrum of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, from the smallest van to the largest truck, and it also has an extensive approved used operation, offering a broad range of pre-owned models from the brand, each of which has been subject to an extensive pre-delivery inspection, and many are supplied with a warranty of up to two years. 

All things electric 

Intercounty was an early adopter of Mercedes-Benz’s electric van range, which enables it to provide a wealth of knowledge to assist and consult companies keen to take on plug-in vehicles from the brand. 

The group has both hosted and been active in a series of events designed to boost awareness of electric LCVs and demonstrate their capability in real-world scenarios. It regularly holds electric ride and drive events at its premises both to allow existing and prospective customers to try out the vehicles and the technology, and as a showcase for its e-consultancy service. 

The latter draws on its familiarity and expertise with plug-in commercial vehicles and is designed to help customers identify not only the right model, but also understand how best to integrate it into their business. That can include establishing whether it could feasibly replace an existing diesel vehicle and getting to grips with on-site and nearby public charging infrastructure for a thorough understanding of the real-world practicalities of electric commercial vehicle operation – widely acknowledged as one of the biggest conundrums facing modern van operators. Parcel collection and delivery giant Hermes is among the big-name companies to draw on Intercounty’s electric van expertise, having procured 168 eSprinters from the group for its Evri fleet.  

Further endeavours to promote plug-in vans have included recently providing a fleet of eVito Tourers to Silverstone Circuit for a Sustainability in Sport event and sponsoring the inaugural London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally. Intercounty’s three battery-powered Mercedes-Benz vans – an eSprinter, an eVito panel van and a nine-seat eVito Tourer – joined the 59-mile run from Parliament Square to the seaside town’s Palace Pier. As the rally took place, fellow members of the Intercounty team displayed a series of electric Mercedes-Benz vans on Brighton’s famous Madeira Drive, and team members later travelled the 135 miles back to the group’s headquarters in Wellingborough on the original battery charge.

Back at base – all five of them – Intercountry has installed extensive electric charging infrastructure to power up the increasing number of plug-in vehicles at its sites. Each depot is also fully tooled up and technical staff are extensively trained to work on the latest EVs – no mean feat given the industrywide shortage of EV-qualified technicians. Every other member of staff has also undergone EV training, be they in the sales or customer service departments, so businesses can be sure they are getting top-notch expertise when it comes to electric vehicles. 

Intercounty has also mapped the locations of public charge around its five branch locations. This information is available to those taking extended test drives, as well as to customers purchasing vehicles from the group, so they can be fully clued up about where to charge in areas local to each dealership. 

The group also believes in putting its money where its mouth is, which is why it runs an in-house fleet of electric vans for parts delivery duties and as courtesy vehicles. 

To efficiency and beyond 

Beyond its EV endeavours, the group has a major focus on efficiency. Its Dunstable site is the latest in its portfolio and replaced the outgoing Toddington depot in late 2023. Fully refurbished prior to this, the Dunstable site was established with a clear focus on maximising both energy efficiency and productivity. Its state-of-the-art equipment and modern energy systems keep its environmental impact to a minimum and also allow it to accommodate larger volumes of work, meeting customers’ growing needs more efficiently and effectively. 

The Dunstable site builds on the productivity gains the group has previously established at its other locations. Intercounty’s depot in Boston, Lincolnshire, for example, recently embarked on a productivity drive to meet increasing levels of customer demand. Tasked with servicing around 50 trucks and vans daily, the site previously used a tablet system to record data taken during its maintenance and inspection processes.

“Whilst the old system of using a tablet worked in terms of recording data taken during a vehicle inspection, the process was not 100% efficient, as the flow of data and information was disjointed,” said Intercounty Boston’s depot manager, Steve Sargeant. 

“Our technicians had to continually pause from the inspection process to record the necessary information on the tablet, and with more and more vehicles coming through the door, it was a necessity for us that we looked at an alternative method to complete these inspections more quickly, whilst adhering to strict industry standards for vehicle compliance.”

The group turned to fleet and workshop software specialist Truckfile to streamline its practices and adopted its new voice-enabled solution for vehicle maintenance and inspections, itself developed by Truckfile’s tech specialist partner, Dakota. Prompts are delivered and operator responses are provided verbally, via a compact, wearable computer with a headset to receive instructions. The computer is connected over a wireless network, so operators can communicate directly with the software system to confirm their actions verbally in real time, while working hands and eyes-free. 

The result was a staggering 40% increase in workshop productivity, as Sargeant explains: “Vehicle inspections are now taking 90 minutes instead of two hours, so our productivity and efficiency has gone through the roof. We had initially hoped for a 10% increase, but the reality of the solution has far exceeded our expectations. All of our inspection data is now instantly uploaded and available on our Truckfile Workshop System for our customers to see, meaning every vehicle leaving our depot is equipped with a fully compliant inspection sheet. Our technicians love the new voice solution and would never go back to how we were working previously. The depot is now functioning much more smoothly and efficiently than ever before.”

Keep it simple 

As progressive and as forward-thinking as electric vans and high-tech workshop software are, Intercounty is also firmly focused on getting the basics right. Simple elements include opening on Saturdays to better accommodate businesses that cannot spare the vehicle and/or employee downtime time during the week, and a free visual health check – designed for those with vehicles that have been through an idle period or put in above-average miles – comprising a 15-minute visual inspection of 28 critical maintenance points. The group has also recently launched an extensive online parts store, which gives customers the ability to order commercial vehicle parts at their convenience. 

Customer service is paramount to Intercounty, and it is front-of-mind in every area of its business. The commercial vehicle industry thrives on long-term relationships and a thorough understanding of operators’ needs – especially the critical impact of vehicle downtime.  

All of the above is just as relevant to the smallest sole trader as it is to the biggest of commercial vehicle operators. To find out more about how Intercounty Truck & Van can benefit your business, call the Wellingborough head office on 01933 232600 or visit