Seahouses-based Trotters Family Bakers is using the newcomers to supply its own chain of seven shops as well as wholesalers as far afield as Edinburgh. Equipped with either Long or Extra Long bodies, the vans were insulated and fitted with fridge units by Gray and Adams, while Car Cosmetics of South Shields applied the operator’s livery.

The Sprinters have been acquired under a three year full-repair-and-maintenance contract hire agreement with Northstar Vehicles. It’s the finance arm of the Bell Group, which also owns dealership Bell Truck and Van.

Trotters runs 14 vans and three more Mercedes were about to join the fleet at the time of writing. Graeme Trotter, one of five partners in the family-run business, is particularly impressed by Bell Van & Truck’s round-the-clock workshop opening hours. “It means that if we have a problem we can get it sorted out at a time that suits us, and not incur any downtime,” he explains. “It’s not a service we’ve had to call on yet, but it’s good to know that it’s there if we need it.”

Further south, South Wales operator One2One Logistics has opted for two Sprinter 313CDI chassis cabs; one bodied as a curtainsider, one with a box body with a sleeper pod. Both bodies were the work of Cardiff Truck and Bus.

The Sprinters were sourced through Newport dealership Euro Commercials — One2One is based in Risca — under a four year Mercedes-Benz Charterway hire purchase agreement and look set to clock up half a million miles prior to disposal. High mileages hold no terrors for Sprinters in One2One’s experience. “We don’t have any problems with them so long as they’re serviced regularly,” says managing director, Chris Phillips.

The firm runs five Sprinters and specialises in urgent deliveries of everything from aerospace components to pharmaceuticals. It also handles awkwardly-shaped cargo such as machinery.