Mercedes-Benz Actros1 rocks for Genesis 2014.
Marcus Hughes’ family is steeped in the transport industry, which helps to explain why nephew Joshua is now driving his new fleet flagship, a sensational Mercedes-Benz Actros1.
A real head-turner in metallic silver and black, with striking green highlights, the limited-edition tractor unit also bears the name of fast-growing Genesis 2014. The Stoke-on-Trent-based company was launched by Mr Hughes four years ago, after he bought out his brother from a previous business; their father ran his own haulage firm, too.
Genesis 2014’s Actros1 arrived via the local branch of Roanza Truck & Van. The Dealer’s exemplary, customer-focused service has been instrumental in convincing Mr Hughes’ decision to convert his entire fleet of 36 trucks to Mercedes-Benz.
The manufacturer is building a maximum of 100 Actros 1s, all based on the 6x2 chassis with range-topping GigaSpace cab. Like most customers, Mr Hughes has chosen the top-rated 460 kW (625 hp) 15.6-litre, OM473 straight-six engine, although for those whose priority is optimum fuel-efficiency an impressively economical alternative is available, in the shape of the second-generation 12.8-litre OM471 with 390 kW (530 hp) output.
Actros1 showcases Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ technological leadership, while an exhaustive list of comfort features and visual enhancements elevates driver appeal to a new level. Genesis 2014’s truck is the subject of a contract hire agreement with Roanza’s in-house provider, Premier Vehicle Rental.
Like all Actros1s the truck came equipped with Uptime, a ground-breaking maintenance system with which Marcus Hughes was already familiar, as most of his other Mercedes-Benz tractors are specified with the same, optional feature.
Uptime employs sensors, which monitor the condition of the vehicle constantly. As a result, the customer’s allocated Dealer knows precisely what is required before the truck reaches the workshop. The Dealer can then order parts in advance, while allocating sufficient time during a single visit to complete all tasks.
Genesis 2014 relies heavily on the Fleetboard telematics hardware which is fitted as standard on all Actros tractor units. Fleetboard’s driver and vehicle analysis reports enable it to address any shortcomings in style at the wheel, and thereby maximise mpg returns. Mr Hughes and his colleagues use the system’s mapping function to track and if necessary re-route vehicles in real time, and manage driver rest periods, while Fleetboard’s remote digital tachograph download facility also contributes to the smooth running of the business.
Genesis 2014’s biggest customer is online retailer Amazon. As well as transporting parcels throughout the UK, the operator regularly sends trucks as far south as Italy, Spain and Portugal, and east into Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Every delivery is time-sensitive, so we cannot afford to have a truck sat in the workshop,” said Mr Hughes. “Roanza’s back-up and level of communication is 100% better than we used to get from our previous supplier. This customer-focused commitment, coupled with the visibility and efficiency that Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ advanced technology provides, ensure that our trucks stay where they belong – on the road and earning.”
Mr Hughes also praised the service he receives from Roanza’s Fleet Truck Sales Executive Paul Rowley. He recalled: “Paul came up with a cracking deal on our first two
Mercedes-Benz trucks, which we acquired about 18 months ago, and I’ve been buying from him ever since.
“In addition to their outstanding reliability and minimal downtime, our Actros are highly fuel-efficient. True, we’re running light much of the time, but figures of 12-13 mpg are a lot better than we were getting from our previous trucks.”
He added: “Joshua has been ticking off the days until his new Actros1 arrived, and now he’s seen it he is absolutely chuffed. It’s a fantastic looking flagship for a fleet which I’m determined to continue growing over the months and years to come, in partnership with Roanza and Mercedes-Benz.”
Actros1 fuel-efficiency is enhanced by the well-proven Predictive Powertrain Control system, while the vehicle also bristles with technology designed to prevent and mitigate the effects of accidents. The Mercedes-Benz Safety Pack includes the remarkable Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking and Proximity Control Assist systems, plus a driver’s airbag; the truck is also fitted with an optional, high-performance engine brake and tyre pressure monitor.
Inside, the luxurious Style Line interior design is complemented by a leather-trimmed steering wheel and Comfort leather massage seats for driver and co-driver, an uprated multimedia entertainment system and a Premium Comfort mattress. Practical features such as automatic climate control, an electric sunroof and sunblind, a microwave and pull-out refrigerator, and rear overhead lockers also contribute to the ‘feel-good factor’ for drivers.
Externally, the specification includes painted side guards and catwalks, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels with painted hubs, and roof-mounted air horns. Bi-xenon headlamps, LED tail lights and an illuminated grille-mounted star complete the striking look.