Plant hire specialist puts safety first with new generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinters
Long-established Mercedes-Benz customer Broughton Plant Hire
and Sales has underscored its commitment to safety by commissioning its first
dropsiders from the recently launched new Sprinter range.
The company operates from headquarters in Romford, Essex,
and depots in Bristol, and Alfreton, Derbyshire. Supplied by dealer S & B
Commercials, the latest three additions to its fleet are 314 CDI L3 (long)
chassis cabs, with bodies by Piggott Coachworks, of Bishop’s Stortford, and 500
kg Dhollandia tail-lifts.
Within the last year Broughton Plant Hire and Sales has also
acquired 16 Euro6-engined vans from the previous Sprinter model range, while it
has another nine new-generation versions on order, the last of which is
scheduled to enter service next summer.
Broughton Plant Hire and Sales specialises in the hire and
sale of plant and equipment to the heating, ventilation, and fire protection
Sprinters account for the overwhelming majority of its
vehicles. However, the line-up also includes three Mercedes-Benz Vito service
vans - one for each of its locations - and three trucks: an 18-tonne
Mercedes-Benz Antos with beavertail plant body, and a pair of 7.5-tonne FUSO
Canters, which were also sourced from S & B Commercials.
The Sprinters are employed primarily to transport small
tools, plant and equipment - Broughton Plant Hire and Sales claims market
leadership in the rental and maintenance of press fitting tools, and as a
specialist supplier of low-level access equipment owns a large fleet of podium
steps and push-around vertical lifts.
Having previously run vans from the Mercedes-Benz T1 range
that preceded the Sprinter, Broughton Plant Hire and Sales switched to another
brand in the early 1990s. When the new vehicles proved to be nothing like as
reliable, however, it quickly reverted and has remained loyal to the
three-pointed star ever since.
“We work on the basis that as it’s not broken, we won’t try
to fix it,” explained general manager Joe Zammit. “We cannot afford unplanned
downtime, as we make next-day delivery commitments to our customers. First and
foremost, therefore, we need workhorses that won’t let us down, and that’s what
we get from Mercedes-Benz.”
Safety is also crucial to a company which has secured silver
accreditation from the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), and which
equips all of its Mercedes-Benz vans with recordable front- and rear-facing
The Sprinter has long been recognised as the benchmark for
safety in the van segment, and the third-generation model’s features include
the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with pedestrian recognition
technology - another industry ‘first’ - and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects
drowsiness in drivers and encourages them to take breaks when tired.
“The previous Sprinter was good, but the latest model
represents a huge leap forward,” said Mr Zammit. “Safety is our number one
priority and we’re very conscious as a business of our duty of care to
colleagues and other road users, so the new developments in this area are very