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Tamdown goes for the safe option with new Mercedes-Benz Arocs heavy hauler

The protection of vulnerable road users was at the top of its agenda when Tamdown ordered its first Mercedes-Benz truck. The Essex-based operator specified the 80-tonne gcw tractor unit with an optional Safety Pack which includes the manufacturer’s latest Active Brake Assist 4 autonomous braking system, with innovative pedestrian recognition technology.

Tamdown is a high-profile provider of infrastructure and civil engineering services for residential, commercial and public sector developments. The Nexus Infrastructure group of companies, of which it is a part, runs a fleet of more than 200 vehicles from its head office in Braintree.

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3363 arrived via the West Thurrock branch of Dealer S & B Commercials and replaced a unit by the Swedish manufacturer Tamdown has favoured for the last two decades. It has already been quick to impress with its fuel-efficiency – returns are a full 3 mpg ahead of its predecessor, and improving.

The operator’s only tractor, its other trucks being rigids of various sizes, the muscular Arocs has a StreamSpace cab and state-of-the-art, 15.6-litre straight-six engine producing a range-topping 460 kW (625 hp). Its 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated gearbox incorporates EcoRoll and Creep functions for, respectively, enhanced economy and low-speed manoeuvrability.

Tamdown works primarily in London and the South-East, although shortly after going on the road its new Mercedes-Benz was sent as far as Wales. The subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the Arocs pulls a twin rear-steer low-loader trailer by Belgian specialist Faymonville, on which it transports a variety of plant, including excavators, dumpers, crushers and screeners.

Tamdown Plant & Procurement Director Mark Cain confirmed that the manufacturer’s market-leading safety credentials were key to the Dealer’s success in winning its breakthrough order.

“Representatives of both Mercedes-Benz and S & B came to see us, and delivered a compelling presentation,” he recalled. “We are always conscious at Tamdown of our Duty of Care, both to our own employees and to other road users, and committed to compliance in its broadest sense. We were persuaded, therefore, by the reassuring armoury of advanced safety technology with which we have been able to equip our new Arocs.”

He continued: “We were also persuaded by the promise of a significant improvement in diesel returns compared to our previous heavy haulage unit – a promise which I’m happy to say the Arocs is already delivering on – and the highly cost-effective contract hire package which we were offered.

“Importantly,” Mr Cain added, “the early feedback from our driver Mark Willoughby has been entirely positive too. He says the vehicle is exceptionally comfortable and drives very nicely, with plenty of power on tap when he needs it.”

The increasingly popular Mercedes-Benz Safety Pack features the latest version of Proximity Control Assist, which intervenes automatically to reduce the risk of rear-end shunts by restricting the truck’s speed and maintaining a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front, and a driver’s airbag (rigid vehicles also get Roll Control Assist).

But its most significant feature is Active Brake Assist, which employs multi-mode radar to monitor moving and stationary objects in front of the vehicle. The system sounds an audible warning when it senses potential for a collision. If the driver takes no action, it will apply staged braking – and eventually full braking power – to prevent a crash, or dramatically reduce the effects of an impact.

Introduced on UK vehicles this spring, the latest, fourth-generation version incorporates a ‘world first’ – pedestrian recognition.  On detecting a pedestrian – it can even recognise one stepping into the truck’s path from behind a parked car – Active Brake Assist 4 will apply partial, but not full, braking, while simultaneously activating acoustic and visual warnings.

Due to its imposing size and complex specification, Tamdown’s new Arocs will be maintained at S & B’s comprehensively equipped vehicle maintenance unit in Hatfield. “These are still early days but we like what we’ve seen so far of the Dealer,” added Mr Cain. “We have been impressed with the level of communication and service – its sales team members have demonstrated excellent product knowledge and been very helpful.”

A provider of specialist infrastructure services and concrete frames, Tamdown takes pride in its straightforward, collaborative approach to customer relationships, which allows it to bring innovation and continuous efficiency improvements to all of its projects.