28th October 2014, Avonmouth: City West Commercials, the South-West’s Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Partner, has secured a UK record-breaking contract win, receiving an order of 50 vehicles from the family-owned and run company Hopkins Concrete.
A remarkable improvement in fuel efficiency and payload from its first four units, coupled with City West Commercials customer-focused Repair and Maintenance services, persuaded Hopkins Concrete to place the UK’s biggest single order yet for the new Mercedes-Benz Arocs truck range.
Somerset-based Hopkins Concrete supplies readymix concrete and aggregates, and provides muckaway and concrete pumping services, throughout the South-West. A vast the majority of the trucks ordered will be Arocs 8×4 rigids with S day cabs and 290 kW (394 hp) Euro VI engines.
Of these, 25 will be Arocs 3240B models with lightweight Hymix mixer drums, and 20 will be 3240K tipper chassis fitted with steel muckaway bodies by Abba Commercials. The remaining five vehicles will be Arocs 2545 tractor units with StreamSpace cabs, 330 kW (449 hp) engines and mid-lift axles.
Hopkins Concrete operates from headquarters in Wincanton where it has invested heavily over recent years in modern batching and mixing facilities, and a second depot in Bridgwater. The company, which farms some 3,500 acres in addition to meeting the increasing demands of the construction industry as the recovery gathers pace, runs a fleet of 60 trucks. Most of their fleet will be stood down to make way for the new Arocs.
Hopkins Operations Manager Ben Legg said the impressive fuel efficiency of the first four vehicles ordered by Hopkins was a key factor in the company’s decision to order another 50. “We’ve seen a remarkable improvement in economy from the Arocs,” he confirmed. “In some cases they’re as much as a mile and a half per gallon ahead of our established vehicles.
“Due to the nature of our work, we do not have the luxury of motorway trunking and, spending a lot of time on hills and country lanes, it is rare that we achieve the highest fuel figures. But the Arocs are typically returning 8mpg and sometimes a little more on the exactly the same runs where we were previously getting 6.5-7 mpg.
“An improvement of that magnitude, if replicated across the entire fleet, is worth a lot of money to the business. What’s more, our new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are not even fully run in yet; we should start to see the optimum fuel performance once they have 30-40,000 miles on their clocks.”
Also important to Hopkins Concrete was the highly competitive body and payload allowance of the 8×4 Arocs mixer chassis. “Weight has become a major issue in the concrete industry, because as a result of Euro VI, trucks have inevitably become heavier,” continued Mr Legg. “But City West have demonstrated that with a bit of fine-tuning to the chassis, and with Hymix’s lightweight bodies, we’ll still be able to carry our standard, 8m3 load of concrete.”
He added: “The Mercedes-Benz team has been very professional and positive throughout the negotiations over our fleet renewal programme. City West Commercials will be inspecting and servicing our new trucks during the evenings, so they are always available for work when we need them.”
Speaking on the record contract win, City West Commercials Dealer Principal, Graeson Clarke, said: “The signing of the deal with Hopkins Concrete is a significant development for the construction industry in the South West. The new Mercedes-Benz Arocs range is helping businesses throughout the region cut their costs whilst our excellent customer support team is ensuring their commercial vehicle fleets are maintained stress-free.
“We are delighted that Hopkins Concrete are reaping the benefits of the new Arocs range and we look forward to further supporting their business grow.”
Hopkins Concrete began trading more than 30 years ago. Initially, it produced concrete solely for the group’s own development work, but it quickly became apparent that there was a big opportunity to sell its services to local builders and others. It is now a major supplier to the construction industry in the South-West.