As one of the UK’s biggest recyclers of aluminium, Alutrade knows all about the value of metal – no surprise, then, that the latest addition to its fleet wears a Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star. The company, which operates from a 100,000 sq ft production facility in Oldbury, West Midlands, offers its customers a free, 24-hour collection service nationwide.
“We’re buying off-cuts and scrap pieces of aluminium rather than steel, so weight is rarely an issue,” explained Managing Director Chris George, who founded Alutrade in 1987. “This new truck goes all over the country and we’ve opted for a slightly bigger engine than would otherwise be necessary, to reflect the fact that it’s pulling two 28 cubic yard skips rather than just one.”
The Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Atego range comprises no fewer than 42 model variants in the 6.5-16-tonne gvw light distribution segment. Customers can choose from state-of-the-art OM934 four-cylinder and OM936 six-cylinder engines with a combined total of seven output ratings – Alutrade’s vehicle is powered by the 175 kW (238 hp) version of the high-torque ‘six pot’.
The truck’s S ClassicSpace cab features new seats and an ergonomically designed dashboard, while driver comfort and safety are further enhanced by the standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission and a comprehensively reworked chassis, rear suspension, cab mounting and steering system.
Euro VI Atego models also offer a 90% reduction in particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, while consuming significantly less fuel and up to 40% less AdBlue than their Euro 5 equivalents.
Smartly finished in silver, with black and blue sign-writing, Alutrade’s Atego also helps to convey a professional, high-quality image. “We’re working at the top end of our industry and when my lorries are on the road they represent the public face of our business,” said Mr George.
The company’s latest Atego replaces a previous version, which Alutrade ran for six years. “That truck was brilliant,” he recalled. “She was so reliable that we hardly put a spanner on her, which helps to explain why the driver was so keen to have another Mercedes-Benz this time.”
The new vehicle is the subject of a five-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance contract. “The R&M package was very competitively priced, so much so that I actually phoned the dealership to check the figures I’d been quoted were correct,” continued Mr George.
“Certainly, the savings we’ll make over the term on inspections and servicing mean the Atego is a far more attractive proposition in financial terms than the other make of vehicle we were considering, while we also have the peace of mind which comes from knowing our new truck is being properly maintained by factory-trained technicians fitting only approved parts.”
Alutrade services over 500 end users of aluminium extrusion, ranging from window companies to the aerospace industry and including major names such as Kawneer, Smart Systems and Sapa Extrusions. The company has invested heavily in the latest mechanical sorting and grading facilities, which allows it to trade in high volumes of aluminium scrap.