Connected fleet upgrade

Two window companies have recently invested in the latest Mercedes-Benz vans: Alexander Windows and Dorwingear.

Family-owned Alexander Windows is enjoying the benefits of increased efficiency and productivity after turning to the newest member of the Mercedes-Benz Vans retail network for a new fleet of vehicles equipped with PRO connect technology.

Part of the LSH Auto UK group, Mercedes-Benz Vans of Stockport provided its near neighbour with eight black Sprinters, which came with 4G internet connectivity as standard, as well as a pair of Vito models.

Established by proprietor Steve Wood and his wife Gaenor in 1991, Alexander Windows took advantage of a Mercedes-Benz Finance funding package to acquire the vans; Mercedes-Benz Vans of Stockport took back its previous fleet in part-exchange.

The Sprinters are 3.5-tonne 314 CDIs and powered by fuel-efficient 143hp engines that drive the rear wheels. The same model is also available in front-wheel drive configuration. With the exception of a single long-bodied L3 variant used solely for deliveries, all are medium-length L2s, and allocated to Alexander Windows’ uniformed two-person installation teams.

The Sprinters have roof racks and external glass-carrying frails on one or both sides. St Helen’s-based Supertrucks, a long-established supplier to Alexander Windows, fitted new roof racks, but removed the frails from its customer’s previous vehicles, then refurbished them prior to refitting to the Sprinters. The operator installs its own interior racking.

The two mid-sized Vito vans, a 114 CDI Progressive and a 111 CDI Pure, are used by Alexander Windows staff responsible for undertaking surveys and service work.

Mercedes PRO connect provides operators with a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services. As well as pinpointing its location in real time, the system monitors everything from the van’s maintenance status to the efficiency of the driver’s style at the wheel, and even the amount of fuel in the tank. It also provides high-level navigation, communication and security services, and allows fleet managers to control certain vehicle functions remotely. The Sprinter also comes as standard with the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system, which features a user-friendly voice control function.

Meanwhile, Dorwingear operates a fleet of 22 vans, all but an older handful of which are by
Mercedes-Benz. The line-up includes 3.5-tonne Sprinters and a pair of small Citan models, but the mainstay of the fleet is the mid-sized Vito.

Latest to arrive via the city branch of Midlands Truck and Van are three Vito 114 CDI Pure models with long L2 bodies. Acquired with competitive funding support from
Mercedes-Benz Finance, they will be maintained by the Dealer under ServiceCare plans.

Like its last batch of Sprinters, the Vito vans came with 4G internet connectivity and the Mercedes PRO connect vehicle management package.

“Mercedes PRO connect provides a welcome added level of anti-theft protection, but also includes a variety of very useful features to help businesses like ours work more safely and profitably,” Dorwingear director Craig Dollery said.

“Its ability to monitor items like brake fluid levels and pad wear helps us to plan regular maintenance in advance more easily, while the tracking function means we can organise vehicle movements much more easily than before. It’s a really useful tool.

“We’ve tried other makes of vehicle in the past but since switching to Mercedes-Benz six years ago have enjoyed superior reliability and increased ‘uptime’ from our vehicles, while experiencing a high level of customer service from Midlands Truck and Van’s sales and workshop teams.”