Family-owned North-East haulier M Dungait & Sons knows a good thing when it sees one, which explains why it has just returned to Bell Truck and Van for its third Mercedes-Benz Actros this year.
The Morpeth-based operator runs a fleet of 18 trucks. All were supplied by the same Dealer, and all are Actros 2551 BigSpace tractor units with the sole exception of a FUSO Canter 7.5-tonner – the Mercedes-Benz Network sells and supports the popular Japanese light truck range in Britain.
Director John Dungait said: “We’ve tried most other makes in the past but nothing beats the Mercedes-Benz as an all-round package. Our trucks perform superbly and are extremely reliable in a very tough application. They also look smart and are very popular with our drivers.”
The Actros pull tall, 4.8 metre-high ‘chipliner’ trailers and run fully-freighted at 44 tonnes GCW most of the time. “They average 8.2 mpg, which is very good considering the demands of the job,” continued Mr Dungait. “On the rare occasions that we have a much lighter load on, they are well into double figures.
“No less important is the excellent service we receive from Bell Truck and Van. We’ve been working with them for many years and enjoy a close relationship – the Dealer looks after us really well and nothing is ever too much trouble.”
Dungait’s trucks are powered by state-of-the-art 12.8-litre straight-six engines which transmit their 375 kW (510 hp) outputs via smooth Mercedes PowerShift automated gearboxes. Like all Actros tractors, they come with two-year Repair and Maintenance Contracts.
“We tend to keep our trucks for five years,” said Mr Dungait. “Once the free cover has expired we undertake routine checks and maintenance in-house, but return them to Bell for anything more complex. The Dealer keeps our workshop supplied with regular, prompt parts deliveries, and is always very flexible when it comes to booking a truck in, carrying out work overnight if necessary.”
“Our drivers are invariably out on the road for a week at a time, so comfort is also an important factor,” he added. “They love the roomy, flat-floored BigSpace cabs, to which we add microwave ovens and fridges, so their trucks are a real ‘home from home’.”
The Dungait family’s roots are in farming and agricultural haulage but today most of its work is undertaken for EGGER (UK) Limited, a leading UK producer of wood-based materials and Northumberland’s largest manufacturer. The operator’s trucks deliver finished EGGER products to furniture and building customers across the UK and return with loads of recycled wood from EGGER Timberpak.