Metal fabrications specialist Hydram Engineering has responded to increased demand from customers by commissioning its biggest truck yet, a 16-tonner from the Mercedes Atego range which has been providing reliable service for upwards of 20 years.
Based in Chilton, County Durham, the company is a leading provider of subcontract services covering all aspects of precision sheet metal profiling, forming and fabrication, as well as powder coating and assembly.
The new rigid arrived, like the six other vehicles on the Hydram fleet, via North-East Dealer Bell Truck and Van. At 16 tonnes, its gross weight is the highest in the Atego portfolio.
The truck is smartly finished in the operator’s distinctive silver livery, with the personalised registration plate P222HYD. It has a ClassicSpace S-cab and, as a 1521 model, is powered by a 211hp 5.1-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Its 26ft curtainside body is by Robinsons Truck Bodyworks, of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The company has previously relied on 13½-tonne trucks. Underlining the Atego’s reliability and durability, Hydram is still running a 14-year-old example which has clocked-up 970,000km, as well as others from 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Purchasing Manager David Lowes explained: “We’re very busy and some of our products are heavy, so we felt a vehicle which offered a higher payload would beneficial in helping us to meet the rise in customer demand.
“The new truck’s footprint is no bigger than previous versions, but it has enabled us to increase efficiency and improve cost and other controls by reducing the extent to which we rely on third-party transport providers to support our in-house operation.”
He continued: “We like to run vehicles which stand out from the crowd, and feel Mercedes complements our own company’s image and reputation for quality.
“We pride ourselves in going ‘above and beyond’ in terms of the service we provide to our customers. This means the avoidance of unplanned vehicle downtime is crucial. The Atego has proved over the years to be exceptionally reliable and has given us the flexibility we need to respond quickly to changing requirements.”
Hydram’s trucks undertake nationwide deliveries so the round-the-clock support provided by members of Mercedes Trucks’ Dealer network is also key to the Atego’s appeal. “There have been very few occasions when we’ve needed to call on the manufacturer’s Service24h back-up, but when we’ve done so it’s performed well,” added Mr Lowes.