Chiltern Cold Storage boss Paul Jackson treated himself to one of the 100 limited edition Mercedes Actros1 tractors to mark his company’s 25thanniversary – and promptly took it to Spain to collect a load of fruit and salads.

The 1,300-mile drive back from south of Valencia gave him a perfect opportunity to put the 2563 Actros1 unit through its paces. His verdict: “Stunning! A fantastic looking truck which is exceptionally comfortable and offers huge reserves of power, yet still returned a very acceptable 9mpg.”

Peterborough-based Chiltern’s latest addition was supplied by East Anglia Dealer Orwell Truck & Van.

Thanks to a comprehensive array of optional technology, comfort features and visual enhancements,Actros1 elevates driver appeal to a new level. It comes in black or silver/black colour schemes, both with distinctive green highlights.

Chiltern’s truck is fitted with Kelsa light bars, and a 20-inch TV screen and a coffee maker. It has been allocated to long-serving driver Wojciech Pospiech.

It pulls a new SOR refrigerated semi-trailer which wears a special livery charting a succession of milestones in the development of the business, and is making regular runs to and from the Italian cities of Naples and Milan.

Founded by Mr Jackson as Chiltern Cold Store in 1993, the operator is now a leading provider of bespoke refrigerated transport, pharmaceutical & healthcare logistics services across the UK and Europe, and last year turned over £28m. It operates a temperature-controlled fleet of 60 trucks, the majority of them tractor units.

“The Actros1 is a lot more powerful than the vehicles I usually buy,” he said. “But its launch coincided nicely with our own anniversary and I’ve maintained a great relationship over the years with Orwell Truck & Van, so I decided to go for it.

“Whenever I buy a new piece of equipment I like to try it for myself and this truck certainly lived up to its billing on the run back from Spain, as it’s a real pleasure to drive. It performed brilliantly as I came back through the Pyrenees, while some of the safety features are particularly impressive.”