Ground-breaking Actros gets off to a flyer for DR MacLeod


DR MacLeod is running first new Mercedes-Benz truck after more than 35 years in business.

Hebridean haulage contractor began trading in Stornoway in 1981 with a single vehicle, now has a fleet of 55 trucks and 90 trailers.

Hebridean haulage contractor DR MacLeod is running its first new Mercedes-Benz truck after more than 35 years in the road transport business.

The company began trading in Stornoway in 1981, with a single vehicle. The latest addition to a fleet that now numbers 55 trucks and 90 trailers is a highly specified Actros 2551 tractor unit.

Supplied by the Aberdeen branch of the manufacturer’s reigning Truck Dealer of the Year Caledonian Truck & Van – which traded until recently as Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles – the Actros has a range-topping GigaSpace cab and is resplendent in the operator’s eye-catching yellow and blue livery.

The truck’s advanced 12.8 litre Mercedes-Benz OM 471 LA straight-six engine transmits its 375 kW (510 hp) output to the road via a smooth and efficient PowerShift 3 automated gearbox.

DR MacLeod said the decision to invest in his first Mercedes-Benz owed much to the persistence of Andrew Rennie, the Dealer’s Head of Truck Sales.

“Andrew wore us down in the end,” he smiled. “He worked very hard to convince us of the case for the Actros, and for Caledonian Truck & Van’s back-up. We also trialled a demonstrator for a week and it compared favourably with our established trucks, so we decided the time was finally right to plant a Mercedes-Benz ‘seed’ in the fleet.”

Although its headquarters are on the Isle of Lewis most of DR MacLeod’s trucks work out of a depot in Inverness. From here they deliver a wide range of cargoes for customers across the Western Isles, central Scotland and over the border. Usually fully freighted at 44 tonnes, the Actros is now undertaking regular runs to the midlands and south of England, hauling heavy engineering products in a curtainside trailer.

"We’ll be benchmarking the new unit carefully against other vehicles on the same work,” said Mr MacLeod. “Fuel economy will be critical, of course, but so too will after sales support. The relationship with the dealer is crucial to us; we’ve been given every assurance we could ask for so although these are still early days I’m confident the Actros will prove a valued addition to our business.”

The new truck has certainly impressed driver Donald Sinclair who revealed: “I’d never driven an Actros before but it’s really impressive. The engine has plenty of power for tackling the hilly terrain we face in the Highlands and Islands, and the ride quality is very good. The GigaSpace cab is well-designed and comfortable, and has all the room I need, even on a long trip.”

DR MacLeod hauls a wide range of products, from bulk liquids in road tanks, to foodstuffs in refrigerated trailers, for supermarket branches across Skye, the Uists, and Lewis and Harris. It also operates a heavy haulage division which handles abnormal loads.

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