Hydraulic hose specialist Hydraquip likes the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter so much that it has commissioned no fewer than 100 in the last three years.
The company was founded in Crawley, West Sussex, and now has a network of 25 depots stretching from Aberdeen to Exeter. It runs 160 vehicles, 105 of them Mercedes-Benz Sprinters kitted out as mobile workshops. All but five have been delivered since 2014, with the latest taking to the road in the last few weeks and a further 20 scheduled to enter service before the end of the year.
The Medium-length vans are assigned to service engineers who provide a 24-hour, national call-out service, undertaking on-site repairs to hydraulic hoses on excavators, construction and rail vehicles, fork-lift trucks, and a wide range of other equipment.
A combination of Sprinter 313 CDIs and, more recently, Euro 6-engined 314 CDIs, those commissioned by Hydraquip over the last three years have been supplied by Sussex and Surrey Dealer Rossetts Commercials. All are fitted with storage systems for spare parts, tools and equipment, by racking specialist Bott, of Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire.
“We’ve been buying Sprinters since around 2000 and they have always proved superbly reliable,” said Hydraquip Managing Director Duncan MacBain. “When we initially decided to standardise on Mercedes-Benz vans, one of our main competitors was running vehicles of another make – we wanted to set ourselves apart by choosing a brand that reflected our own high standards of service and workmanship.
“We were confident we would get a long and trouble-free working life from the Sprinter, and that has certainly proved to be the case. It is the main reason we’ve stuck with this model ever since.”
Hydraquip also enjoys excellent service from Rossetts Commercials and other members of the national Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Dealer Network, which maintain its vehicles.
“We inherited some vehicles by another manufacturer a few years ago, as a result of a business acquisition, but they weren’t in the same league,” recalled Mr MacBain. “They were off the road much more frequently and the back-up did not compare.
“By contrast, the support we receive from Rossetts is first-class. Sales Executive Tony Harris always ensures our vans are delivered on time and in perfect condition, and handles all of the liaison with Bott. We enjoy a very close professional relationship with the Dealer’s Crawley workshop team, who look after all our locally-based vans.”
Founded by Mr MacBain in 1989, Hydraquip started out with a staff of three but now employs more than 300 people who work from 25 locations nationwide. The forward-looking company is still actively expanding – its target is to have 200 service vans on the road by 2020.
To kick-start its drive to recruit more mobile engineers Hydraquip has launched its own bespoke training programme, designed in conjunction with hydraulics industry body the British Fluid Power Association. It has also developed a bespoke app, believed to be the first in its industry, which its engineers use to provide detailed updates about any callout to the customer in real time, via their smart phones.