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Trucking Industry UK

Wessington Cryogenics cuts costs with high-tech Mercedes Actros

Wessington Cryogenics enjoys a global reputation for quality, so it's no surprise they chose the Mercedes Actros.

Wessington Cryogenics enjoys a global reputation for the design, quality and reliability of the storage vessels and tanks it manufactures.

It should come as no surprise then, that when it came to purchasing its first truck, the North East company chose a brand whose name is synonymous with the same attributes – Mercedes.

The 18-tonne Actros was supplied by local dealer Bell Truck and Van and boasts a full complement of advanced technology including MirrorCam, the manufacturer’s ground-breaking alternative to conventional mirrors. 

This boosts safety by providing improved rear vision and eliminating forward-facing blind spots caused by mirror housings.

Used for very short-range internal transport

The new truck is used solely for very short-range internal transport – it is used primarily to move ISO tanks between Wessington Cryogenics’ three main paint shops and five other subcontract facilities, all of which are located within a 10-mile radius of the company’s headquarters. This task was previously assigned to a third-party haulier.

Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finance, the Actros will be inspected and maintained under a five-year Complete Service Contract at Bell Truck and Van’s Longbenton workshop.  

Other highlights for the firm’s new Actros include the stylish and intuitively operated multimedia cockpit, which replaces traditional switchgear with twin, tablet-style screens, one with touch functionality; the latest version of the fuel-saving predictive powertrain control system; and Active Brake Assist 5, with enhanced pedestrian-recognition capability.

The vehicle has a Classic Space S day cab and, as an 1824 variant, employs a 7.7-litre six-cylinder engine that produces 238 hp; this is paired with an eight-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated manual transmission. 

Its platform body is by Dependable Bodies, of Gateshead, and fitted with twist-locks for securing the frames in which vessels are carried.

‘Brought the transport function in-house’

Wessington Cryogenics’ sales engineer, Dave Easton, said: “We’re very busy and have been growing strongly. The company is embarking on a major investment drive so has brought the transport function in-house to provide extra flexibility, as well as cost savings. 

“As for our choice of truck, we do have some experience of the transport sector as we also manufacture road tankers.”

He added: “Given what we already knew of the brand, not least through recommendations from customers, it was always going to be a Mercedes. Our first call, therefore, was to Bell Truck and Van.

“We’re delighted with our new Actros, as are its drivers. The younger of the two was blown away from the outset by all of the digital technology and while his colleague is a bit more ‘old school’ so missed the mirrors initially, he very quickly came to appreciate the safety and other benefits that MirrorCam offers.”

Offers a comprehensive range of dewars

Established in 1984, Wessington Cryogenics is based in Houghton le Spring, near Sunderland, and offers a comprehensive range of dewars – specialised vacuum flasks – for storing liquid nitrogen, argon, oxygen and helium, and ISO tank containers, as well as bespoke ‘specials’ for specific applications. 

Cryogenics is the branch of physics that deals with the production and effects of very low temperatures and their products are used in a host of offshore and industrial applications.

It also provides repair and refurbishment services and can restore to ‘as new’ condition most other makes of cryogenic vessels, as well as its own.

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