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Queensland business saves fuel with Mercedes-Benz trucks

Queensland-based wholesale plant nursery business, Withcott Seedlings, has grown its fleet of new-generation Mercedes-Benz trucks to nine.

The business, located at Withcott near Toowoomba, reportedly delivers 350 million seedlings per year to farmers across the eastern states.

The Withcott Seedlings team decided to introduce its own fleet of trucks, rather than relying on third party operators and took delivery of three new-generation Mercedes-Benz trucks in 2016, and another three midway through last year.

The company has since decided to order three more, which will be delivered next month. Excellent fuel economy was singled out as the most impressive trait of the new Mercedes-Benz truck.

“We are picking up half to three quarters of a kilometre per litre, which is phenomenal,” said Withcott Seedlings CEO, Mike Hindle. “Our load is not heavy, about 12 tonne, which is nothing really, but they still need fuel and other trucks we have used have certainly used more fuel towing the same load.”

Hindle said he is also impressed by the reduced amount of downtime. “I’m not a mechanic’s bootlace but I can’t believe how long these things go before you need to service them.“

New-generation Euro 6 Mercedes-Benz trucks are available with 11-litre, 13-litre and 16-litre engines. Withcott Seedlings selected the 2653 model, which runs a high horsepower 13-litre unit that generates 530hp and 2600Nm linked up to a 12-speed fully automated transmission.

Running in B-double format, the trucks can deliver 450,000 seedlings to farmers, which is enough to cover 23 hectares (56 acres).

The Withcott Seedlings trucks have a high level of safety and feature automated emergency braking system (Active Brake Assist), lane departure warning (Lane Keeping Assist), fatigue warning (Attention Assist) and adaptive cruise control (Proximity Control Assist).

“At the end of the day as directors of the company, anything we can do in our duty of care to give our drivers a safer truck, the radar cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning is of utmost importance,“ said Withcott Seedlings Director, Graham Erhart.

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