Mercedes-Benz Sprinter supports work of independent technician17 June 2020

As independent truck and trailer technician Dom Coia endeavours to rearrange a crucial meeting with a potential customer that was postponed when lockdown restrictions were introduced, he is convinced that his comprehensively-equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can help him to win the business and secure his future. The Coventry-based Scot, who trades as Alpha Truck Services, has been running Mercedes-Benz vehicles for 35 years, and a loyal customer of Midlands Truck & Van for more than a decade. His latest van, the fourth he has purchased from the dealer, is based on a Sprinter 519 CDI L3 H2 designed for operation at a gross weight of 5.0 tonnes.

As with his previous vans, though, it has been downrated to 3.5 tonnes GVW. He chose this model for its heavier-duty componentry, including the twin rear wheels through which the 3.0-litre V6 engine's 187bhp output is transmitted to the road. He also had the front axle uprated, to reflect the particularly arduous nature of his work, which takes him out in all weathers and at all times of the day and night.

Coia has remained busy throughout the Coronavirus lockdown, helping to keep his principal customer's parcels distribution fleet on the road. Working night shifts, he helps to maintain and repair up to 200 trucks and trailers at the company's hub in north Warwickshire, while also attending roadside breakdowns at other times. Like so many others, though, his customer is now facing tough times, so Dom is keen to secure additional work during days and at weekends, including from the breakdown agency with which his planned meeting fell through.

Mounted with flashing LED lights in the grille and a roof-mounted beacon bar at the rear, his new vehicle carries a full complement of tools and spare parts, all of which are stored in new cabinets, as well as water and diesel in drums.

It is also equipped with a 24V electrical system with separate battery and inverter.

Optional extras include safety aids such as Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and fog lamps with cornering function, anda Comfort seats with armrests for himself and a passenger. Coia says: "The cab of my new van is just beautiful, and the driving position, with lumbar support and arm rest, amazingly comfortable. I choose Mercedes-Benz for the build quality and reliability of the vehicles, of course, but its leadership in the field of safety is also key to their appeal.

I'm particularly impressed with Blind Spot Assist, which is a fantastic system, while as someone who works permanent night shifts I also appreciate the reassurance that Active Lane Keeping Assist provides."

Blind Spot Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Alert provides visual and audible alerts to help prevent accidents when changing lanes, or reversing. Active Lane Keep Assist alerts drivers when they unintentionally drift or leave their lane, intervening by braking if necessary. Author
William Dalrymple

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