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Managing Director at NS Clarke Transport, Shaun Clarke, and his wife Janet, started their business in 1983 and have used Mercedes-Benz Trucks since 2009. Now, together with their sons Russell and David, the company runs a fleet of 150 tractor units providing the UK and Europe with bulk haulage of a wide range of commodities and associated transport solutions.
Shaun recently realised they could expand into recovery services, so purchased a further seven Mercedes-Benz trucks, each specially equipped for the job.
He recalled: “We were having a few issues with our own breakdowns, so decided to give it a go ourselves. I like to think of myself as a bit of a disrupter and although I’m still learning, the recovery operation has gone better than I could possibly have hoped.”
The flagship of the recovery fleet, a muscular 41 tonne Arocs 4153 is deployed to jobs involving buses, coaches and large trucks. Additionally, there are two Atego 1521s, four Actros and a further six Mercedes-Benz breakdown vans.
The most recent purchase, a 26-tonne Actros with StreamSpace cab, has an extra-long slide off ram, which is mounted on its own separate sub-frame therefore minimising height and loading angles and reducing risk of damage to vehicles.
The company is contracted to recover breakdowns and accident-damaged vehicles from the M6 and M42 motorways and also works for other transport businesses and even Mercedes-Benz Dealers.
Recovery Manager Adam Collett, who holds 12 years of industry experience, explains: “Our smart, reliable Mercedes-Benz trucks are integral to the delivery of a timely, customer-focused recovery service, and as an efficient tool with which to lift vehicles out of crash barriers, roadside ditches and the like, the new 26-tonner has significantly enhanced our capability.”
Whilst the recovery side of the business goes from strength to strength, Shaun is also investing in his haulage fleet, ordering another 10 Actros 2551 BigSpace tractor units with Mercedes-Benz Uptime connectivity. This impressive telediagnosis programme utilises a range of sensors to constantly monitor the truck’s performance and notify the driver when it needs servicing.
As Shaun says, “The vehicles have to perform, and our Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans certainly do that…”
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