Life-saving Actros


Wilkin and Sons wowed by the life-saving emergency braking system on their Actros.

Manufacturer and distributor Wilkin and Sons were recently ‘blown away’ by the Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking system on their Actros, which swiftly prevented a collision with a pedestrian on the busy streets of London. The team discuss how it has increased their appreciation for modern truck technology.

World-renowned company.

Wilkin and Sons, based in Tipton, Essex are a manufacturer and distributor of jams, marmalades, savouries, sauces, puddings and fruit-flavoured gins and teas. Established in 1885, the business has a long history of delivering world-renowned products and even has a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen.

Such an esteemed company requires only the very best vehicles and that’s why they chose Mercedes-Benz Trucks.  As Transport Manager Kevin King says, “We were running them when I joined the company 28 years ago, and we’ve remained loyal to the brand ever since. Mercedes-Benz Trucks have always been reliable and cost-effective to operate.”

Trucking and saving lives.

The latest addition to their fleet is a 26-tonne Actros 2536L curtainsider with aerodynamic, flat-floored StreamSpace cab with tag axle.

Tim Sharp is the person lucky enough to drive it and is majorly impressed by the truck’s spec. Stand-out features include the fuel-saving Predictive Powertrain Control and life-saving Active Brake Assist 4.  

The latter employs multi-mode radar to monitor moving and stationary objects in front of the vehicle – generating an audible warning if it senses a potential collision. If the driver doesn’t have time to react, it will apply staged braking followed by full braking to prevent an accident, dramatically reducing the effects of an impact.

Tim recently had to put the technology to the test on the crowded streets of London, he explains, “A lady was on her phone and decided to take a shortcut to a zebra crossing. The vehicle picked up on her before I could, and brought me safely to a halt in good time. I didn’t touch anything; the truck did it all. And the speed with which to do so…I was just blown away. Fantastic!”

Ground-breaking technology.

Peace of mind is priceless in the driving industry, especially as roads are becoming busier. Wilkin & Sons welcome safety technology advancements in their vehicles, “We’re delivering to busy high streets and areas where there are lots of pedestrians, so we’ll seize any opportunity to maximise safety,” says Kevin.

The company is happy to invest in the best equipment to keep their drivers and other road-users safe, “Tim’s is the first new vehicle we’ve bought since Active Brake Assist 4 was introduced. His report on the incident when the woman stepped out in front of him is very reassuring, and emphatically justifies our investment in this ground-breaking technology,” concludes Kevin.

Award-winning truck.

The team at Wilkin & Sons are incredibly proud to drive Mercedes-Benz Trucks – they show their appreciation by keeping them clean and polished every week and taking them along to various truck shows across the country.

Driver Bradley’s Actros 2546 MegaSpace tractor unit has won multiple show awards and is affectionately known as ‘The Star’ by his Wilkin & Sons colleagues. With its distinctive green and gold colours, hand-painted signwriting and highly polished chrome chassis infills, vertical exhausts and other features – it’s admired by many.

“I was at a truck stop in Chippenham and a chap started taking photographs of my unit. He couldn’t believe it when I told him it was 12 years old…she’s now clocked-up 950,000 km, and is still fresh as a daisy, starting first time, and never missing a beat. She’s my baby and I love her.”

He even shared his truck with the other love of his life – his wife; on their wedding day (she also happens to be a driver for Wilkin & Sons)!

Impressive fuel efficiency.

Tim has also been impressed by the fuel efficiency of his Actros. With nationwide deliveries, the fleet covers a lot of mileage, so the company is always looking for ways to make their journeys more efficient. A recent trip to Derbyshire highlighted the benefits of the Actros to Tim, “It was set to Economy at 52 mph, and achieved 14.2 mpg…I was empty at the time, but given exactly the same scenario with my previous 26-tonner, I’d have hit 11.5 mpg if I was lucky.”

“Mercedes-Benz Trucks have always been reliable and cost-effective to operate.”

– Kevin King, Transport Manager, Wilkin & Sons

A team who’s proud of their trucks.

The business is grateful for their team of professional and dedicated drivers, as Kevin puts it, “Lads like Tim and Bradley are great ambassadors for our business, and their fantastic-looking trucks are a credit to them, as well as to Mercedes-Benz.”

Why do you drive a Mercedes-Benz Truck?

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