Return to Truckfest Peterborough


BBQs, banter, buddies – Robert Strickland reports on Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ return to Truckfest Peterborough.

Robert Strickland (known on Twitter as @RobertStricko) works for Benton Brothers Transport where he drives a Mercedes-Benz Actros. He’s been with the company for 12 years and can normally be seen pulling unaccompanied trailers out of the Humber Sea Terminal at Killingholme. He was amongst thousands of the keen truckers at Truckfest Peterborough, keen to visit the Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK stand. Strickland shares his story from the first of eight Truckfest shows this year.

An early start.

For thousands of truck drivers all over the UK, the end of April and the beginning of May can only mean one thing; Truckfest Peterborough! This show is a chance for drivers to check out all the new trucks and equipment on the market, catch up with friends and even make new ones. “Once we’re parked up for the weekend and the keys are safely hidden away, the beers come out and we have a great laugh.”

So, after weeks of waiting, planning, and most importantly, cleaning – it was time to depart for the showground. My buddy Daniel (a fellow truck driver) and I, set off from Benton Brothers’ headquarters at Sibsey early on Saturday morning, aiming to be at the showground by 8am (GMT). We made a compulsory breakfast stop, as it was my turn to buy the coffees! We got a few strange looks while parking our trucks in the car park, but breakfast was soon bought, and we were then on our way.

Polishing the Actros.

We arrived at the showground and found that there was a long queue to book in. It was obvious that the show was going to be very well attended. Another Benton driver, Nick, travelled over to the show on the Friday with a few drivers from Kimes Transport, so it was his job to set up camp and reserve mine and Daniel's parking places. We met a very excited Lyndsey (Nick's wife) at the entrance to the showground and she directed us to where the rest of the gang were parked.

Once we had unpacked, then it was time for the polishing to start. It took several hours to polish the paintwork and chrome on my Actros, dress the tyres and smarten up the plastic trim. The banter level was turned up to the max and there were plenty of laughs.

One giant party.

The show, as always, was a great experience. It is one giant party, and the atmosphere was amazing. It isn't just all about trucks. In the main arena: there were monster truck stunts and skydivers dropped in too. Fairground rides were also available, some not for the faint-hearted, throwing you up in a cage attached to some rubber bands.

I must give a special mention to the Madness tribute act that performed brilliantly on Saturday night. They sounded just like the real thing and there were plenty of very dodgy dance moves happening in the crowd!

There was a great selection of retail stands there, with all the usual companies in attendance. “I enjoyed the Autosmart stand, as they had some amazingly good deals on cleaning kit which I was only too happy to take advantage of.” There seems to be no let-up in the popularity of horns that play tunes with such hits as "baby shark" and "the final countdown" continuing to divide opinions amongst truckers and probably the local residents too!

Actros L – the centrepiece.

Of course, being a fan of Mercedes-Benz trucks, I had a good look around the manufacturer’s stand. The Actros L was there, and I was impressed with the new headlights and side repeaters, which illuminate the floor with a Mercedes logo when the door is opened. As my Actros is only a year old I will have to wait a few years to experience this. By far my favourite truck on the stand was the 2553 Edition 2, belonging to Maze Logistic Solutions. The Gunmetal paint and black wheels and trims looked perfect. That company has an extremely lucky driver!

Whilst at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks stand, they gave me a free Mercedes-Benz branded hat. I then spent the rest of the weekend showing it off/bragging to, well, just about anyone who came by my truck!

Away from the Mercedes-Benz stand, I bumped into Matt (@Wykdguardian on Twitter). He's a fellow Mercedes-Benz trucks fan who drives for Guinan Girls. It was great to catch up with him and his Actros 2545, which looked fantastic as always. He takes real pride in his truck, and it shows.

Time flies.

Time flies when you are having fun and Monday soon came around. We packed up camp around 1pm and headed home, but the event didn't finish for another few hours.

Truckfest Peterborough was an absolute blast, and we are already talking about the next show. Bring it on!

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