The fine art carried by international logistics specialist Mtec is invariably unique and often fragile, which helps to explain why most of the trucks in the Hertfordshire firm’s collection wear the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz.
A trusted partner to leading artists, commercial galleries, collectors and public museums worldwide, Mtec offers bespoke solutions for the handling and installation, as well as transport, of paintings, sculptures, furniture and other pieces.
The latest addition to the Ware-based company’s fleet is a long-distance Mercedes-Benz Actros 18-tonner with flat-floored and air-conditioned BigSpace cab. An 1848 LnR model with low-height frame, it arrived via the Welham Green headquarters of Dealer S & B Commercials.
The truck’s high-volume, climate-controlled box body, meanwhile, is by Wessex Vehicle Services, of Salisbury, and fitted with a Carrier Supra 850 U refrigeration unit and 3,000 kg Dhollandia cantilever tail-lift. Its 3.0-metre internal height is ideally suited to an operation for which load space rather than payload is all-important.
Mtec runs a fleet of 14 trucks, most of which wear Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars. All but four are tractor units. The company, which also has a depot in Larkfield, Kent, and a secure storage facility in Venice, sends its double-manned trucks throughout Europe.
Managing Director David Williams said: “All of our vehicles are on full air suspension as our cargoes require careful handling, and we travel to some pretty far-flung places – recent assignments have taken us to Moscow, the Ukraine and Istanbul, and we’re out there in winter as well as summer, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.”
Mr Williams, who founded his business in 1993, continued: “We choose Mercedes-Benz trucks for their outstanding reliability and cutting-edge technology, as well as the manufacturer’s unrivalled Continental back-up; it’s very reassuring to know that wherever we are, if we have a problem help is always close at hand.”
Mtec has been an early adopter of lower-emission vehicles and bought its first Euro VI Mercedes-Benz well before the latest round of EU legislation came into force. “People who appreciate art tend also to be concerned for the planet, while a lot of our clients live in London where air quality is an important issue,” explained Mr Williams.
“Typically, Mercedes-Benz was first to the market with Euro VI trucks and for some time thereafter its competitors were still pushing Euro V,” he continued. “Mtec has always invested in new technology and chosen premium specification vehicles, not least because they command such strong residual values – we sold a couple of 2007 Actros tractor units recently and made excellent money on them, as I’m sure we’ll do when we come to stand down our first Euro VI models.”
Mtec’s trucks are inspected and serviced overnight by S & B Commercials, under Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts. “The Dealer knows us well and will do whatever it takes to keep us on the road,” added Mr Williams. “Its back-up is second-to-none.”