The Milton Keynes-based company runs 20 vans, all but two of which wear three-pointed stars, as well as eight trucks. These vehicles deliver items such as cookers, fridges and dishwashers from Keith Elkington’s headquarters, and a second depot in Glasgow, to a customer base that includes hotels and restaurants, as well as care homes, prisons and even oil rigs and cross-channel ferries.
The most recent additions to the fleet are five Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis cabs. Supplied by the Newmarket branch of East Anglia Dealer Orwell Truck & Van, three are 314 CDI models with 3.5-tonne gross weights, while the remaining 514 CDIs are rated at 5.0 tonnes.
All are powered by fuel-efficient 143hp four-cylinder engines which drive the rear wheels through optional 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmissions. The Sprinter range also includes front-wheel and all-wheel drive versions.
Keith Elkington’s first vehicles from the latest-generation Sprinter range launched last year are fitted with high-volume GRP box bodies which were built by Alloy Bodies, of Manchester, and have internal heights of 3.5 metres. They also have 1,000kg Bär Cargolift cantilever tail lifts.
Company founder Keith Elkington said: “We’ve been running Mercedes-Benz vans since the late 1980s, and they’ve always proved to be tough, robust, and well up to the rigours of the job, no matter who was behind the wheel. We’ve also tried most competing vehicles over the years, but they’re just not built to the same standard.”
He continued: “The new Sprinters are as solid as ever, but they also bring a new level of comfort and driver-friendly design into the mix, especially with the automatic gearboxes we specified. They look really smart, too, and help to reinforce our image in the eyes of customers, and reputation for high professional standards.
“Orwell Truck & Van Sales Executive Richard Migdal has worked with us for many years and knows our business well. As ever, he’s been very attentive throughout the acquisition process.”
Keith Elkington Transport works its Sprinters hard, and over three years each will average comfortably in excess of 150,000 miles. Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, they are backed by three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranties, and come with MobiloVan cover which includes free emergency roadside assistance, another factor that weighs heavily in their favour.
“Many years’ experience of running the Sprinter, and indeed its T1 predecessor, means we’re confident we won’t have any reliability issues with these new vehicles,” said Mr Elkington. “It is, however, reassuring to know that such comprehensive aftersales support is available should we need it.”
The new Sprinter range has won some of the van sector’s most prestigious awards, impressing judges with its ground-breaking 4G Internet connectivity – Mercedes PRO connect offers a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services, while the cutting-edge MBUX infotainment system incorporates a user-friendly voice control function.
The Sprinter’s transformed cab interior, meanwhile, offers the most car-like driving experience yet seen in a van. Mercedes-Benz has also boosted the previous version’s safety armoury by introducing the autonomous Active Brake Assist system, which features another ‘first’ in the shape of pedestrian recognition technology, and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.
“This company’s ethos is all about being a partner, not just a supplier, to our customers,” added Mr Elkington. “We expect the same commitment from our vehicle supplier. I’ve every confidence that Mercedes-Benz vans will continue to play a vital role in keeping our business moving for many years to come.”