JJP Heavy Haulage
Unlike his magnificent collection of heritage buses and steam locomotives, Jonathan’s Actros 2545 tractor unit incorporates some of the very latest road-going technology. What the pre-owned truck does share with vehicles like his beautifully restored Sentinel steam bus ‘Elizabeth’, is a striking appearance which means it is now turning heads wherever it goes.
Jonathan is Chairman of the family-owned JJP Holdings SWGroup. Active throughout the South-West, but primarily in the Somerset andBristol areas, its companies run local bus and luxury commuter coach services –this includes supplying transport in partnership with First Group to theHinkley Point C power station construction site on behalf of EDF Energy.
JJP’s Vintage Road Rail & Steam business operates and markets the historic vehicles, while the Actros is providing the pulling powerfor its latest venture, JJP Heavy Haulage. Supplied by Dealer City WestCommercials, the truck’s primary role is to transport locomotives and busesfrom the heritage collection to and from steam rallies, shows and other eventsnationwide. However, the entrepreneurial Jonathan is also confident of winninggeneral and heavy haulage work for his new truck from third-partycustomers.
Created to generate excitement around the Mercedes-BenzApproved Used brand, and built-to-order, each Actros Evolution model willcombine eye-catching good looks with an extensive list of comfort features anddriver aids.
JJP Heavy Haulage’s vehicle started life in 2014, as astandard Actros 2545 with 330 kW (450 hp) straight-six engine and flat-flooredBigSpace cab in white. On reaching the end of its two-year lease deal, and having covered some 265,000 km, the truck was returned to the Approved Used remarketing team at Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Wentworth Park complex, nearBarnsley.
All Mercedes-Benz Approved Used trucks are under seven years old and have less than 700,000 km on the clock. They are also subjected to amulti-point inspection by a factory-trained technician and sold with at least six months’ MoT and six months’ mechanical breakdown insurance cover.
Actros Evolution models, however, will benefit from anadditional, painstaking makeover. Specialists in the Wentworth Park bodyshopremoved the wheels and glass from JJP’s vehicle before stripping back thechassis then repainting it in black, and the cab in Blaze Red Crystal Pearl.Reassembly entailed fitment of leather upholstered seats and door trims, aswell as a flatscreen TV, fridge and microwave, Lane Assist safety system and adashcam.
Externally, meanwhile, the truck rides on alloy wheels andfeatures a grille with chrome highlights, roof-mounted spotlights and an LEDlight bar beneath the bumper. Completing the look, the front wings bear thename of Jonathan’s four-year-old daughter Elena May, and proudly proclaim thisas ‘2017 Evolution 1’.
The JJP Holdings SW Group operates from headquarters inWeston-super-Mare. Although it has its own workshops, the new truck will beinspected and serviced at City West Commercials’ Highbridge branch.
"We bought the Actros because it’s special, and because aswell as being number one for me, it is also number one for Mercedes-Benz," saidJonathan. "I view it as something of an icon. It has my company’s name on the side,and I want to be seen running prestigious kit which is going to get usrecognised on the road, so that people stand back in admiration."
Although most of the driving will be done by colleague TonyJeff, Jonathan is also qualified to take the wheel having passed his test 18 months ago in the ERF tractor unit which also now wears the JJP Heavy Haulagelivery. "We’re entering the market at 44 tonnes, but the plan, ultimately, isto specialise in rail movements, which will mean taking on more vehicles capableof moving bigger and heavier loads," continued Jonathan.
"The Actros Evolution represents a great start, though. It’sa fantastic looking truck and a real pleasure to drive, while I was alsoimpressed from the outset by the approach of City West Commercials’ Used TruckSpecialist Tim Sutcliffe. He was very professional, brought the vehicle down toshow me, and didn’t keep pressuring me – I like that, as I have a very busyworking life, so don’t have time to keep taking calls from pushy salesmen."
Dale Slee, the manufacturer’s Head of Used Truck Sales,added: "An Approved Used vehicle is the next-best thing to a new Mercedes-Benz,and every truck sold under this banner represents outstanding value. The ActrosEvolution, however, is the pinnacle of our pre-owned offering. Forowner-drivers, or companies seeking a highly-specified flagship, it adds up toa great deal of truck for the money."
Operators seeking more information about Actros Evolutionmodels should contact Mark Blackledge (07796 278954, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephen Holbrook (07834 199322, email@example.com) from Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Approved Used team.