A 25-year track record of reliable, cost-effective service meant that when a Shropshire-based manufacturer of bespoke, architecturally veneered doors, panels and other joinery items needed another new truck, Mercedes-Benz was the only name in the frame.
Established in 1974, Hazlin operates from headquarters in Bromfield, near Ludlow. Its highly-specified 16-tonne Atego arrived via the Kidderminster branch of Dealer Group Rygor Commercials, whose Truck Sales Executive Jeremy Price has been supplying the family-owned company’s vehicles since the 1990s.
The Atego 1627 is powered by an economical, 7.7-litre straight-six engine which produces 200 kW (272 hp) and is paired with a smooth and fuel-efficient Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission. Hazlin has also opted for long-range fuel tanks.
The new truck has replaced a 12-tonner and is set up to pull a drawbar trailer. Smartly finished with colour-coded bumpers and grille, its air-conditioned BigSpace L-cab has twin bunks and a night heater. Alloy wheels add an extra dash of style, while the curtainside body, which was built by Lawrence David in Peterborough and is fitted with a 1,500 kg Dhollandia full-closure cantilever tail-lift, features eye-catching ‘forest’ graphics.
Hazlin was founded by Colin Jones, who is now 85 and long retired. His son Chris, who rowed for Great Britain in the World Championships of 1982, ’82 and ’83, joined the business in 1992, when it was turning over £350,000. He initiated the purchase of its first Mercedes-Benz, a 310D van, the following year, and its first truck to wear a three-pointed star in 1996.
Today, with turnover up to £7 million, Hazlin runs eight vehicles, every one of which was supplied by Rygor Commercials. The fleet includes two more curtainside-bodied trucks, a 12-tonne Atego and a 26-tonne Actros with rear-steer axle and a roof that can be folded back, concertina-style, so product can be lifted in and out by crane. Completing the line-up are four 3.5-tonne Sprinters – three panel vans and a chassis cab – and a smaller Vito.
Managing Director Chris Jones explained: “We’ve remained loyal to Mercedes-Benz because its products have never let us down, and because the service is so good. We trust the people at Rygor and none more so than Jeremy, who has always been very accommodating and goes to great lengths to ensure that our vehicles are perfectly specified. The loads we carry vary considerably in size, and the fact that Rygor can supply any vehicle we might need, from the Vito van to our big six-wheeler, is also a significant ‘plus’.”
Mr Jones, who is looking forward to welcoming his own son, Tomos, into the business next year, said Hazlin endeavoured to provide its drivers with the finest vehicles in terms of both safety and comfort. Like the Actros, its new Atego is equipped with a full complement of forward-, side- and rear-facing cameras – the system, by ARK Fleetech, of Rossendale, Lancashire, offers live streaming and tracking.
The trucks deliver Hazlin’s fire, acoustic and radiation doors, vision panels and associated joinery products to construction and refurbishment sites nationwide. Educational establishments, hospitals and clinics feature prominently on its client list.
“Our drivers typically only spend one night away each week, but we like to make the experience as pleasant for them as possible,” said Mr Jones. “Certainly, they’ve always been very happy with their Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
“The image of our fleet is crucial too,” he continued. “Rarely, if ever, do customers visit our premises. What they do see, though, are our trucks and vans. If their delivery is made by a modern vehicle with a smart livery and a Mercedes-Benz star on the grille, it helps to reassure them that they’re dealing with a supplier that has an ethos of quality.”
Jeremy Price added: “At Rygor we’re committed to developing long-term partnerships with our customers, and Hazlin is a great case in point. I’ve probably supplied Chris Jones and his team with more than 25 vehicles over the years, and they’ve always been a real pleasure to deal with. From a professional standpoint, there’s something very satisfying about delivering a truck which, like their latest Atego, looks fantastic and has been perfectly specified for the job.”
With 11 branches throughout Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, West London, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, Rygor are a multi award winning specialist Mercedes-Benz van and truck Dealership.