Electrical contractor Sparkx is running three new Sprinters and a stylish X-Class pickup after switching from rented vans to its own Mercedes-Benz fleet.
Supplying Dealer group Rygor Commercials is now preparing to deliver another five Sprinters to its customer’s headquarters in Wendover, Buckinghamshire.
One of the vans already in service is the first in the UK to be fitted with a VTL-145-F access platform by Versalift. Offering a maximum working height of 14.6m and an outreach of 9.2m, the latest addition to the Kettering-based specialist’s range features an optional ‘limited working envelope’ function which allows the operative to work at full height over the back of the vehicle without having to deploy stabilisers. The result is increased overall productivity and speed of set up at the work site.
Sparkx’s first pickup, meanwhile, is the personal transport of Managing Director Chris Rogers. The range-topping X 350 d POWER model features a muscular 258 hp V6 engine and a luxurious specification including leather upholstery, heated and electrically adjustable seats, automatic climate control and a seven-inch, high definition infotainment screen.
The first premium brand pickup, the X-Class combines standards of comfort, driving dynamics, and safety not previously seen in its market segment, with genuine hard-grafting credentials.
“I was driving a Sprinter previously, but as the business continues to develop there’s less need for me to be ‘on the tools’,” said Mr Rogers. “The X-Class makes perfect sense – it can carry plenty of materials or equipment if required, but is also supremely comfortable. It looks very professional too, and is ideal for travelling to the client meetings, site surveys and customer visits that take up most of my time these days.”
Sparkx’s new vans, meanwhile, have replaced rented vehicles from the previous Sprinter model generation. The operator uses these vehicles to provide a range of services, including the installation and maintenance of street and festive lighting systems, across the Home Counties area.
“We’ve always owned a small core of vehicles but to cope with growing customer demand had been relying on rented vans to make up the numbers,” explained Mr Rogers. “Having tried vehicles by several manufacturers we’ve found that the Sprinter copes better than any other with a tough working life in a harsh environment – nothing else is as robust or reliable.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Sparkx’s new vehicles are backed by three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranties, and came with MobiloVan cover, which includes free round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance.
“The support package is excellent,” continued Mr Rogers. “One of our vehicles had its mirrors smashed recently by vandals. Not only was the repair fully covered, but the work was undertaken by a Rygor technician who fitted the replacement parts at the roadside, thereby saving us the hassle of a costly and time-consuming trip to the workshop. That’s exemplary service.”
The van fitted with Versalift’s access platform is a 143 hp 314 CDI variant with rear-wheel drive; the new Sprinter range launched last year also includes versions of this popular, fuel-efficient model with front-wheel drive. Also on the road are two more 3.5-tonners, another 314 CDI van, and a 163 hp 316 CDI chassis cab with tipping body by Ingimex, of Telford.
“The Sprinter makes a superb base for our application because it’s so customisable,” said Mr Rogers. “We’ve been able to tailor the build of these vehicles to our exact requirements. They adapt very well to the Versalift conversion, and we’ve been able to specify a host of extras like air-conditioning and automatic headlights.
“Combined with the Sprinter’s class-leading cab interior, fantastic infotainment system, and comprehensive array of accident prevention technology, it all adds up to a very comfortable, quiet, smooth, and safe working space for our operatives.”
New Sprinter’s ground-breaking 4G internet connectivity allows operators to access fast, efficient, and cost-effective vehicle management services via the Mercedes PRO connect system, while the cutting-edge Mercedes MBUX infotainment system incorporates a user-friendly voice control function.
The transformed cab interior, meanwhile, offers the most car-like driving experience yet seen in a van. Mercedes-Benz has reinforced the previous version’s market-leading safety armoury by adding the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with 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.
Rygor Commercials Van Sales Executive James Lotinga added: “Here at Rygor we’re committed to understanding our customer’s businesses and providing the perfect vehicle for any application. It was great, therefore, to be able to work with Sparkx and Versalift on a complex build, and to deliver an ideal solution for this top-class operator’s first new-generation Sprinters.”