Next time you tuck into a cheese and pickle sandwich, or even pastrami on rye if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, bear a thought for how that simple bread product made it to your hungry mouth. Bradford-based Tiffin Sandwiches think they have the perfect answer in the shape of the versatile Mercedes Sprinter.
Tiffin Sandwiches are the UK’s largest independent wholesale sandwich producer. Supplying a range of customers including businesses, universities and hospitals, airlines and rail operators means their fleet of vans has to work very hard to keep up with demand.
Since beginning the switch to Mercedes in 2016 Tiffin Sandwiches has upgraded their delivery fleet to contain 21 Long-bodied Sprinters. The latest five, its first 314 CDI models with Euro 6 engines offering lower emissions, have just entered service.
The company works its vans hard with each vehicle typically covering anything up to 2,000 miles per week. Tiffin Sandwiches were originally drawn to the Sprinter’s reputation for outstanding reliability and the round-the-clock servicing capability of the manufacturer’s franchised UK Dealer Network.
Fleet Manager Steve Gadd recalled: “Our previous supplier’s vehicles were struggling to cope with the rigours of our delivery regime, while its after sales service was poor.”
Having trialled a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for six months Tiffin Sandwiches took the plunge and purchased a total of nine vans which were then converted for temperature-controlled operation.
The benefits have been enormous.
Not only have they found the Mercedes Sprinter to be more reliable but also impressively fuel-efficient. An increase in average mileage from around 24mpg to 30mpg may not sound much but it has equated to a huge saving on their fuel bills. Allocating the Sprinter to their longest routes has allowed them to maximise these savings.
“With cruise control and the speed limiter it’s just so easy to drive that I never feel tired.”
John Pilkington, Tiffin Sandwiches driver.
With vans typically on the road from 1am until around mid-day it’s vital that essential maintenance is sandwiched – sorry, couldn’t resist – in between deliveries. No problem. Vans are collected from Tiffin’s depot when they return from deliveries, taken for servicing and returned in time for the start of the next shift.
The switch to the Mercedes Sprinter has caused some minor problems though.
It seems that the Tiffin drivers are so impressed with the comfort of the new fleet that they all want one. The plan is to convert the entire fleet but during the transition phase that hasn’t always been possible. This has lead to a bit of clamour as each new batch of vans has arrived. We can’t condone duelling but the image of baguette-wielding delivery drivers demanding satisfaction at dawn is certainly one to savour.
It’s not just the comfort that’s proving so popular. By opting for the longer wheelbase Tiffin Sandwiches has ensured that each van maximises its time on the road with a larger load space. The drivers are also benefiting from the driver aids like cruise control and speed limiters that make the Mercedes Sprinter so easy to drive.
Apologies in advance for the appalling pun but for an SME like Tiffin Sandwiches the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter really is the best thing since sliced bread.