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LINCOLNSHIRE printer Warners Midlands has underscored its loyalty to Mercedes-Benz by returning to Dealer Intercounty Truck and Van for its first vehicles from the new Sprinter range.

Warners Midlands was established in 1926 and has been printing high-quality magazines, catalogues, brochures and journals in the centre of Bourne ever since.

The company operates a fleet of nine Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, trucks, a tractor unit and four rigids, although the line-up also includes three vans – the two latest have replaced the outgoing Sprinter.

Both are 314 CDI L2 H1 models, with medium-length bodies and standard-height roofs. They are powered by a 2.1-litre common-rail turbo diesel engines which transmit their 143hp outputs via optional, seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearboxes to the rear wheels.

The third-generation Sprinter range is also available, for the first time, with front-wheel drive, and the 314 CDI variant can be specified in either configuration.

The company’s first Mercedes-Benz vans were from the bonneted T1 range, which pre-dated the Sprinter’s launch in 1995.

Transport Manager Mick Peck said: “So reliable were those early vans, and so cost-effective to operate, that we started buying Mercedes-Benz trucks shortly afterwards, too. We’ve remained loyal to the brand ever since.”

All of its vehicles are the subject of contract hire agreements with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, and maintained by the workshop team at Intercounty Truck & Van’s Peterborough branch.

Peck added: “The Dealer provides an excellent service and looks after us very well. If ever we have an issue they’ll always work with us to keep our vehicles on the road, and our business moving.”

The new Sprinter is the first van to feature 4G Internet connectivity. The standard-fit Mercedes MBUX system provides cutting-edge infotainment, and incorporates a user-friendly voice control function. Mercedes PRO connect, meanwhile, offers a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services.

The cab interior has also been completely redesigned to provide working environment offering quality, quietness and smoothness. “The new Sprinter represents a big step forward, and has been very well received by our drivers,” added Peck.

“We work our vans pretty hard. Each covers approximately 50,000 miles a year and, as paper is a heavy commodity, we regularly make full use of the available payloads. Reliability is obviously crucial, but the safety of our own employees and other road users is even more important.”

Among the new features with which the latest version is equipped as standard are the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with pedestrian recognition technology – another industry ‘first’ – and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.

Warners Midlands has added a string of driver aids from the options list, including the Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist systems, a Parking package with 360º camera, and a reversing warning device, as well as orange seat-belts. The vans are also fitted with Hope Safe-T-Bar rear under-run bumpers.

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