Time is money for East Sussex-based Cascade Pipeline Corporation, which helps to explain why the four dropside-bodied 3.5-tonners it has acquired within the last nine months from local Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rossetts Commercials are all Ready to Work models.
Cascade manufactures and supplies pipe fittings to the UK water industry, and takes pride in its high levels of customer service – the company’s in-house production capability shortens supply chains and speeds up delivery times, allowing it to respond rapidly to urgent orders from clients.
Launched as an all-encompassing solution last year, Mercedes-Benz Vans’ Ready to Work programme provides operators with quick, cost-effective access to pre-bodied tipper and Luton variants, as well as dropside versions, based on chassis from the multi-award-winning Sprinter range.
Cascade proprietor Andy Munro explained: “Our vehicles can quickly rack up big mileages and must be totally reliable, so I prefer to buy new Sprinters rather than used ones. Stock availability is also very important to me. When a new contract kicks in we need a vehicle to service it within a couple of weeks. I can’t afford to wait months for a chassis to be bodied – if I did, I’d have lost the business by the time it arrived.
“Our four pre-built Sprinters were all delivered at short notice by Rossetts’ Van Sales Executive John Lomas, who’s pulled out all the stops when we’ve needed him to do so. Much like the vehicles themselves, John’s proved that he can be relied upon to get the job done.”
Every new Mercedes-Benz van is sold with a market-leading three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Crucially, customers for Ready to Work vehicles have the added peace of mind which comes from knowing theirs is full ‘bumper-to-bumper’ cover, so includes the premium-quality body, plus ancillaries such as tail-lifts when fitted. They also benefit from time and administrative cost savings arising from the fact that they need deal with only one point of contact, and process a single invoice instead of two.
Based on L3 (long) 314 CDI chassis, Cascade’s dropsider Sprinters are fitted with strong and durable factory-built bodies. Their fuel-efficient, 2.1-litre common-rail turbo diesel engines produce 143 hp, and drive the rear wheels – a front-wheel drive variant with the same Ready to Work body and a 1,360 kg payload allowance is also available.
Cascade also runs two other Mercedes-Benz vehicles – a Sprinter panel van and a small Citan – from its head office and factory in Robertsbridge. The company holds substantial stocks of fittings, pipework and other finished items, as well as raw materials for production, and despatches more than 90% of orders on the day they are received; emergency requests are prioritised and invariably fulfilled within hours.
Andy Munro established his business after landing at Heathrow Airport from his native South Africa 20 years ago, with a single suitcase and a mobile phone. “After trying various other types of van I switched to Mercedes-Benz in 2016 and haven’t looked back since,” he said.
Routine maintenance is entrusted to the Service team at Rossetts Commercials’ Eastbourne branch. “They’re very accommodating and will invariably undertake the work overnight so our vans are always available when we need them,” continued Mr Munro.
The manufacturer’s MobiloVan support, meanwhile, includes free emergency roadside assistance. “Given the commitments we make to our own customers, I can’t afford to have vehicles laid up, or stuck in a workshop for days on end waiting for a part,” said Mr Munro. “Mercedes-Benz gives me the quality and reliability I need, as well as a reassuringly comprehensive level of back-up.”
Cascade’s dropside vehicles are all from the third-generation Sprinter range, which was launched in 2018 and incorporates ground-breaking 4G internet connectivity. Features include Mercedes PRO connect, an advanced manufacturer solution which provides operators with an array of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management service packages. Vehicle data is analysed in real time – everything from fuel consumption to vehicle locations, trip history, maintenance status and driver behaviour can be monitored.
“I particularly like the visibility that PRO connect offers,” added Mr Munro. “It means I can always see where the vehicles are, without having to phone or text the drivers.”
The Sprinter’s cab interior combines class-leading style, comfort, practicality and quality, while safety innovations include the autonomous Active Brake Assist system, with pedestrian recognition technology, and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in drivers and encourages them to take breaks when tired.