Van selection has become an open and shut affair for Dorwingear – the door and window systems manufacturer chooses Mercedes-Benz, for its well-established attributes of reliability, driver appeal and top-quality aftersales support.
Now that built-in connectivity has also been added to the equation, though, the three-pointed star shines even more brightly for the Birmingham-based company.
Dorwingear operates a fleet of 22 vans, all but an older handful of which are by Mercedes-Benz. The line-up includes 3.5-tonne Sprinters and a pair of small Citan models, but the mainstay of the fleet is the mid-sized Vito.
Latest to arrive via the city branch of Midlands Truck & Van are three Vito 114 CDI PURE models with long L2 bodies. Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finance, they will be maintained by the Dealer under ServiceCare plans.
Like its last batch of Sprinters, the Vito vans came with ground-breaking 4G internet connectivity and the Mercedes PRO connect vehicle management package. A stand-out feature of the Sprinter and Vito ranges, Mercedes PRO connect provides operators with access to a wide range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services.
By connecting companies with their vehicles, the system contributes to improved efficiency and productivity. It monitors everything from the van’s maintenance status to the driver’s style at the wheel, and even the amount of fuel in the tank, while also providing high-level navigation and communication services, and allowing fleet managers to control certain vehicle functions remotely.
Mercedes PRO connect also boosts security by incorporating a tracker, which can pinpoint a van’s exact location. A geofencing function alerts operators should their vehicles leave pre-defined areas.
“Mercedes PRO connect provides a welcome added level of anti-theft protection, but also includes a variety of very useful features to help businesses like ours work more safely and profitably,” enthused Dorwingear Director Craig Dollery.
“Its ability to monitor items like brake fluid levels and pad wear helps us to plan regular maintenance in advance more easily, while the tracking function means we can organise vehicle movements much more easily than before. It’s a really useful tool.”
Founded in 1974 by Mr Dollery’s father, Dorwingear is proud of the reputation for top-quality products and services it has built with customers over many years. Like so many others, the company postponed much of its work during the initial lockdown, to safeguard its workforce and ensure that urgent callouts to key customers including police and health services and train operators were unaffected.
“We quickly established alternative ways of working, taking account of social distancing and safety restrictions,” said Mr Dollery. “This allowed us to bring people back in and take advantage of the ability to carry out works where sites were all but deserted.”
All Dorwingear’s vans are fitted with roof racks to carry ladders and other items, then allocated to mobile engineers who specialise in servicing automatic doors, access control systems, roller shutters, windows, traffic barriers and powered gates.
Mr Dollery continued: “We’ve tried other makes of vehicle in the past but since switching to Mercedes-Benz six years ago have enjoyed superior reliability and increased ‘uptime’ from our vehicles, while experiencing a high level of customer service from Midlands Truck & Van’s sales and workshop teams.
“Sales Executive Rob Lynock and his colleagues provide a far more attentive level of customer service than we’d received previously. The finance package is very competitive and the ServiceCare rates similarly attractive, while the Dealer’s workshop team do a great job of ensuring that our vans are always available for work when we need them.”
Dorwingear’s new Vito 114 CDIs are powered by economical 2.1-litre common rail turbodiesel engines which produce 140 hp and drive the rear wheels – other Vito variants are available with front-wheel drive.
In addition to the reassuring armoury of safety aids for which Mercedes-Benz vans are renowned, its drivers benefit from the vehicle’s standard-fit Active Parking Assist system, parking sensors and automatic headlights. Other features include a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift selector, a comfort driver’s seat, heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, and heat-insulating glass.