06 April 2018

US Rail Freight Ownership Reinforces Safety Standards of UK Container Road Haulage Outfit  

Already High Standards Increased When Pentalver Purchased a New Fleet of Trucks

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Shipping News Feature UK – A fundamental principal behind the operations of versatile container specialist outfit Pentalver is safety, and thus this commitment to the road haulage industry's highest standards of care led the company to take stock of all possibilities before committing to its latest batch of trucks. The acquisition last May by the US based rail freight group Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) was also a driving force in the approach to this facet of the business as Shaun Allen, Pentalver's Chief Operating Officer, explains:

“We had high safety standards previously, but the new owner has raised the bar by another substantial notch. Safety is a cornerstone of the Genesee & Wyoming business and its culture now informs every decision we take at Pentalver. We invited all of the major manufacturers to tender on the basis of a revised specification which focused particularly on safety features, as well as value for money.

”It soon became clear that Mercedes-Benz had a definite edge over the competition in terms of accident prevention technology, particularly with its emergency braking system, while our previous experience with the Actros meant we knew it was more than up to the job.”

This attention to safety has now led to the ordering of 26 Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units fitted with optional Mercedes-Benz Safety Packs and the vehicles are thus each equipped with the manufacturer’s Active Brake Assist 4 technology. Active Brake Assist 4 employs multi-mode radar to monitor moving and stationary objects in front of the vehicle, and sounds an audible warning when it senses potential for a collision. If the driver takes no action, it will apply staged braking followed by full braking power to prevent a crash, or dramatically reduce the effects of an impact.

Mercedes claims the system incorporates a ‘world first’ in the form of pedestrian recognition. On detecting a moving pedestrian, even one stepping into the truck’s path from behind a parked car, it can apply partial braking while simultaneously activating acoustic and visual warnings, up to a speed of 50 km/h. Meanwhile Proximity Control Assist works in conjunction with the truck’s cruise control to restrict speed and maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle in front. This system reduces the risk of rear-end shunts and promotes more comfortable, stress-free driving in nose-to-tail traffic.

The advanced safety technology on the new vehicles has played a part in convincing Pentalver that now is the time to ‘Go for Gold’ by pursuing a course to move from the company’s current Silver standard accreditation as part of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, to the next level. The new trucks are based at Pentalver’s Southampton depot where, as with their predecessors, the new Actros will be inspected and serviced at Marshall Truck & Van’s service centre on Southampton’s Nursling Industrial Estate.

Pentalver Transport commenced trading from the Port of Southampton in 1980 with 16 trucks. Today, the Pentalver Group is a leading provider of container-related activities in the UK and operates a fleet of 151 tractor units, while sister company Freightliner, which specialises in rail freight, also runs 217 tractors. Pentalver’s five sites, it also has a purpose-built container facility in Cannock and other depots in Felixstowe, Tilbury and London Gateway, offer a combined 37,500 TEU capacity to a variety of logistics stakeholders.

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