Coast2Coast Marine Transport has invested more than £300,000 in two Mercedes-Benz trucks, which are plated for operation at gross combination weights of 80 tonnes, to transport yachts and motor cruisers throughout Europe.
The transport business was launched in 2004 by Russell Mitchell, who had left the Army after 25 years’ service with the Royal Engineers.
As a Warrant Officer Russell ran a fleet of 300 trucks; he was also a diving instructor and directly involved in the raising of the Mary Rose.
His new venture was quick to establish a good reputation within the boat-owning fraternity and grew rapidly, its location in Portchester providing easy access to the ferry terminal and south coast marinas.
It is now the UK’s biggest boat movement specialist, with a fleet of six tractor units, eight trailers and a number of escort vehicles.
Regularly running international routes, comfort was important to Russell when he needed to expand, so he bought two Actros 3358 variants with top-of-the-range GigaSpace cabs from Fareham dealer Marshall Truck & Van.
He said: ‘We’re an international operation and run regularly to France, Portugal and Spain, so our drivers are often away from home for more than three weeks at a time. The roomy and comfortable GigaSpace cab is therefore a massive ‘plus’ – we’ve kitted ours out with TVs, microwaves and fridges, and the lads love them.
‘The Actros looks great and thanks to its advanced technology leads the field in terms of safety, reliability and cost-efficiency.’
The trucks are also equipped with the upgraded interactive version of Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ twin-screen multimedia cockpit, which boast a larger, 12in instrument panel and comes with extra functionality, including satellite navigation.
However, MirrorCam, a camera-based replacement for conventional mirrors, has most impressed Adrian Dennis, who has been driving for Coast2Coast Marine Transport since the beginning.
He said: ‘First and foremost, I no longer have to contend with the forward-facing blind spot caused by the mirror housing, which was enormous in my last truck. That’s particularly helpful in France, where we’re not allowed on the motorway network.
‘Fuel-efficiency is noticeably better than my previous vehicle, and I’m really pleased with the way the Actros handles. Even when it’s wet and slippery this truck is beautifully balanced and a real pleasure to drive.’
For more go to c2cboat.com