TruckFest North West

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‘Guest presenters’ star for Mercedes-Benz Dealer Roanza at Truckfest North West.

Valued customers made it a weekend to remember for Roanza Truck & Van by teaming-up with the Mercedes-Benz Dealer for Truckfest North West. No fewer than 10 operators accepted Roanza’s invitation to present their own vehicles on its stand at the Cheshire Showground, in Knutsford, and the stunning line-up was certainly a hit with the crowds.

Most of the vehicles displayed by customers were Actros tractor units in a variety of eye-catching liveries, although the roll call also included a pair of eight-wheeled Arocs models, one an 8x4 tipper belonging to Northwich-based Rojac, the other a mixer with new, lower cab and single front steer axle, double-drive bogie and lifting rear-steer axle, in the colours of Readymicks, of Longport, Stoke-on-Trent.

Also on its stand last weekend (16-17 September) were several of the Dealer’s own demonstrators, among them an Actros Fuel Challenger and a 3.5-tonne FUSO Canter – the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network is also responsible for sales and support of the popular Japanese light truck range – while the manufacturer pitched in too, by providing an Actros Safety Truck promoting its pioneering Active Brake Assist 4 autonomous braking system.

The guest exhibitors, members of their families and drivers, shared a barbecue on the Saturday evening, before they and their Roanza hosts finally called it a night and settled down to sleep, either in the cabs of their vehicles or in tents. “It was my first truckfest and we had a terrific weekend, with brilliant hospitality from Roanza,” recalled Steven Johnston, proprietor of the Widnes-based transport business that bears his name, who was joined at Truckfest by his business partner and Transport Manager Dave Jones. “I thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet and chat to other operators about issues that affect us all, as well as looking over their trucks and visiting many of the stalls, which gave me lots of ideas.” 

Mr Johnston, a relative newcomer to the industry who previously served in the Army for 20 years, most recently in Afghanistan, showed one of his 10 distinctively painted, green and black Actros 2548s, as supplied by Roanza within the last year. “The Actros is a fabulous vehicle,” he enthused. “Our Mercedes-Benz units are consistently returning 9.5 mpg while the drivers love them.” Alan Sawkins runs three Actros out of Warrington, the oldest of which – a pre-owned, 55-registered example – has now covered 1.25 million kilometres and is still going strong. It was, however, his latest vehicle, also a 2548 model purchased new last year from Roanza, that Mr Sawkins took to Truckfest.

Beautifully finished in black with yellow highlights, light bars and stainless-steel wheel trims, the truck bears the name of his wife Tracy Jane. She and their daughter Sapphire joined Mr Sawkins at Truckfest, as did driver Paul Unsworth and his son Jack. “We’ve mounted our own display at previous shows, so when Roanza invited me to join theirs I thought it would make a nice change,” says Mr Sawkins. “We had a very good time, and the Saturday night was great fun.”

As Operations Manager, James McIlroy oversees the Liverpool operation of Dublin-based Hendrick Logistics, whose fleet of more than 100 trucks includes a dozen Actros 2548s supplied by Roanza. “I can’t fault the Dealer’s Sales Executive Tom Jennings, while his service colleagues provide great back-up and can always be relied upon to help us out,” said Mr McIlroy. “Given the very good relationship between our two companies we were delighted to see one of our vehicles on the Roanza stand for what proved to be a very enjoyable weekend.”

The other operators presenting vehicles were IAE and Genesis 2014, both of Stoke-on-Trent; H Freund, of Runcorn; HNC Transport, of Trafford Park; and S Cooper & Sons, of Winsford. Roanza Truck Sales Manager Lester Freakley added: “Rather than seeking the quick sale, our priority at Roanza is always to develop long-term partnerships with customers. It was particularly gratifying, therefore, that these operators were prepared to bring their vehicles along and join in the fun with members of my team. Their involvement added a fantastic, additional dimension to our presentation at this year’s Truckfest.”

Alan Sawkins, with Skye, Dylan and Keo