Castell Howell Foods new Atego
Leading independent Welsh wholesaler Castell Howell Foods has just commissioned 10 fridge-bodied Atego rigids – four 15-tonne 1524s and six low-frame 12-tonne 1224 LnRs.
Castell Howell Foods serves customers throughout Wales, the Welsh borders and the West Country, and prides itself on supplying and promoting regional produce. It stocks over 10,000 catering products and is best-known for its Celtic Pride Premium Beef Partnership, a supply chain initiative launched in 2003 which now has more than 80 farmer members, all of whom follow strict husbandry and management rules.
The company’s latest acquisitions follow two years of sustained growth during which its sales volumes have increased by almost 15%. Some replace older vehicles which are being stood down but others represent additions to the fleet, which is expanding to meet customer demand.
Castell Howell Foods has been operating Mercedes-Benz Atego rigids for more than a decade. Its latest examples are powered by advanced 175 kW (238 hp) six-cylinder engines that combine high-torque characteristics, even at low revs, with impressive fuel economy.
According to Martin Jones: “The Euro VI model represents a big step forward compared to the previous version. The turning circle is better, as is the engine performance, while the intelligence and anticipation of the Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated gearbox is also very good.”
The 15-tonners are allocated to urban routes and deliver to larger, contract customers, work for which the operator makes full use of their load volume and payload capacities. The 12-tonners, by contrast, are assigned to rural duties, where their reduced height is a big plus. “We get a lot of overhanging trees in the lanes of West Wales, and like to keep the trucks as low as possible to minimise body damage,” explained Mr Jones.