Mercedes-Benz Dealer Ciceley Commercials has supplied a pair of pre-owned vans for milk delivery father & son team, Smithills Open Farm.
Following the initial purchase of two approved used Vito 111 CDI vans, Smithills Open Farm a week later ordered a third, and before long were back for a fourth.
The vans were acquired using funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finance.
The 68-registered, long-bodied vans are from a batch of 60 returned to the manufacturer on completion of their ‘first life’ lease contracts. These vehicles, each of which had covered between 12,000 and 20,000 miles, were then offered for sale by Ciceley Commercials.
In July, Smithills Open Farm was back for more, but this time a smaller Mercedes-Benz Citan van extra-long 109 CDI model, to deliver a milk round with fewer stops.
Smithills Open Farm began making doorstep deliveries of milk in January 2019, after purchasing a local round with 250 customers but at the end of the first year was up to 2,000 deliveries. COVID-19 has expanded operations further and now no fewer than 17 rounds and more than 4,000 customers are delivered to.
“The growth in demand has been phenomenal, which is why we needed additional vehicles,” explained Carl, “We were struggling with the limited carrying capacity of our established vans, so visited Ciceley Commercials in Bolton on the recommendation of a friend, with a view to looking at a flat-bed truck.”
He recalled: “While there we also enquired about the used Vito vans on display outside, and realised we could almost buy two for the price of the truck. Social distancing guidelines meant we were restricted to an on-site test drive of the Vito, but that was enough.
“It was immediately obvious that this was the vehicle we needed to drive the business forward. We purchased the first two there and then, and after taking on another 300 customers went back for a third a week later. The fourth followed shortly afterwards, and now we’ve just bought our first Citan.”
Once milk deliveries have been completed Smithills Open Farm uses its Mercedes-Benz vans to distribute ice cream, and fruit and vegetables, or for other purposes such as trips to wholesalers. “These vans are busy all day, not just in the mornings,” said Carl. “The Vito is so comfortable to drive that members of our delivery team practically fight each other for the keys, while the vans also look the part and attract plenty of attention in our ‘cow print’ livery.”
Mercedes-Benz Approved Used vans come with the same exacting commitment to quality and workmanship as new vehicles. A maximum of six years old and with fewer than 150,000 miles on the clock, all undergo comprehensive pre-delivery inspections. The support package includes a 12-month Mercedes-Benz warranty that can be extended to 24 months, and at least 12 months’ mechanical breakdown insurance.
Carl Grimshaw added: “We’ve acquired five premium quality Mercedes-Benz vans, each with a two-year warranty, at very competitive prices, and we couldn’t be happier. They’re perfect for the job, so we now intend to replace our previous vehicles with more by Mercedes-Benz at the earliest opportunity.”