Most modern trucks today have their liveries applied using computers, vinyl, scalpels and hairdryers. The days of paintbrushes and the skill of the craftsman are behind us.  Having a top of the range, limited edition Actros Edition 2 professionally sign written must be unique.

That’s what Consett-based Elddis Transport has done to make the company’s fiftieth anniversary.

This is not he first initiative to ensure their trucks stand out from the crowd. In recent years Elddis Transport has set a succession of specially-finished Actros on the road to mark various milestones, charity initiatives or customer associations. Its latest tractor unit stands proud, though.

Just 400 of the Actros 2 trucks are being built, with only a dozen coming to UK operators.

Long Standing Business Relationships

Elddis Transport’s new flagship arrived via Bell Truck and Van, a trusted and long-established supplier to the Consett-based operator. The truck’s ‘retro’ livery mirrors the appearance of Elddis trucks dating from the company’s inception in 1971, with traditional hand-painted signwriting by Hogarth Coachworks, of Birtley.

It is also one of only four vehicles on Elddis Transport’s Mercedes-Benz dominated fleet of 150 trucks to bear the name of a member of the company’s founding family – in this case Managing Director Nigel Cook’s mother, Pamela.

To complete the eye-catching look Lawrence David constructed a pair of bespoke curtainside trailers, also in 1971-vintage colours, and the combination rolls on Goodyear tyres – like Bell Truck and Van, both companies have been suppliers to Elddis since its earliest days.

Despite its traditional finish, there is no mistaking the fact that this truck is bang up to date. The limited-edition model’s sun visor incorporates four additional LED headlights, above which is a deep black panel with EDITION 2 lettering.

Other external highlights include an illuminated Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star in dark chrome, with a black closed cover, stainless steel entrance steps, three more LED headlights behind the cab, and a chassis frame cover.

Elddis Actros
The traditionally-finished Actros Edition 2 is pictured with some of Elddis Transport’s other new Mercedes-Benz trucks, which wear its modern livery

The Edition 2 Actros Specification

Edition 2s are being built as rigids as well as tractor units in 4×2, 6×2 or 6×4 configurations, with GigaSpace or BigSpace cabs, and either 15.6- or 12.8-litre in-line six-cylinder engines with a combined total of eight power ratings.

Elddis MD
aElddis Transport Managing Director Nigel Cook, left, with Bell Truck and Van Sales Executive Alex Wordsworth, who delivered the operator’s 11 new Actros tractors

Elddis chose a 2548 BigSpace version with 350 kW (476 hp) output. Its Edition 2 is now working alongside a further 10 Actros 2548 BigSpace units, all of which entered service this month (September).

Actros Edition 2 Elddis
The truck’s ‘retro’ livery mirrors the appearance of Elddis trucks dating from the company’s inception in 1971

Nigel Cook enthused: “All of our new Actros look smart but the anniversary unit is amazing. This special unit pays fitting tribute to the closeness and quality of our relationships with the manufacturer and its local representative, as well as to our own history and track record in the industry.”

Since 1998 members of Bell Truck and Van’s factory-trained Service team have inspected and maintained the Elddis fleet at the operator’s Consett workshop. “We’ve been very well served over the years by our Mercedes-Benz trucks, while the support we’ve received from Bells has been first class,” reported Mr Cook.

The Actros Edition 2 raises driver appeal to a new level, thanks to a cab interior that is every bit as eye-catching inside as the exterior. An abundance of stitched black Nappa leather contrasts with dashboard components in carbon. There is a sliding and tilting sunroof, eight colours of ambient lighting, and a driver’s suspension seat that incorporates climate and massage functions, while at 900 mm-wide and with its own, cosy topper, the comfort mattress is a dream for any driver. A brushed and polished aluminium badge on the co-driver’s side hails this Edition 2 as “One of 400”.