It’s 2002 and husband-and-wife team Kevin and Lorraine Bellamy need a van with which to launch their new business venture, one that will take them all over the UK in safety and style, and can be depended upon to perform efficiently and reliably in all weathers. After much research and investigation, they choose a Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Fast forward 18 years, and that decision has been vindicated many times over. Today, Bellamy Surveying and Consultancy Services Ltd runs four vans – like every vehicle the company has purchased since it opened for business, all are by Mercedes-Benz.
“That first Vito was just fantastic,” recalled Kevin (pictured, above), “It looked great, was lovely to drive, and never let us down. It was a sound investment, too – not only were the running costs low, but the van also retained a high value when we came to trade it in.”
Bellamy Surveying and Consultancy Services is based in Chelmsford, Essex, and specialises in the surveying and identification of hazardous materials like asbestos. It works alongside and consults with main building and demolition contractors, NHS Trust providers, retail and facilities management customers, local authorities, and major hotel and theatre groups across the UK to investigate and manage the health and safety hazard of asbestos in buildings undergoing refurbishment or demolition.
The company provides ‘end-to-end’ asbestos management solutions, from surveying inspections through to asbestos management and project removal consultancy, while also delivering training workshops, ‘tool box’ talks and lectures on the subjects of Health and Safety, dealing with asbestos, and statutory regulations and codes of practice.
As Bellamy Surveying and Consultancy Services has evolved and expanded, and demand for its services has grown, so it has taken on vans from the other Mercedes-Benz model lines, to fulfil a variety of roles across all sectors. Now working alongside its mid-sized Vito Crew Van and Vito Sport are a Citan and Sprinter.
“The breadth of the Mercedes-Benz Vans range means we can choose the most appropriate vehicles for specific purposes,” explained Kevin. “Since we started the business we have relied upon our personal, pragmatic approach, as well as the quality of our work, to build up strong business relationships, some of which go back many years.
“Our private and public sector clients know that our qualified building and asbestos surveyors can always be relied upon to deliver, and the same is true of our Mercedes-Benz vans.”
Supplied by Mercedes Benz Dartford, the Sprinter is the most recent arrival. A 3.5-tonne 314 CDI variant with standard H1 roof and medium-length L2 body, it is used to carry hazardous materials and surveying tools. A factory fitted tow bar means it can also pull a trailer-mounted scissor-lift access platform.
The Sprinter’s economical 140 hp, 2.1-litre engine drives the rear wheels – front- and all-wheel drive Sprinters are also available. Like all Mercedes-Benz vans it came with a class-leading safety armoury as well as a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and MobiloVan assistance package, which includes free 24-hour breakdown cover.
Designed to ‘work hard and play hard’, the dynamically styled Vito 119 CDI Sport is assigned to Lead Surveyor Jack Stringer, who visits sites all over the country. The Vito Sport’s range-topping 2.1-litre twin-turbo diesel engine delivers punchy, 190 hp performance, and is paired as standard with a slick-shifting 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.
The 140 hp Mercedes Benz Vito 114 CDI and 90 hp Citan 109 CDI both have second rows of seats, so each can carry up to five members of the Bellamy team for work on complex assignments. They also retain practical cargo areas for carrying tools and equipment. A tow bar fitted to the Vito allows it to tow a trailer and additional access equipment.
The Citan is the smallest member of the Mercedes-Benz Vans and is impressively fuel-efficient – research by one of the country’s best-known financial services comparison websites recently concluded that it will travel 831 miles on a single tank, 123 miles further than its nearest rival.
Bellamy’s 109 CDI model returns 65.7 mpg (combined cycle). It is used primarily by surveyors to attend appointments and travel to and from survey sites, either locally or in central London, where its smaller footprint is an advantage on narrow streets or in busy traffic.
“Our Mercedes-Benz vans have always been reliable, comfortable and extremely cost-effective to operate, from day one,” added Mr Bellamy. “Given our Duty of Care to employees and, indeed, other road users, we’re also reassured by the manufacturer’s long-established leadership in the field of safety. The three-pointed star is also a recognised symbol of quality and underpins our own commitment to the highest levels of customer service.”