Directors at Underpressure Pipeline Solutions need to move quickly and efficiently between job sites which are often on rough terrain and can be located anywhere in the country.
In the Mercedes-Benz X-Class they’ve found a vehicle that not only offers the rugged practicality and ‘go anywhere’ capability they need, but also sets new standards in the pickup sector for comfort and safety.
Underpressure Pipeline Solutions (UPS) is based, together with its sister company Utility Technology Services (UTS Engineering), in Jarrow, and took delivery of its three X 250 d POWER models from Bell Truck and Van, which represents the three-pointed star in the north-east.
Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the vehicles are smartly finished in kabara black paint and loaded with optional features, including Style, Parking and Winter Packages, and full leather interiors.
New for 2018, the doublecab X-Class is the first premium brand pickup. This imposingly styled four-door, five-seater combines strength, functionality and off-road performance, with the classical design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety characteristics of a true
The X 250 d model as chosen by Underpressure Pipeline Solutions employs a 2.3-litre engine that produces a sprightly 190 hp. Like its four-cylinder X 220 d sibling, it is equipped with engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing – both versions can also be specified with an optional differential lock on the rear axle.
Underpressure Pipeline Solutions serves the water and wastewater industry. The firm specialises in underpressure drilling and other techniques that allow it to carry out planned and emergency work economically, without the need for disruptive and expensive pipeline shutdowns.
Replacements for a trio of pickups by another manufacturer, its first Mercedes-Benz vehicles are now being driven by Group Managing Director Shaun Sadler, and his colleagues Paul Douthwaite and Neil Rowling.
Paul Douthwaite recalled: “I spotted what must have been one of the very first X-Class pickups on the motorway and thought it looked great. So I contacted Bell Truck and Van to arrange a test drive.”
Bell Truck and Van Sales Executive Mick Barnes duly supplied a demonstration vehicle, which Mr Douthwaite and his colleagues put through its impressive paces over the course of a weekend.
“We liked everything about the X-Class,” continued Mr Douthwaite. “First and foremost, we need working vehicles with the robust, all-wheel drive capability to take us across fields and other challenging terrain to reach operational sites. The Mercedes-Benz certainly ticks this box.
“In terms of its appearance and image of quality, though, the X-Class is also a big improvement on the pickups we were using previously. Plus, of course, the luxurious interior and engaging dynamics mean it’s a joy to drive, too.
“I clocked-up 2,000 miles within just over a week of taking delivery of my pickup, and still felt fresh and relaxed at the end. It would have been a very story had I done the same in my last vehicle. The X-Class also doubles as my private vehicle and is a big hit with the family – my 11-year-old daughter loves it!”
Mr Douthwaite added: “Bell Truck and Van’s service has been exemplary. Mick Barnes was very helpful when it came to specifying our new pickups and arranging the finance. The Dealer also delivered the vehicles on a covered transporter, which helped to make the experience that bit more special. We’ll certainly be relying on Bell to maintain them, so they continue perform as well as they are now.”
Since Underpressure Pipeline Solutions ordered its X 250 d models, Mercedes-Benz has launched a V6-engined variant, the X 350 d, with permanent all-wheel drive. This comes as standard with the range-topping POWER design and equipment level, which is no longer available on four-cylinder versions.
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, the X-Class is backed by a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty, and comes with MobiloVan cover, which includes free emergency roadside assistance. The average attendance time by a Mercedes-Benz technician is less than an hour, with 80% of vehicles fixed at the roadside.