Asbestos removal, demolition and remediation specialist Rhodar has added another 20 Mercedes-Benz vans to its fleet and has a further 10 on order.

The national contractor, headquartered in Leeds, has bought two small Citans but the rest are 3.5-tonne Sprinters, fitted with tow-bars and Trailer Stability Assist safety technology at the Mercedes-Benz factory so they can be used to pull Rhodar's specialist decontamination unit trailers.

This system uses the vehicle's Adaptive ESP anti-skid program to detect any signs of the trailer swaying or losing grip and intervenes automatically to bring it back into line.

The Sprinters are all 314 CDI models, powered by 140hp diesel engines. Six are panel vans, but the remaining dozen are crew vans with second rows of seats ' each capable of carrying a driver and five passengers.

The crew vans have either Long or Short bodies, those in the compact format having been chosen for operation in busy city centres, where they can park in single bays. The Citan 109 CDI Longs ' a panel van and a crew van ' have 90hp engines.

Managing director Jason Davy said: 'Rhodar has been operating Mercedes-Benz vans for more than 10 years now and these vehicles have proved themselves to be up to the demands of a tough application. Their excellent reliability, coupled with the availability of flexible seating and body length options, makes them ideally suited to the job.

'Our drivers also really like their Sprinters, with the comfortable, well-equipped cabs, and class-leading array of safety features all scoring highly.

'It helps, too, that we've built up an excellent working relationship with the manufacturer and its dealer ' Kirsty McKinnon of Mercedes-Benz Vans and Tina Todd of Ciceley Commercials are extremely helpful and professional'

Mr Davy said Mercedes-Benz Vans' commercially-focused aftersales support, and commitment to keeping its customers' businesses moving, was another crucial factor behind Rhodar's continued loyalty to the marque.

'Ciceley Commercials and its fellow Mercedes-Benz Dealers offer round-the-clock servicing,' he explained.

'This means they can undertake maintenance and repair work outside typical working hours, thereby keeping vehicle downtime to an absolute minimum and contributing to the efficient running of our operation'