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Derek bonds with his V6 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

8th July 2011 Print
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

If ever proof were needed that Mercedes-Benz vans deserve their reputation for class-leading reliability then look no further than County Durham-based Derek Cheesey.

His V6-engined Sprinter 319CDI has clocked up an incredible 163,000 miles in its first 12 months and never missed a beat.

Supplied by Newcastle-upon-Tyne dealer Bell Truck & Van, it boasts a low-emission Euro 5 powerplant producing a muscular 190hp and 440Nm of torque, which is mated to a fully automatic, factory-fitted gearbox.

Derek knows too, that the Long-bodied model’s flawless performance is no fluke, as his previous Sprinter covered more than half a million, hassle-free miles.

Working for Ionbond, an international provider of advanced coatings and coating equipment, Derek travels throughout the UK in his van.

He uses it to visit customers, many of them from the aerospace sector, and collect components requiring treatment – Ionbond’s UK headquarters are in Consett but the company also has a coating facility in Mansfield which operates another two Sprinters.

“Ionbond works to a rapid turnaround, sometimes as fast as 24 hours to the customer’s door, so it’s vital we maintain our good name with customers by honouring that commitment,” he said. “Thanks to the reliability of my Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, we know our reputation is in safe hands when it comes to collecting and returning their goods on time, every time.”

Derek has been a professional driver for 26 years but it’s a job he still loves. “Whenever possible I like to travel during off-peak hours, which makes the time I spend behind the wheel a real pleasure. The quieter roads and less stressful traffic more than compensate for the early starts,” he observed. “The lifestyle suits me though, as I really enjoy getting out and about and meeting customers.

“And of course, I wouldn’t swap my Sprinter for anything else. As a dependable workhorse nothing comes close but it’s so much more than that. The big, powerful engine makes for relaxed long-distance cruising and the automatic gearbox is a big help in congested areas.

“The cab is spacious and comfortable and very well appointed, while the build quality is everything you’d expect of a vehicle that wears the three-pointed star badge. In fact, the driving experience is more akin to a luxury Mercedes car than a van!”

Like all Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito models, Derek’s van also incorporates a comprehensive array of active and passive safety features, including the latest Adaptive version of the ESP® anti-skid system.

Ionbond is an international leader in highest quality thin-film PVD, PACVD and CVD coating technologies. It offers a state-of-the-art coating service at 40 coating centres worldwide, as well as manufacturing customer-specific coating equipment.

For more information, visit

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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter