Barry"s Skip Hire has a new Mercedes-Benz eight-wheeled hookloader with a point to prove.

The Liverpool-based operator was founded in 1974 and supplies skips to domestic and trade waste customers across Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Halton. It has used Mercedes skip-loaders for much of that time and today runs 16 Arocs, Atego and Axor models.

Until now, however, none of its Mercedes-Benz vehicles has had a gross weight of more than 18 tonnes. That"s because when it came to 32-tonne chassis, Barry"s always favoured another truck brand.

"We"ve steered clear of Mercedes-Benz eight-wheelers in the past because we didn"t feel they were particularly well suited to our kind of work," said Barry Flanagan.

"Payload is critical in this business and the fact that they were relatively heavy always counted against them"

But Mr Flanagan has conceded that since the launch of the Euro VI Arocs, with a range of chassis designed for construction-related work, this was no longer the case.

"The Arocs is light enough to allow us to maximise payload capacities, while also offering the strength and durability that we"ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz," he said.

"There"s plenty of ground clearance too, and visibility from the driver"s seat is excellent. All in all, this vehicle offers a great combination of attributes"

Barry"s Skip Hire ordered its new truck after suffering reliability issues with a pair of 32-tonners by its established supplier, one of which has since been stood down to make way for the new arrival.

"They were giving us all sorts of trouble, and the AdBlue consumption was sky-high," said Mr Flanagan.

"It was time for a change and the Arocs looks like a marked improvement"

The new truck is powered by a 10.7 litre straight-six engine which generates 290kW (394hp) and drives through a PowerShift 3 automated transmission. It is fitted with hook-loading gear and carries a range of roll-on roll-off steel skips with 20-40 cubic yard capacities, for commercial customers.

The Arocs" performance and reliability, as well as the dealer Roanza"s back-up, will be closely monitored over the coming months, and compared with the remaining eight-wheeler.

"These are still early days but our latest Mercedes-Benz has certainly been quick to impress, with driver feedback very positive," said Mr Flanagan.