Rory Thomas has just reached his second milestone in nine years.
The first involved the Australian Air Express (AAE) line-haul contractor’s previous Sprinter, which notched up some 600,000km in little over three years. The second, namely the Sprinter 313 SWB he traded his first model for, recently turned over a million. Pretty good ‘bang for buck’, you might say.
As we went to print, the speedo was at 1,042,007km and counting. Not surprising when you consider the van covers around 700km a day. What’s more, according to Thomas, it’s still going strong and far from being entirely put out to graze.
“Even with over a million on the clock, the Sprinter still amazes me,” the Adelaide-based contractor said. “When asked to overtake road trains – pretty much every day, basically – she still does it effortlessly." Kilometres aside, add to that the fact that the van carries anywhere between 800 and 1,500kg on a daily basis.
“We started out with a then current-model Toyota Hi-Ace,” he said. “When trying to climb the hummocks, we looked at each other and said, ‘We’ve got the wrong van’. We were getting it serviced every two weeks. In all, it lasted six months.
“After we test drove a number of other vans, another subcontractor said, ‘drive a Sprinter before you buy – there’s no comparison’. We haven’t looked back. What really impressed was that our first Sprinter knocked 40 minutes off the route time and cut our fuel costs by a quarter.