With a series of upgrades and facelifts, the recently released third generation Mercedes-Benz Actros is set to hold its position as a favourite in the heavy truck market.
The latest generation Actros features an array of technical upgrades that enhance individual measures geared to improve operational economy, environmental compatibility, comfort and safety.
First up is the “Mercedes PowerShift,” a new-generation fully automated manual transmission for all on-road Actros models.
The lightweight transmissions combine non-synchromesh, fully automated basic transmissions with the 12-speeds and highly sophisticated control electronics, which alongside the primary functions of changing the gears and actuating the clutch, include numerous control functions. MBCV say the advantages include enhanced cost effectiveness andfaster and smoother gear changes. The automatic transmission switches gears more rapidly while enabling higher engine torques to be generated compared with similar synchromesh transmission units. The selectable programmes, application-specific additional functions and smoother gear changes contribute to better ride comfort, improved safety and greater economy. PowerShift features include:
The Actros range comes fitted with what MBCV calls the “technically mature” Euro 3 compliant OM 501 LA and OM 502 LA engines encompassing two 11,9 litre V6 engines ranging from 265 kW up to 320 kW, along with one 15,9 litre V8 units with an output of 370 kW.
The new Actros demonstrated phenomenal performance capabilities and outstanding economy during a record-breaking drive at the Nardo test track in the South of Italy.
A semitrailer loaded up to its 40-ton limit covered 13 000 kilometres in seven days, while returning fuel consumption figures of just 19.44 litres/100 km which, according to MBCV, is a world record.
With a 25 ton payload, this means fuel consumption per ton of just 0.8 litres/100 km. This equates to a mere 20.5 grams of CO2 per kilometre for each tonne of payload – a fraction of the emission figures achieved by today’s passenger cars with hybrid drive.
This ultra-clean, ultra-frugal recordbreaking truck made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most economical and cleanest truck in the world.
Features aimed at boosting driver comfort and reducing fatigue include optimised steering to significantly improve handling characteristics. An anti-roll bar with a smaller diameter, a modified control arm, an altered valve opening characteristic as well as a reduced steering ratio combine to produce an even more direct response to the driver’s movements of the steering wheel.
The Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics system is now fitted as standard equipment offering customers a reliable and economical service to cut costs and to ease the fleet management function.
The new Actros emulates its predecessor by setting an example for all to follow when it comes to both safety and the environment. With a view to actively preventing accidents, Mercedes-Benz is again offering a series of safety systems for the new Actros, all of which were originally brought out for the current, outgoing model.
These systems are designed to help drivers bring critical situations under control. They include the optional “Telligent proximity control” - which can be upgraded to include the optional “Active Brake Assist” - and the optional “Telligent stability control” (for 4x2 semitrailer tractors). The “Lane Assistant” recognition system is provided standard across the Actros truck tractors.
A further positive feature of the new Actros are the service intervals which have been extended to 30 000 km in a long-haul application, on condition that synthetic engine oil is used.
2009 FleetWatch magazine and FleetWatch On-Line.
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