Ac­tros is cast in the lead­ing role

The Mercedes-Benz up­grades are win­ners, writesGRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

MORE than 50 up­grades and im­prove­ments lifted the third­gen­er­a­tion Mercedes-Benz Ac­tros above the pack to be­come Truck of the Year at last month’s Hanover Truck Show.

The Ac­tros has been a tech­no­log­i­cal leader in the truck world since its in­tro­duc­tion, but this lat­est gen­er­a­tion raised the bar bar even fur­ther.

For the first time the Ac­tros has au­to­mated trans­mis­sion as stan­dard.

The Mercedes Pow­erShift 2 is stan­dard across the new Ac­tros range. It’s a re­de­vel­oped ver­sion that now fea­tures a built-in in­cline sen­sor and a more op­ti­mised shift strat­egy.

A re­fined sen­sor sys­tem gives smoother, faster shift­ing and an anti-jud­der con­trol elim­i­nates any shak­ing when pulling away. The re­duc­tion in pitch­ing and rolling of the cab sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves com­fort for the driver and re­duces stress on the driv­e­line.

Power comes from a range of Euro4/5 en­gines run­ning BlueTec emis­sion-fight­ing SCR tech­nol­ogy.

Mercedes-Benz is of­fer­ing a choice of six 12.0-litre V6 en­gines rang­ing from 235kW to 350kW, and three 16.0-litre V8s from 375kW to 440kW.

Its en­gi­neers have gone to great de­tail to find and re­fine ways of mak­ing their trucks more ef­fi­cient. The elec­tronic air-pro­cess­ing unit in­creases sup­ply pres­sure in the brake cir­cuits and gen­er­at­ing pres­sure dur­ing brak­ing. Pri­or­ity is given to run­ning the air com­pres­sor in over-run mode only, par­tic­u­larly when driv­ing down­hill.

A new coolant pump con­trol, to be in­tro­duced next year, runs the pump slower at part-throt­tle to cut power con­sump­tion.

On its own the new coolant pump con­trol cuts fuel use 0.7 per cent, but when com­bined with the E-APU re­fine­ment, the sav­ings are 1 per cent.

Along with the re­vi­sions that make the new Ac­tros more ef­fi­cient for op­er­a­tors try­ing to cut run­ning costs are com­fort and safety im­prove­ments that make it even more re­fined and much safer.

Op­tional rain and light sen­sors are a world first for trucks. A level con­trol is an­other first that lets the driver find a flat sleep­ing po­si­tion no mat­ter the po­si­tion of the truck.

There’s also a shav­ing mir­ror, op­tional fold­ing ta­ble, towel rail, coat hooks and a com­pressed-air con­nec­tion so an air gun can be used to clean the cab.

Ac­tive Brake As­sist is an op­tion. Based on the Benz prox­im­ity con­trol, it trig­gers full brake ap­pli­ca­tion when it senses acute risk of a col­li­sion.

In Ger­many the adop­tion of the safety sys­tems is be­ing en­cour­aged by in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, which will dis­count pre­mi­ums up to 10 per cent for op­er­a­tors who take them up.

Easy does it: in­te­rior in­no­va­tions make the Ac­tros driver’s life less stress­ful. the Mercedes-Benz Ac­tros is Ger­many’s top truck.

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