Saloon car drivers probably don’t think ‘Mercedes’ when they think ‘truck’ but the Germans have done a good job on their rigid truck. The series comprises three truck models: Actros, Arocs, and Atego. They differ in fuel capacity and chassis length, as well as features.
- Actros has 6×2 or 6×4 rigid and a fuel tank that holds 580 litres.
- Arocs has 8×4 rigid and a 390 litre fuel tank.
- Atego has a 4×2 chassis and 325 litre fuel capacity.
Mercedes rigid trucks offer drivers a comfortable experience, with a more luxurious cab than many other truck brands. Each cab is 2.3m wide, with ergonomic features. Behind the driver’s seat, there’s adequate room for a foldable bunk bed, and the Atego even allows you to seat four extra passengers behind the driver. Mercedes trucks have high resale potential, so they’re an investment. They have a low rate of wear-and-tear and a good service package.
Low rotation on truck parts
Not all drivers and fleet owners visit the showroom for servicing. That said, you can still reliably purchase reliable truck spares for your vehicle. Just be sure they’re sourced from Mercedes Central so they don’t void the warranty or shorten the life of your truck. Some aftermarket suppliers get you good prices on OEM parts due to strategic planning and bulk shopping, so buy your parts from that kind of parts dealer.
Mercedes is a high end luxury brand, which may worry truck purchasers. However, their trucks are known for their long life and low maintenance costs. Because they’re reliable and durable, they rarely need replacement parts, which puts their overall service expense on the lower side, even though individual parts can be pricy. Also, while Mercedes saloons are assumed to be fuel guzzlers, Mercedes trucks are lauded for their fuel efficiency.
To facilitate low fuel consumption without compromising power output, Mercedes implements hi-tech design features into their trucks. There aerodynamic cab cuts down wind resistance. The powertrain maximises torque while minimising fuel usage. Mercedes also employs automatic shifting which saves even more fuel. It utilises PoweShift3 to smoothen gear changes and heighten the feeling of ease and luxury in the driver’s seat.
Superior engine function
Mercedes rigid truck engines run on 6 cylinders that offer 8 different ratings for power output, ranging from 231hp to 530hp (130kW to 390kW). The trucks use a high pressure fuel injection system that can produce 2,700 bars. It operates an X-Pulse system and its turbo chargers are asymmetric. Mercedes trucks have minimal downtime because their engine is equipped with bearings and conrods that have been reinforced.
Its steel engine pistons are one-piece units, and the crankcase is more rigid. All this adds up to a better cooling system and more engine up-time. The transmission and clutch are worked less, because the truck’s widened torque curve and automatic shifting reduces the strain and labour applied on your pedals. This ease is possible because PowerShift3 sensors are super sensitive. The comfy cab and easy driving drastically lower driver fatigue.
These rigid trucks are praised for their versatility and job-matching ability. The trucks come in multiple transmission speeds from 6 to 12. The truck’s improved shifting considers inclination, weight, and the position of the accelerator, combining all these factors into a smooth power shift towards the rear axle. The trucks use tri-phase brakes with stoppage power of up to 400kW, making Mercedes ideal for Aussie roads.
Safer driving experience
In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests exhausted drivers cause over 100,000 accidents every year. They gauge these accidents as the root of more than 1,500 deaths and over 70,000 injuries. Aussies place our exhaustion-related accident rate at 20% to 30%. Driver fatigue is difficult to gauge though, because you can’t test it using a breathalyser or blood samples.
But if you think of your own experience, there are times dead-tired-ness and lack of sleep resembles drunkenness, complete with the unsteady walk, slurred speech, poor balance, inability to focus, and low physical coordination. Not convinced? The next time you wake up in the middle of the night and stumble towards the toilet, stubbing your toes on every piece of furniture along the way, think about how different you look and feel from that guy/girl leaving your local bar after the bartender cut them off.
What does this have to do with rigid trucks? Well, by ensuring drivers are more comfortable and rested in the Rigid series, truck crashes are significantly reduced, both from driver error and faulty heavy vehicles. So not only is Mercedes saving time and money, it’s also saving lives. And with the stylish design of these trucks, you look good too. This is clearly a truck with beauty and brawn, all tied up in one horse-powered package.