An experienced hand
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is no stranger to Truck Test, and this year the company aimed to show how its improved Actros can save money for its operators
Mercedes-Benz is one of the few original equipment manufacturers that has taken part in every Truck Test since the event’s inception in 2012. This year it once again set out to show that it is “a force to be reckoned with at events such as Truck Test”. That’s according to Christo Kleynhans, product manager for Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
“This particular event is of importance to us as our trucks are tested under genuine road conditions similar to those they experience on a regular basis. MBSA has consistently achieved results that show the competitiveness of our product,” Kleynhans elaborates.
In 2017, Mercedes-Benz entered a single Actros 2646LS/33 6×4 truck tractor that hauled the tautliner interlink combination. The 2646LS/33 is unique in that it is fitted with hypoid axles and a direct-drive transmission.
“Hypoid axles and direct-drive transmissions increase efficiency in long-haul operations by reducing operating losses, which, in turn, saves fuel. This combination will prove that the Actros offers exceptional fuel efficiency and will yield positive results,” Kleynhans says confidently.
MBSA entrusted the driving duties to one of its most experienced staff members – a man who needs no introduction to Truck Test, or the South African trucking fraternity: Duncan Prince, manager for specialised heavy trucks. Says Kleynhans: “Duncan has a wealth of sales and technical experience and can provide valuable feedback from the test, which will allow us to improve our product offering even more.”
How does the team think the vehicle fared? “Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a typical operation. We cannot predict our results in the test as fuel consumption can vary greatly depending on route, load and trailer configuration. We are, however, confident that the chosen route will confirm that the Mercedes-Benz Actros 2646LS/33 provides the most ideal mobility solution for all of our customers,” Kleynhans says.
Of course, MBSA knows full well that fuel efficiency is not the only solution a transport operator requires.
“At Daimler Trucks, we continue to take each and every opportunity presented to us to demonstrate why we are the world’s leading truck manufacturer. MBSA is committed to introducing the latest technologies if we are confident that they will perform in the South African environment and provide meaningful savings to our customers. These technologies range from the hypoid axles and direct-drive transmissions, to safety systems such as Brake Assist and Telligent Distance Control,” Kleynhans comments.
“The trucking industry is competitive – the demands and requirements are often highly complex and require solutions that are geared towards vastly improving efficiency while reducing costs. We know that the Actros will prove – as it does on our country’s roads daily – that it is unmatched,” he adds.
“In so doing, we hope to reaffirm to the truck market that in independent tests we achieve competitive payload, fuel consumption and productivity results that match the internal tests we have run in the past.
“Truck Test will also allow us the opportunity to evaluate these improvements against our competitors. We have aimed to demonstrate the frugality of our engines, together with their ability to provide the necessary power for varying loads and distances,” Kleynhans concludes.