Customised “monster” trucks

Customised "monster" trucks

Things are big in the world of road transport; big vehicles, big loads and mostly massive distances to travel … But sometimes big isn’t big enough. Enter the Mercedes-Benz Actros SLT, with comfortable air suspension for road use, and the Arocs SLT, with a robust parabolic spring for tough assignments in extreme terrain – the heaviest guys in the Mercedes-Benz Trucks family.

These three or four-axle customised tractors feature Euro-6 technology. They are powered by the new OM 473 six-cylinder inline engine with 15,6-liters of displacement and 460 kW of power output. The maximum torque is 3 000 Nm.

But the engine isn’t the only thing that’s big on these trucks. They can move up to 250 tonnes which enables them to transport, for example, wind turbines. “Such oversized loads are almost unsurpassed in their complexity,” says Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We’re putting the most powerful and robust Mercedes-Benz trucks of all time on the road to perform the shipping industry’s toughest jobs. The SLT is tailored to these requirements, down to the last detail.”

The amount of work involved in customising a truck is enormous, as the vehicle has to be fitted with stronger frames, additional axles, highly efficient cooling systems, a special clutch to help get the truck moving as well as a high-performance braking system. And these are only the most important of the conversion tasks.

But Mercedes-Benz isn’t letting this get it down … Production of the SLT began in December 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Molsheim, France, which serves as the base of Custom Tailored Trucks (CTT). The plant fulfils even the most unusual wishes of truck customers from all over the world.

Although the main markets for CTT are within the European Union, the customised trucks are on the road worldwide. In recent years, CTT has delivered thousands of customised vehicles to Brazil, China, and Russia respectively. Hundreds of units have also been delivered each year to Australia and Indonesia.

But CTT’s services aren’t limited to the Actros and the Arocs. They include all the products that roll off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant in Germany. As a result, the specialists also convert Antos, Axor, Atego, Econic, and Zetros trucks to meet individual customer specifications for a wide variety of applications.

Since 2000, the Molsheim plant, which is closely integrated into the Mercedes-Benz Trucks production network, has developed and modified more than 150 000 trucks in accordance with specific customer wishes.

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