Mercedes-Benz’s Actros, built for long-distance haulage and heavy-duty distribution, was recently voted Truck of the Year for the fifth time by the European commercial automotive press. Here’s a closer look at this technologically advanced German workhorse.
The Actros is available in a broad array of configurations. Its 18- to 33-tonne line of rigids come in 4×2, 6×2, and 6×4 editions and variations thereof, with wheelbases ranging from 3,250 to 6,700 millimetres. Actros tractors come in similar weight ratings and axle/drive offerings with wheelbases of 2,650 to 4,000 mm. All feature rear air bags and either air or steel spring front suspensions.
The new Actros (Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.)
Mercedes manufactures the Actros with 17 cab variants in two widths. The company refers to its five roof shape options as CompactSpace, ClassicSpace, StreamSpace, BigSpace, and GigaSpace, in order from lowest to highest ceiling. The cab can have a level floor or a 170-mm or 320-mm engine tunnel, depending upon the truck’s engine and drivetrain.
The six-cylinder Euro VI engines available in the Actros come in four displacements: 7.7, 10.7, 12.8, and 15.6 litres. The motors range from 238 to 625 horsepower (175 to 460 kilowatts) and from 1,000 to 3,000 newton-metres of maximum torque. The engines use EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) to curb emissions, along with DPF (a diesel particulate filter) and AdBlue DEF (diesel exhaust fluid).
A 12-speed automated gearshift applies engine torque intelligently to the drive wheels. Mercedes’ fuel-saving Predictive Powertrain Control technology now comes with additional topographical map routes to tell the electronically controlled transmission to use the most efficient gears for the road ahead. A new electronic parking brake comes with a convenient hold function. Available brake-related aids for the Actros include Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking and Stability Control Assist.