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Mercedes Actros

Winning the "Truck of the Year" award in 2009 the Actros is one of the best sold trucks in Mercedes’ line-up. Currently in its third generation, Actros comes with a choice of two, three or four axles and with nine power outputs spanning the range from 320 hp to 598 hp.

Actros is powered by a choice of OM 501 LA and OM 502 LA engines. The six and eight-cylinder units with power outputs from 320 hp to 476 hp, with six 11.9-liter engines and the three 15.9-liter V8 engines with power outputs from 510 hp to 598 hp. This engines can be mated to a new 12-speed Mercedes-Benz PowerShift Offroad automated transmission offered with Power mode, Rocking mode, Manoeuvring mode and EcoRoll mode.

More robust, more economical, even better for mounting bodies and more comfortable - is how the new construction Actros comes across to its discerning customers. They can look forward to a host of improvements that provide the Actros with extra physical protection, make it even easier to integrate new bodies and make the driver’s working day much more comfortable.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

The new, third-generation Mercedes-Benz construction Actros, part of the Truck of the Year 2009 family, is about to be launched and is as cost-effective, comfortable, safe and environmentally compatible as ever. With in excess of 600.000 units sold in more than 100 countries, the Actros vehicle family has long been one of the biggest success stories in the heavy-duty truck sector - even when operating off-road.

Now Mercedes-Benz has implemented a raft of individual measures to further enhance its outstandingly engineered best-selling model. Robustness and economy, safety and ease of operation have been further improved in equal measure. Plus a fresh and powerful design further boosts the appeal of the construction Actros - now in its third generation.

Full range of applications for the construction industry

Mercedes Actros

The new tippers, all-wheel-drive tippers, concrete mixers, semitrailer tractors and special-purpose chassis units come with a choice of two, three or four axles and with nine power outputs spanning the range from 235 kW (320 hp) to 440 kW (598 hp). The drive configurations offered include the "4x2" two-axle model with rear-wheel drive and the "8x8/4", a four-axle model with all-wheel drive and two steered front axles.

More robust, more economical, even better for mounting bodies and more comfortable - is how the new construction Actros comes across to its discerning customers. They can look forward to a host of improvements that provide the Actros with extra physical protection, make it even easier to integrate new bodies and make the driver’s working day much more comfortable.

PowerShift comes into its own on the construction site

The 12-speed Mercedes-Benz PowerShift Offroad automated transmission is undoubtedly the main highlight: the transmission has been tailor-made for construction site operations, making not only gearshifting and vehicle operation much easier but also reducing fuel consumption and wear and tear. As with the PowerShift version for the long-distance Actros, the construction Actros driver now also benefits from fast, convenient and precise gearshifts, taking the strain off the transmission and the entire powertrain, and saving fuel in turn - the driver also enjoys improved safety on the road. Ultima Ultima tely, short gearshift force interruptions are crucial in dealing with off-road conditions where rolling resistance presents a major problem.

In overall terms, the Mercedes PowerShift Offroad automated transmission saves fuel and reduces wear compared to an average driver using a manual system, whereas a good driver can become even better by using Mercedes PowerShift. This is because even the very best drivers get tired. With the automated transmission on board, however, drivers can deliver consistently high performance all day long. Not only does this have a positive impact on fuel consumption, it also makes excessive powertrain wear caused by selecting the incorrect gear a thing of the past. Yet drivers can intervene at any time - without then having to switch back to automatic mode by hand afterwards, since the transmission does this for them.

Many drivers like the idea of an automatic transmission

Mercedes Actros

With its intelligent programs (Power mode, Rocking mode, Manoeuvring mode and EcoRoll mode), Mercedes-Benz PowerShift further enhances the appeal of the new construction Actros for drivers and operators alike: it is a sheer pleasure to drive a Mercedes-Benz Actros as a tipper, semitrailer tractor or concrete mixer with Mercedes PowerShift Offroad. And it reduces stress. In view of the mounting volume of traffic on the road and the rugged terrain off-road, automatic trans­missions are a key component in relieving driver stress.

The sophisticated sensors on the countershaft and transmission main shaft allow the transmission’s gearshift computer to change gear more smoothly yet notice­ably faster, thus reducing power flow interruption times accordingly. Gear changes are practically inaudible – you only occasionally get a sense of the rapid interaction between the gear wheels by the movement of the needle on the rev counter.

Sophisticated gearshift programmes for difficult terrain

Mercedes Actros

Control-software optimisation also plays its part, ensuring that any starting vibrations in the powertrain are detected early on. In fact, improvements in the control of torque build-up mean that such vibrations cannot even occur in the first place. Cab pitch and roll are reduced dramatically thanks to smoother gear changes - courtesy of the anti-jerk function.
"Manoeuvring mode" incorporates a substantially enhanced torque build-up and reduction process for the latest PowerShift generation. The new construction Actros benefits right from the word go: manoeuvring on construction sites, working with a road paver or on tight builder’s yards is now much easier, meaning that a great deal of minor accident damage can be prevented.

Features that pay dividends on the construction site include PowerShift functions like the fast reverse gears or Rocking mode. Anyone that has ever had to pain­fully inch backwards kilometre after kilometre at high revs to tip their load will undoubtedly appreciate the fast reverse gears featured in the specification.

Rocking mode helps move off far more easily on difficult terrain. The clutch is automatically and rapidly disengaged when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to roll back. If the accelerator is then pressed, the clutch engages and the vehicle moves forward. The process can then be repeated as required. And of course, Rocking mode can also be used in reverse gear.

"Power Offroad" mode - when nothing but sheer force will do

Mercedes Actros

The new tilt sensors on the Mercedes-Benz PowerShift Offroad also come into their own in off-road operation: as the incline increases, the intelligent trans­mission control system quickly shifts down to the low gears. The technology helps ensure the clutch is not subjected to stress in the first place.

"Power Offroad" mode also provides the driver of the new construction Actros with a special function that makes handling the truck much easier in typical construction-site applications: the engine speed is increased as you move through the gears and maintained for longer.

No "Auto Off" - the driver remains in charge of the construction Actros

Power Offroad can be switched on and off manually. The practical automatic switch-off function after a preset time for this PowerShift mode on the road-based Actros may prove counterproductive in off-road operations - consequently the construction Actros driver decides for himself when to return to normal shift mode. And to ensure the whole unit also lasts in typical Mercedes construction style, the Mercedes-Benz PowerShift off-road version is fitted with specially developed, forged steel linkages for extra-robust durability of the basic mechanical components in the transmission.

Lower engine speed for extra comfort and reduced fuel consumption

Mercedes Actros

Mercedes-Benz has further improved economy by optimising the powertrain on the construction Actros. Thanks to new long rear-axle ratios, the cruising speed on country roads has been pushed further into the economical portion of the performance curve. All of which reduces fuel consumption with heavy-duty tippers and concrete mixers by lowering the engine speed without compromising performance - all thanks to ample torque. At the same time, the powertrain lifespan tends to increase, while ride comfort is enhanced thanks to the reduced engine speed.

The Mercedes PowerShift Offroad automated transmission in the new construction Actros makes life easier for operators by increasing vehicle availability through minimal powertrain wear. Drivers also benefit from sustainable improvements in operating comfort and convenience. And meantime both target groups can ultimately also look forward to reduced fuel costs with rural operations.

Even more robust: physical protection is paramount

Physical protection is writ large on the new construction Actros. Thanks to the additional protective parts, operators can avoid many annoying and expensive repairs and at the same time reduce downtimes of their trucks. The most eye-catching improvement is the three-millimetre-thick, pressure-tight guard plate for the radiator and engine. This stainless steel component reduces damage in the region of the radiator and engine, while also accentuating the powerful styling of the new construction Actros - a perfect marriage of form and function.

Safe and indestructible: the new pivoting entry step

Mercedes Actros

Another typical, extra-robust construction-specific feature is the improved pivoting entry step. This now also gives way to lateral pressure, offers superb corrosion resistance and can even be retrofitted to the previous models. The pivoting entry step is available in two versions for all-wheel-drive and conventionally driven trucks. And, what is more, it will even fit older Actros models.

The construction Actros now also features new protective devices for other components. The new main mirrors, which are now better positioned as on the road-based Actros and feature a low-set wide-angle lens, are shrouded in a distinctively styled yet particularly scratch-resistant housing.

Safely behind bars: new lamp protection

New headlamp protective grilles made out of black-painted steel effectively protect against stones and branches. A quick-release catch enables the grille to be opened without tools. The tail lights are equally well protected. The mudguards and protective grilles prevent damage from stone chippings or other bulk material in this vulnerable area. Mud flaps can also be fitted. These grilles can be simply folded out of the way without any need to use tools, providing quick access to the tail lights for cleaning purposes - safety starts with the "little details".

The main tank is a really vulnerable point on any construction-site vehicle. Not so on the new construction Actros. A sturdy guard plate now protects the underside of its fuel tank. This easy-to-fit, easy-to-clean solution helps reduce repair costs by preventing damage when driving over mounds.

A neat approach to safety: site dust vanishes

Mercedes Actros

A clean cab is a more pleasant place to be. Hence the new Actros cab is equipped with a compressed-air connection as standard, allowing it to be cleaned using a compressed-air gun. The gun is available ex factory as special equipment, although it naturally comes as standard for the construction-site version. Other special equipment includes a fitted rubber mat that is both hardwearing and oil-resistant. As well as making it easier to keep the cab clean, the mat blends in perfectly with the high-quality interior of the Actros.

Safety in a new light

Ease of operation has also been further enhanced in the new construction Actros variants with air suspension: the vehicle can now be moved to the preset ride height at the push of a button thanks to the new "normal ride height" switch. Plus the control panel for the air suspension is presented in the proper light thanks to white LEDs which make it easy to read at night.

The rain and light sensor along with numerous other equipment items designed to enhance driver comfort even further make their premiere on the new construction Actros. Another very important feature for a construction truck is the one-piece handrail, which is now routed across the cab roof, thus ensuring more safety and comfort.

Mounting bodies could not be easier

Mercedes Actros

Compatibility for mounted bodies is a major criterion when choosing a vehicle for the construction sector, as special-purpose bodies tend to be the norm. The new construction Actros is ideally suited to such requirements, thanks to features such as the adjustable exhaust pipe behind the cab; its height can be quickly and easily adapted to suit the relevant body. It consists of an end section and an intermediate section with two stainless steel clamps, and can be extended to a height of up to four metres. At the same time the direction of the exhaust flow can be adjusted. This adjustability feature does away with the need for awkward retrofit solutions which may not be executed properly.

BlueTec engines: cost-effective and environmentally compatible

The Actros construction-site vehicles have become synonymous with robustness, reliability and off-road capability. The technology and equipment on board help reinforce this impression: from the powerful, high-torque, economical six and eight-cylinder engines and the extremely sturdy frame to the highly robust planetary axle for optimum ground clearance. The range of variants offers the right body type for every application - whether it be a tipper, a tipper with a crane or a concrete mixer. And because tough construction-site applications also place extreme demands on the driver, the standard-specification cabs are among the largest and most comfortable on the market.

The new construction Actros line-up is powered by tried-and-trusted OM 501 LA and OM 502 LA engines. The six and eight-cylinder units with power outputs from 235 kW (320 hp) to 350 kW (476 hp), with six 11.9-litre engines and the three 15.9-litre V8 engines with power outputs from 375 kW (510 hp) to 440 kW (598 hp), have already proven themselves over 200,000 times over and feature exceptionally economical and ecofriendly BlueTec technology. And fuel consumption can be cut by as much as seven percent thanks to Mercedes-Benz BlueTec alone, compared to models equipped with the rival exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. These claims are backed up by independent tests carried out by European truck magazines.

Sturdy foundation: the Actros frame

Mercedes Actros

The frame literally plays the supporting role for construction-site vehicles. The frame on the new construction Actros boasts torsional flexibility and high flexural strength. It consists of side and cross members connected with rivets and partially also bolted, and dispenses with complex individual components.

Low maintenance requirements, low component loads and thus long service life are paramount when it comes to the suspension systems on the new construction Actros. The air-sprung version offers superb suspension comfort thanks to a "stabiliser link". In addition to the 4x2, 6x2 and 6x2/4 semitrailer tractors, an air-sprung 6x4 version is also available. Its stabiliser link brings axle-location and roll-stabilisation functions together in a single component. All of which makes for a lightweight, low-maintenance solution. The electronic Telligent level control comes as standard on air-sprung vehicles.

Clever solution for four-axle models: front axle load compensation

Axle load compensation for the front axles for four-axle vehicles guarantees reduced one-sided loads and thus less wear and tear on all the components involved, plus reduced tyre wear, enhanced ride comfort, better traction and, not least, better braking characteristics.

While every rut or obstacle previously meant that a reduced load on one axle imposed a corresponding, additional load on the other, this is prevented by the axle load compensation on the construction Actros. Up to an obstacle height of 100 mm the axle loads of the two front axles are evenly distributed by purely mechanical means, thereby ensuring constant ground contact.

Clever brake system with auxiliary-brake integration

Mercedes Actros

The brake system featured on the construction Actros is tailored to the respective vehicle applications. The tipper models have disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear, while the all-wheel-drive vehicles, which are used primarily in heavy-duty construction-site operations, are fitted with drum brakes all round. The Telligent brake system with its electronic management and shorter response times is supplied as standard. A further advantage: uniform rate of brake-pad wear on each axle, which means that fewer workshop visits are required.

Service life is promoted by an active warning function of the Telligent brake system, which alerts the driver to imminent overloads in the tractor unit, prompting him to alter his style of driving for more efficient use of the auxiliary brakes (constantly-open throttle valve plus exhaust flap as standard, lightweight hydroretarder as an option).

Telligent brakes with integral hill holder

In the Actros the auxiliary brakes are an integral part of the Telligent brake system. This means that both the service brake and the auxiliary brakes are activated when the Actros driver presses the brake pedal. The objective of combining all the brake facilities in the vehicle is, of course, to reduce yet further the wear and tear on the service brake by using non-wearing auxiliary brakes in order to provide a proportion of the stopping power which is being requested.

One superb brake feature comes into its own on construction-site and short-radius operations: the hill holder. This feature makes moving off on uphill gradients much easier by fully electronically controlled and therefore extremely rapid operation of the pneumatic wheel brake valves. Every time the brake pedal is operated to bring the vehicle to a standstill, the brake pressure is maintained for approx. one second after the brake pedal has been released to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards. During this interval the driver is able to move off safely and easily - even on gradients - by depressing the accelerator, while also protecting the powertrain.

Operation-related maintenance

Mercedes Actros

The advantages of the Telligent maintenance system installed in all Actros trucks come to the fore in construction-site vehicles. Servicing times can be specified with respect to various criteria: according to the so-called wear potential for each maintenance item, grouped according to maintenance criteria or following a time schedule considered optimal for the fleet as a whole.

In terms of weight, all of the customary variants are available as Actros construction-site vehicles, from the two-axle 18-tonner to the 41-tonne heavy-duty four-axle model. Tippers and skip loaders in this category are primarily used for off-road transportation tasks. Ranging between the defining figures of 18 and 41 tonnes are the 6x2 and 6x4 three-axle models, which are also available in different, high-overload versions between 25 and 33 tonnes. These are joined by semitrailer tractors with two and three axles – or as 6x2/4 with a single-tyre, steered forward trailing-axle - 6x2 three-axle trucks for predominantly road-based applications and 6x2/4 models with a steered "Telligent trailing axle" for short-radius construction-material distribution. And finally there are the 6x2 vehicles with a twin-tyre trailing axle.



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