Racing tyre specialist Dunlop Motorsport made tracks straight to Mercedes-Benz when it needed a fleet of high-profile trucks.
Resplendent in their gleaming yellow paintwork and chequered flag livery, the 15 New Actros 1842 BigSpace tractor units were supplied by Birmingham Mercedes-Benz dealer Midlands Truck & Van.
They are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and replace a similar number of trucks from another manufacturer, which have now been stood down.
The New Actros are now transporting specialist car and motorcycle racing tyres from Dunlop Motorsport’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Birmingham to iconic events such as the Isle of Man TT and 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as to rounds of the MotoGP, FIA World Endurance and British Touring Car championships, and other leading motor sport competitions.
Dunlop also supplies tyres for Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 racers at the Nürburgring 24 hours and VLN Endurance Championship races, held at the famed Nordschleife circuit in Germany.
Appropriately, the tractor units are shod with Dunlop tyres, SP344s on the steering axle and SP444s on the drive wheels, which are designed to improve fuel efficiency and provide outstanding traction in all weathers – just like the race tyres they carry.
The trucks are also fitted with Fontaine 150 SP fifth wheels, with sliders. These are designed to increase safety by eliminating the potential for mis-coupling and dropping trailers – each features the Fontaine Techlock system, which prevents the hooking mechanism from locking if the trailer’s kingpin is too high. The fifth wheels can accommodate various trailer heights.
Dunlop Motorsport Transport Manager Tony Duffy says: "We chose the New Actros because we’ve seen enough independent reports to know they’ll deliver outstanding fuel economy and because Mercedes-Benz offers a first-class back-up service, not only locally from Midlands Truck & Van but also throughout Europe.
"Image was a major consideration too," he continues. "Paddock presentation is very important in professional motor sport and while their prime function is transporting tyres, these trucks also serve as mobile ambassadors for our brand. The New Actros is certainly a striking vehicle and in our colours the fleet makes a very impressive sight indeed."
Dunlop Motorsport employs a total of 300 people at its Fort Dunlop base, where it produces 250,000 competition tyres annually. In 2012 vehicles riding on Dunlop tyres won in the World Endurance Championships for both cars and motorcycles, as well as the historic Isle of Man TT. Its trucks deliver tyres to more than 200 races and test sessions throughout Europe each year.