Mercedes-Benz is about to extend its family of trucks with a new member, the new Mercedes-Benz Antos- a model series designed specifically for heavy-duty short-radius distribution transport use. The vehicles have already been showing their mettle, albeit still in camouflaged guise, but the covers will come off in time for the Commercial Vehicle IAA in September and the start of sales.
With the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz Antos, Mercedes-Benz becomes the first manufacturer to have a truck series that has been specially developed for the very varied requirements of the short-radius distribution transport industry.
The Mercedes-Benz Antos promises both transport operators and drivers the benefits of easy and well thought-out handling, as well as outstanding efficiency. The general styling and design idiom of the Mercedes-Benz Antos reveals its relationship with the Mercedes-Benz Actros, but the very different requirements for the cab gives it an unmistakable character of its own. The 2.30-metre wide cabs, designed specifically for the short-radius distribution transport market, are available in either short or medium-size versions. Both offer a convincing combination of easy access, optimised ergonomics and intuitive controls.
The beating heart of the new model series is provided by the latest Euro VI range of engines from the New Engine Generation produced in Mannheim, as launched in March of this year. With a total of 13 power categories, the Mercedes-Benz Antos covers a broad spectrum of engine power from 175 kW (238 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp). The new vehicles are available as either platform trucks or tractor units with a range of 67 wheelbase lengths, varying from 2650 mm at one end of the scale to 6700 mm at the other. The driver is helped in his everyday duties by a fully automated PowerShift transmission, amongst other features. Safety can also be further improved by the addition of optional systems such as Active Brake Assist, which now reacts to both stationary and moving obstacles.
The new specialists
The basic range of models available with the new Mercedes-Benz Antos short-radius distribution truck and the new Mercedes-Benz Actros long-distance transport truck is extended by the addition of further specialist models that increase the efficiency of both model series still further. With an unladen weight from as low as six tonnes, the Loader is designed to maximise the payload, while the Volumer now offers lower coupling and frame heights than ever before, maximising the vehicles’ capacity and ease of loading.
Heavy-duty short-radius distribution operations
Heavy-duty short-range distribution involves, above all, the regional transportation of commodities such as food, with the retail sector one of the key areas covered. The platform trucks with refrigerated or box bodies that are so often used here spend more or less equal proportions of their time in urban traffic, on country roads and on the motorway.
This operating profile gives rise to very specific requirements of the optimum vehicle for heavy-duty short-radius distribution work: what is needed is a vehicle with good all-round visibility that is easy to operate and configured for single-day tours; a broad spectrum of engine power is required in order to cope with varying regional topography and different loads; many stops and the frequent need to change route make professional logistics management essential; and of course – on top of all this – the operator wants a vehicle that, as his ‘calling card’, conveys a representative image of his company.