The first Mercedes-Benz Arocs to wear the colours of timber specialist John Miller Transport has taken to the road after a complex build process that produced a highly specialised and superbly capable truck.
The muscular 6×4 rigid chassis arrived via the Carlisle branch of Dealer Ciceley Commercials and is fitted with a bespoke timber-carrying body by German specialist Doll, as well as a rear-mounted Loglift crane.
Dumfries-based JD Engineering equipped the truck with drawbar couplings, allowing it to work with a Dennison log trailer. It also has a central tyre inflation system which enables the driver to drop tyre pressures and thus minimise damage to forest trails, then re-inflate for normal road use.
The Arocs 2545 BigSpace is now hard at work hauling round timber from forests in Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and northern England into sawmills. It is powered by a 330 kW (449 hp) Euro VI engine which drives through the latest-generation Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
John Miller Transport runs a fleet of 75 trucks and provides work for a further 40 dedicated sub-contractors, with vehicles on general haulage and tanker duties as well as timber work. Although the general and tanker divisions are dominated by Mercedes-Benz trucks this is only its second timber vehicle to wear a three-pointed star. The first was a 61-plate 8×4 Actros 4144K off-road special that spends its working life deep inside the tree-line.
Director Davie Carson and JD Engineering’s Dougie Evans were two of the first UK customers to get a glimpse of the Arocs in the metal – they were invited to Doll’s factory to see one of the first chassis being bodied for a German operator. By the time Mr Evans attended Mercedes-Benz UK’s launch event in Germany last year, the company was already talking to Ciceley Commercials about its new truck.
"The Arocs is our first Euro VI vehicle but the technology is well proven so we have no concerns. Rather, we’re confident that it will prove to be every bit as strong, reliable and cost-effective to operate as our other Mercedes-Benz trucks," says Davie Carson.
"Ciceley Commercials’ service is very good too. The dealer’s Driver-Trainer gave our own driver an introductory session on his new vehicle, showing him how to make best use of its high-tech systems to maximise fuel economy."
Available in a huge number of variants, the purpose-designed Arocs range comprises tractors and four-, six- and eight-wheeled rigids, with gross weights from 18 to 250 tonnes. All combine previously unseen levels of performance and efficiency, with state-of-the-art Euro VI engines that offer mpg savings of up to 5% compared to equivalent, outgoing models. AdBlue consumption, meanwhile, is reduced by as much as 40%.