There’s a world of difference between the Mercedes-Benz Actros and its competitors, particularly when it comes to safety, which explains why tyre specialist Global Casing Logistics made tracks for Dealer Roanza before ordering its first truck.
Key to the appeal of its new Actros 2545 BigSpace tractor unit were the vehicle’s winning combination of outstanding fuel efficiency, Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics technology and reassuring back-up – but the icing on the cake was the manufacturer’s remarkable Active Brake Assist 3 system.
EU General Safety Regulations that came into force in November 2014 mandated that all new trucks above 12.0 tonnes gvw (and air suspended trucks over 8.0 tonnes) should be equipped with an Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) capable of detecting an emergency situation and applying the brakes automatically to prevent or reduce the effects of a crash.
Autonomous braking technology has been fitted as standard to all Mercedes-Benz trucks since 2006, but the latest, optional ABA 3 version goes far beyond the demands of the legislation.
Using a combination of radar and cameras, the system monitors moving and stationary objects in front and sounds an audible warning if it senses potential for a collision. If the driver takes no action, ABA 3 will then apply staged braking – and eventually full braking power – to reduce the impact. At speeds of up to 60 kph, it can even bring the truck to a halt before a collision happens.
Managing Director Stuart Quinn said: “Safety is very important to us, as we’re always conscious of our responsibility towards our own staff and other road users. Active Brake Assist 3 has the ability to prevent potentially serious accidents, which to my mind means it’s an investment very well worth making.”
Global Casing Logistics is based in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester. Its Actros arrived via Roanza Truck & Van’s Trafford Park branch and, like the 12 box trailers which the operator has also just commissioned from Tiger Trailers, of Winsford, Cheshire, wears an eye-catching new yellow livery.
Mr Quinn continued: “We were previously contracting out all of our haulage, but the job is becoming more complex so we decided it was time to take more control by bringing some of the work in-house.
“I carried out research and heaving heard a lot of very good things about the Actros, agreed to trial one of Roanza’s demonstration units. It posted some promising fuel figures from the outset, while our driver was also impressed and I liked what I saw of the Dealer’s Service operation.”
Having confirmed its order, Global Casing Logistics continued to run the demonstrator while its own truck was in build. “It returned an average 10.4 mpg which, although we’re not fully loaded all the time, is excellent,” he recalled. “If our own Actros proves similarly economical I’ll be delighted. In fact, I’m hoping the Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard hardware might even help us to improve on it.”
The new truck’s BigSpace cab boasts a luxurious Style-Line interior with leather upholstery, electric tilting sunroof, air horns and illuminated Mercedes-Benz star, as well as an optional tyre-pressure monitoring system.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics equipment – fitted as standard to all new Actros – helps operators to drive down fuel consumption by analysing the performance of the vehicle and the driver, and allowing them to encourage a more economical style.
Global Casing Logistics has two main strands to its business. The company is a major supplier of Michelin tyres for buses, delivering approximately 4,500 vehicles. It is also a casing agent, buying used truck tyres – which it collects in its new trailers – and selling them to the same manufacturer for retreading.