Mercedes-Benz Arocs operating in lumber haulage at Holz-Krause
Stuttgart/Lamspringe – Weighing in at 20 tonnes and 22 metres long, this is a special kind of material transport task. Dieter Krause is on the road with lumber, the basic material for any number of operations in construction, on sites and in all aspects of the construction sector. Dieter Krause is the owner of a haulage company committed to the entire logistics process involved in the supply of this raw material.
Krause has been working in the wood business for almost 50 years. First in felling work, then in timber trading and finally working as a logger, transporting the trees felled in the woods. Initially he used a Unimog and later two MB-Trac vehicles. The wood specialist maintained his bond to vehicles with a star on the radiator grille when he began concentrating his business on the transport of long and short logs in the 1990s.
Considerably more driving comfort thanks to air suspension.
Today Dieter Krause uses two heavy 33 tonners from the first Actros generation for long log operations. And just recently a Mercedes-Benz Arocs was added to the Krause vehicle fleet which also includes two short log tractor combinations. The entrepreneur, who also drives the trucks himself, chose a 3-axle rigid truck with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 26 tonnes for his new long log tractor combination. The 2658 is turned into a 40 tonne long log tractor combination using a Doll self-steering trailer.
"Thanks to the air suspension, I can enjoy driving comfort that the earlier leaf suspension vehicles simply couldn't provide," says Krause enthusiastically about the air suspension in his Arocs 2658 L 6×4. Although the vehicle was designed more for normal precise-weight operations, the payload was also important to Krause.
Mercedes PowerShift proves itself both in the forest and on the road.
The 68 year old entrepreneur sees the ease with which the new long log vehicle is operated as another great advantage: "The Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission is standard in the Arocs – and I very quickly got used to driving and manoeuvring off-road without the clutch pedal. Best of all I don't need all that shifting of gears on the road either." In recent years, shifting gears has been increasing in the long-log haulage industry. "Simply because, today, we increasingly have to cover greater distances from the forest to the saw mills."
As a result Krause calculates 300 kilometres for every day of operation and a total of up to 80,000 kilometres a year for his new vehicle. In addition to ever-increasing haulage distances, the off-road capabilities of the transportation vehicles are also important to Dieter Krause. "Using the 6×4 tandem drive and the inter-axle and inter-wheel differential locks, I can get around anywhere here in the southern part of Lower Saxony," says the haulage professional located in Lamspringe.
Plenty of traction from the decent displacement and turbo-compound technology.
During any operations which Dieter Krause completes with his Arocs, the standard powertrain installed provides everything that a long log trucker needs – after all, the Arocs vehicle family was designed from the very beginning for heavy operations in construction material haulage. The large-volume six-cylinder OM 473 engine with 16.6-litre displacement and turbo-compound technology provides 425 kW (578 hp) at 1600 rpm and, with its 2800 Nm at 1100 rpm, has impressive power reserves available even in the low rev range. The perfect match for the drive system is the twelve-speed PowerShift automated transmission which selects the gear best suited to the brawny character of the machine.
"I don't miss the eight-cylinder engine at all," says Dieter Krause, referring to the generation change which was recently introduced for the big Mercedes engines.
"I am more pleased with the comfortable cab." He would have preferred the next larger version, but that is somewhat higher than the ClassicSpace cab. "That wouldn't be possible with the crane boom which I have to fold above the cab when I am fully loaded," explains the wood trucker who is also his own crane driver.
New top model planned for anniversary celebrations.
Even this option demands a bit of juggling around. Thankfully, Bickel, Krause's partner for vehicle conversions, created a roof cutout in the centre of the roof which holds the crane boom. "That won't be necessary with my next Arocs," says Krause of his investment plans. "It will be a short log tractor combination. It has a crane at the rear, so there will no longer be a restriction on the cab height."
The proud wood haulier grins as he casually mentions that he wants to order the Arocs equipped with the most powerful engine with 460 kW (625 hp). That sounds like a dream truck for the 70th birthday of this specialist in wood haulage. And like a fine show truck for 50th anniversary of the Holz-Krause company.