15 August 2018 13:27
Joachim Schneider is a specialist in XXL transport
Extra-wide, extra-high or extra-heavy: whatever the load, Joachim Schneider drives his Actros 1848 through the night to get oversized loads all around the country.
After 35 years of being a driver, there came a huge surprise from the boss: in June, Joachim Schneider got a brand-new, yellow Actros 1848. "I didn't anticipate that," says the 62-year-old. "My previous truck was only ten years old, was in good condition and is still being used."
30,000 kilometres are now on the clock of Joachim's new Actros. And despite having already covered that distance, he still can't decide which feature of it he likes the best. "The suspension sits nicely on the road, the Mercedes-Benz PowerShift transmission with Predictive Powertrain Control or the really relaxing seating position. It's all spot-on," enthuses the trucker.
"In my new Actros, it's all spot-on"
– Joachim Schneider, Actros driver at Otto Morof Spedition GmbH
Great loads require great flexibility.
In his job, all the features of the Actros are important. Joachim works for the Morof haulage firm in Althengstett, southern Germany, for which he mainly transports heavy loads and predominantly at night. With that in mind, a reliable, modern truck is absolutely crucial. As a professional with many years of experience behind the wheel, Joachim knows precisely how important it is for the vehicle to be positioned finely when hauling oversize loads.
Every now and again, Joachim has to adapt to unpleasant surprises. Sometimes, just before setting off, not all of the approval paperwork is complete, the police or the support vehicles are late arriving, or there are unannounced roadworks along the route. But Joachim knows what counts here: "Flexibility. And keeping calm."
Behind the wheel in the direction of Matterhorn.
When he's relaxing, Joachim likes to go on "little head holidays". That's what he calls the cycling tours he does in his spare time. For 15 years now, he's been taking his mountain bike along on the trailer with him. He particularly enjoyed his bike ride around northern England which took him, among other places, to Liverpool and Blackpool. "In these truly British towns, you'd almost think that time has stood still." He will also never forget a journey on the Matterhorn mountain which took him into the snow at an altitude of 2200 metres.
He even once succumbed to the magic of winter in the northern Swedish town of Luleå with its temperatures down to minus 30 degrees. "My wife came with me that time," explains Joachim. "We went for a walk on the frozen lake and watched an ice skating race. The locals had even set up BBQs and beer tables." Even today, he still has fond memories of this day: "At the delivery location, the parking facilities were great, as were the social rooms with their sauna. It was almost like being on holiday."
In his "real" holidays, he happily lets his wife take the wheel: "I've driven so much that when I'm on holiday, I just want to peacefully look out of the windows."
Photos: Joachim Schneider