Actros SLT: Smooth testdrive

Vehicle & technology

The final test.

Weighing 129 tonnes and measuring 46 metres in length – “Transport” magazine was there when the new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes with Euro VI engine was put through a final endurance test before its official premiere. The verdict was: the truck sets new benchmarks in heavy haulage.

Ready for the toughest of tasks: transporting part of a wind turbine tower was the final test of endurance for the new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes. It mastered the task without a hitch.

“Damn it,” muttered Sven Waselin, opening the door of his cab. In the middle of a roundabout, only a few hundred metres short of his destination in Aldenhoven near Aachen, there was a road sign stopping his heavy vehicle from continuing. Waselin climbed down the five steps of the new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes. Unpleasant driving sleet hit his face. On the slippery road, the 40-year-old driver had to struggle to stay on his feet. With a worried expression, he looked at the fifteen axles of his 129-tonne, 46-metre-long articulated vehicle.

The first impatient car drivers started hooting. After the road sign had been removed, Waselin bravely headed back to the vehicle and got back behind the wheel. He carefully pressed the accelerator. Slowly, the Actros SLT started moving. Without a single tyre losing its grip, the truck freed itself from the tight spot.

This is all thanks to the turbo retarder clutch. Combined with a maximum torque of 3000 Newton metres which is available from engine speeds as low as 1100 rpm, this also enables sensitive, wear-free pulling away at low speeds when towing the heaviest of loads. The new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes is the first heavy-duty truck ever to be fitted with this technology.

“At the presentation I was really impressed by the new truck. This situation shows that the Actros SLT definitely fulfils my high expectations,” said Eckart Balmer, owner of the Balmer haulage company. The company, based in Holthusen in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, specialises in heavy and special loads. The most important loads are wind turbines. This extremely heavy equipment, which can be up to 65 metres long and weighs many tonnes, is a really tough challenge for both driver and vehicle.

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