The new Mercedes-Benz Actros – International Truck of the Year 2020

WHHHoOOOOOoo-HHHooooOOooo!!! I am some what pleased about this announcement yesterday evening, but then i am somewhat bias towards the three pointed star. Having spent much time with the New Actros and driving them here and on the continent, they just get better and better and do make driving easy, relaxing and almost pleasurable! As it stands there isn’t a truck close to the Actros with all the new technology that i have no doubt will creep into all 7 manufacturers in the next few years. The massive talking point that is MirrorCam will be totally accepted by the time the seventh manufacturer launches their own version. Anyway, well done Mercedes-Benz Trucks, a very worthy winner. Here is the official press release from MBUK;

Specialist commercial vehicle journalists from 24 European countries voted last night (20 November) for the Mercedes-Benz Actros to be crowned Truck of the Year for the fifth time.

The truck’s success story began back in 1997 when the first Actros was released, and the subsequent vehicle generation also brought home the award. With a total of nine victories, Mercedes-Benz is now the most successful brand in the fight for the Truck of the Year accolade.

The International Truck of the Year (ITotY) jury based their decision on the fifth-generation  model’s host of innovative technological developments. Professor Dr. Uwe Baake, Head of Development at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, received the award at the Solutrans international commercial vehicle show for road and urban transport in Lyon.

The industry’s most coveted annual accolade is presented to the truck which makes the biggest contribution towards road transport innovations that are advantageous to the economy, emissions, safety, driveability and comfort of vehicles.

Most of the innovations incorporated within the new Mercedes-Benz Actros range were developed with the precise aim of delivering palpable improvements for drivers, operators, and society as a whole. The Actros offers major advances in safety, efficiency and comfort. Its multitude of new features includes the Multimedia Cockpit, MirrorCam instead of external mirrors, and partially automated driving with Active Drive Assist, as well as ground-breaking safety systems such as Active Brake Assist 5, and the improved Sideguard Assist.

The International Truck of the Year journalists had plenty of praise for the extended functionality of the forward-looking Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cruise control system, which can now be used on winding arterial routes. Also commended was the digital Multimedia Cockpit, which replaces the conventional instrument cluster.

The President of the international jury, Gianenrico Griffini, commented: “With the introduction of the new Actros, Mercedes-Benz has brought onto our roads a highly modern truck which smooths the path to achieving automated driving in the future.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Lyon, Professor Dr. Uwe Baake said: “We are very pleased and proud that the Truck of the Year jury has recognised our efforts of the past months and years with this distinction.

“Thank you on behalf of the company and the entire team. This will really spur us on to continue giving our all and fulfilling the highest developmental standards for our trucks, especially when it comes to the future-oriented topics of electromobility, automated driving and digitalisation within our sector.”

Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Managing Director Mike Belk added: “As the International Truck of the Year judges clearly recognised, new Actros is a genuine game-changer. With cutting-edge technology such as MirrorCam, Active Brake Assist 5 and the latest version of Predictive Powertrain Control, this remarkable vehicle offers major advances in terms of safety and operational efficiency.

“Meanwhile, not only does the Multimedia Cockpit provide drivers with completely new control options and a much improved, more comfortable working environment, but it also offers greatly enhanced fleet visibility and connectivity for managers.”  

Restoration Project Anyone??

I’m always up for helping a fellow truckers d in this case it’s an old customer. I’ve restored an old Scania and many nights I had the thought of “I’ll never get this done”. Sadly in this case there are plenty of other priorities and the restoration project has to be shelved. At this stage details are a little sketchy but this is or will be once again, a Scania 143 6×2 rear lift. It is up for sale but needs sensible offers please, it’s not a straight forward project. Info as follows;

“I’ve attached pictures of the 143 V8, think it’s a 1993 or 1994.  95% of the parts should be there but can guarantee a few will have been lost.  If you know of any one interested or someone who can give me a fair valuation so we know what we should be asking for that would be really useful please as I will quite happily hold my hands up and say I don’t have a clue!”

Honesty is the best policy people! This is likely to be an incomplete kit so does need a home with some know how. The truck is in dry storage near Ripon, Yorkshire. If you are seriously interested and willing to help then please email me directly; ben@truckblog.co.uk

More photos to follow. It looks good to me but is beyond my capabilities and also I’d never have the time. That said a tag axle, flat top 143 does sound very tempting!!

Brothers from Other Mothers

One of HC Wilson‘s legendary Scania 143’s with a rather large load on doing what this big V8 does best. One of my favourite HCW trucks of all time.

Above Registration H143 TAH.

Below Registration H144 TAH.

One Norfolk registration number apart, we have another well known haulier in the colours of Portbridge. A great fleet and fondly remembered. Both trucks being steel numbered, 143 450’s with Topline cabs. Nice.

#brothersfromothermothers – if you know of a good batch of registration numbers then do comment below or email me.

Europe…. Go Big or Go Home

Here we go people, a new blog contributor and what a belter of a blog cherry popper we have for you. Some of you may know this particular character, he’s one of those quiet, keeps himself to himself and gets on with the job in hand types, well he certainly gets on with the job that’s for sure. Away for over seven weeks working for one of the best international hauliers in the country. Essex International need no introduction what so ever, 100% an international haulier from the roots up, now part of the Grampian Continental group, they cover all four corners of Europa every week. To be fair this particular trip has pretty well covered three of the four corners. To start I’ll put up the map of the “outward” leg, but please ignore some of the route as bloomin Google maps wouldn’t take the boat routes that were actually used.

Starting point was head office in Aberdeen, down to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to load for Motrin in Southern Espania. An easy enough run down to Portsmouth to catch the ferry across to Bilbao, please ignore the map for the ferry part! The good old days were back, with a six truck convoy and much to our mans joy all six had CB radios so you can imagine the banter, just like 1986! Off the ferry boat in Bilbao and straight down through the glorious middle of Spain to Motril. A decent enough trip for most of us but this was of course only the first leg of this one.

Having tipped Motril, sadly the convoy dispersed in various directions and we are off to Bourg en Bresse, France for a trailer change, destined for the Greek / Turkish border. From the middle of Spain’s southern coast across to the Turkish border, very nice. Add another couple of weeks to the tally but off we go. Living the dream springs to mind, well for those who dream of weeks away behind the wheel, covering the whole of Europe. What the old school saying?? “You’ll never earn a living looking out of a window son!”…… balls to that, what a way to earn your living. Anyway trailer swapped and keep heading east up and over the Alps (always stop for a photo going over the top) to the Italian port of Ancona for the Minoan Lines ferry to Igoumenitsa, Hellas.

The motorways of Greece look awesome although surely not enough traffic for us Brits. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take to a motorway network, like Spain and Greece that aren’t rammed packed with traffic, idiots and whatever else, so you can just get on and get your days Kilometres under you belt before a pleasant evening meal and a bottle of wine for €15……sorry I was close to getting all romantic there. Once into Greece it was head yet further east across the north of the country to the Turkish border town of Kipoi. Due to the nature of the load, it was virtually a single lift off at the delivery point and job done. Lovely jubberly.

Reload details are through and it’s time to head back across Greece to Igoumenitsa for the same ferry back to Italy (ignore the map for this bit again!) Once off the boat, it’s reload in Ancona itself and then northbound and down. A full load of pipes destined for………. Aberdeen. The whole way round Europe and reload back to your home town. Awesome. Perhaps a little easier as an awful lot of oil related work comes in and out of Aberdeen, but even so, that must have been nice to hear for our man Stan. I’m sure the big Scania S730 must know it’s way back to Scotland from most places in Europe by now, so back over the Alps, stopping for the obligatory photo of course, then back up through France to Calais. I have no doubt at all that after a few thousand KM’s of fairly trouble free trucking, with in an hour or so of getting off P&O’s pride and back into Blighty, the wheels would have ground to a halt for some reason or another, most of this reason being the M25.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job like this, you will get to see the whole of Europe. This of course does mean lots of time away from home and the loved ones. That said if you are going to do it, do it with a professional firm such as Essex International they will look after you and of course you’ll end up piloting a top of the range motor for your troubles. If your going to do proper old school European trucking, then do it like they do at Essex International, it’s the only way………