Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK has launched an exciting new driver engagement initiative – and treated those attending its first TruckChallenger event to a glimpse of the limited edition Actros Edition 1.
The opportunity to see the first of just 35 Actros Edition 1 tractor units bound for the UK was a memorable highlight of last month’s spectacular ‘opener’, at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Experience & Operations Centre in South Yorkshire. Further events are planned for next year, and are open to all current and prospective drivers of Mercedes-Benz trucks.
Competition is key to the TruckChallenger concept, and this was embraced by the 30 drivers who were able to experience a broad range of Mercedes-Benz trucks packed with the latest technologies on the test tracks and circuits at the complex.
For example, delegates were tasked with manoeuvring the new Actros through cones and reverse parking into a marked bay, with points deducted for touching a cone, shunting or stalling. They were also tasked with reducing their fuel consumption while driving the new Actros on the roads around Wentworth Park, by using the advanced Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Drive Assist and MirrorCam.
They were able to have some fun in a pair of eight-wheeled tippers – one from the new-generation Arocs range – and to pilot a mighty Unimog off-road as well.
Ending the day with a bit of fun, delegates took part in the TruckChallenger Pub Quiz. The winning team walked away with a brand-new Mercedes-Benz holdall and golf umbrella.
The overall winner was Chris Broughton, a driver-trainer for Lineage UK Transport in Heywood, near Manchester. “We have some new Actros on order and I was looking forward to trying the MirrorCam system,” he said. “It’s very different and will take a little bit of getting used to, but I was impressed with the technology. I enjoyed driving the tipper too, as it made a nice change. I’m sure I speak for all of those who attended when I say I had a great day out.”
Delegates were shown the differences between Active Brake Assist 4 (with pedestrian recognition technology) on our Truck Training Actros MP4, compared to the improved Active Brake Assist 5 (with pedestrian recognition and full braking technology) on the new Actros.
Ross Paterson, Head of Product & Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, commented: “Mercedes-Benz Trucks is proud to offer industry-leading products that appeal every bit as much to drivers as they do to operators. It was only logical, therefore, that we should invite some of those who drive Mercedes-Benz trucks for a living, as well as others who have not yet had an opportunity to do so, to see and experience some of the very latest technology. The competitive aspect added an extra dimension to the day’s proceedings, and a lot of fun was had by all.”