IAA Commercial Vehicle Show

Above: Customers of Intercounty Truck & Van and Midlands Truck and Van are joined by company Directors and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK – Michael Kamper, to take in the sights at the 2014 IAA in Hannover.

Intercounty Truck & Van joined thousands of visitors at the 2014, IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover; the world’s largest leading trade fair for mobility, transportation and logistics. In the 65th year of running the IAA provided, once again, a unique experience for operators with many highlights and innovations on display. The show is renowned for being the ultimate meeting place where global attendees get to interact with the experts and discuss the features of the exhibited ranges, whilst learning about the latest trend demands.

On 30th September – 2nd October, Intercounty’s Managing Director, Steve Shakespeare and Truck Sales Director, Stephen James hosted 5 customers whose own fleets are dependent on having the best logistics solutions to stay ahead of the game. This ultimately comes down to having the right fleet that they can rely upon with vehicles that set the standard, something that Mercedes-Benz have mastered with their current range.

The Daimler Trucks display at this year’s IAA continued to set standards and their stands covering halls 14 and 15 showcased what can only be described as the most comprehensive range of cutting edge commercial vehicles. With a vast array of models, some from today, some from tomorrow, it’s fair to say that the display stole the show.

Key highlights included numerous ‘A team’ trucks – Atego, Antos, Actros and Arocs, a natural gas powered econic and an SLT heavy haulage tractor.

Three of the biggest crowd pullers to the stand were:

The Future Truck of 2025, an aerodynamic driverless truck which uses pulsating LED’s instead of headlights and camera’s instead of mirrors, taking advantage of changes in future truck cab length legislation.

The impressive Actros Fuel Challenger, which is storming the market with its 99% success rate in 300 head-to-head fuel trials.

Optimus Prime – a Detroit diesel powered Western Star 5700 which featured in the film Transformer: Age of Extinction.


Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Mercedes-Benz Trucks: The trucks of tomorrow and cutting-edge technology of today

The trucks of tomorrow and cutting-edge technology of today – Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Fuso at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicles show (IAA) in Hanover

  • Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 – a glance at the future shape of trucks
  • Fascinating technology: new Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit
  • Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego – A-series in top form
  • Innovative M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic
  • High-tech tools and all-terrain specialists – Unimog and Zetros
  • In top form: Fuso Canter with three drive systems

Stuttgart – The A-series are setting the pace: from the Actros and Arocs to the Antos and Atego, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is the first European manufacturer to have rolled out its fleet with Euro VI technology. At the same time the current Mercedes-Benz truck portfolio sets new standards in terms of cost-effectiveness, safety and operating comfort. The same applies to Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks with the Econic, Unimog and Zetros. And now, Mercedes-Benz is topping this with a new natural gas engine and further model variants at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicles show (IAA) in Hanover. A study providing a fascinating vision of the future shape of trucks will also be presented.

Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 – a glance at the future shape of trucks

Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz stand at the IAA will have an opportunity to witness the truck of tomorrow. At the beginning of July, Daimler demonstrated the outstanding capabilities of the autonomously driving “Future Truck 2025″ on the A14 motorway near Magdeburg.

The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 constitutes a revolution in efficiency and safety, a revolution for road traffic and its infrastructure, for professional driving and for the road transport sector. In ten years trucks will be able to drive autonomously on the motorways and highways of Europe. Developed by Daimler Trucks as part of the “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative to save resources and reduce all types of emissions while also ensuring the highest possible standard of road safety. Connectivity is one of the pillars on which this technical quantum leap is founded.

Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the undisguised study boasting a spectacular interior and exterior design at the IAA.

More than 20 trucks from all model series, TechLane, “Driving Experience” Laatzen

From 25 September to 2 October, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the state of the art in truck engineering with around 20 vehicles from all the model series in hall 14/15 at the show. In addition, visitors to the stand and its TechLane will find exhibits explaining the technology that lies behind the outstanding cost-effectiveness of the new truck generation.

Visitors to the show can also experience the very latest truck technology live during the course of test and demonstration drives on the nearby practice site in Laatzen.

Fascinating technology: new Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros SLT heavy-duty tractor unit is celebrating its public debut at the IAA show. This is the crowning glory of the Actros series, which ushered in the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks and is now Europe’s No. 1 long-distance truck. The Actros SLT copes with a gross combination weight of up to 250 t and is full of fascinating technology. The innovative turbo-retarder clutch (TRC) combines a wear-free hydraulic start-off clutch and a retarder with high brake power. The 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission with a specially developed shift programme ensures the most suitable ratio at all times. The prominent cooling tower behind the cab contains exclusive special technology. Mercedes-Benz supplies the heavy-duty tractor unit in a wide variety of axle configurations culminating in the Actros SLT 8×8, a powerful four-axle truck with all-wheel drive.

Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego – A-series in top form

Appearing together for the first time at an IAA show – the four model series Actros, Arocs, Antos and Atego. With a whole host of new features. The Actros, for example, is looking for a challenge right now: in the “Fuel Challengerl” taking place in 22 European countries, it is competing against its competitors in fleets under defined conditions. What we promise: The Actros is the most cost-effective truck, and consumes less fuel than the most economical truck in the fleet taking part. To date the Actros has fought this duel in more than 300 fleets – and emerged the winner in an amazing 99 percent of cases. On average, the Actros achieved impressive fuel savings of almost ten percent.

Power, robustness and efficiency – from a tipper to a semitrailer tractor, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs has all the attributes demanded in tough construction site operations. The Arocs is likewise optionally available with the turbo-retarder clutch, which ensures maximal load-bearing capacity when moving off and manoeuvring with heavy weights and high torque. The new “Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive” (HAD) caters for on-road operation with an occasional need for increased traction. This has selectable wheel hub motors to drive the front axle. The Arocs 6×4 with a low cab mounting height is a new addition to the range. It is suitable for areas with low overhead clearances. The Arocs is now also available with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), the predictive cruise control with transmission intervention. This quickly pays off in on-road operations.

The Mercedes-Benz Antos is the first specialist for heavy distribution operations, and at the same time an all-rounder. With numerous available variants, it can be specifically configured for an individual operating profile. This is aided by the new option of a front axle with air suspension. It is primarily intended for through-loading combinations, so that the necessary height can be precisely set within a truck/trailer combination. The Antos is the epitome of high class, efficiency and excellent handling.

The Mercedes-Benz Atego is the European market leader for distribution trucks with 6.5 to 16 t permissible gross vehicle weight. In the revised version it has the benchmark position with respect to quality, reliability, repair and maintenance costs and longevity in the light and medium truck segments. Like the Antos and Arocs, the Atego is celebrating its IAA debut in Hanover.

Innovative M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic

The new M 936 G natural gas engine in the Econic is based on the OM 936 turbodiesel engine from the new 7.7 l BlueEfficiency Power generation. As a mono-fuel engine, it runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) and has an output of 221 kW (301 hp) while delivering maximum torque of 1200 Nm. Figures like these, in combination with its impressive power delivery, place the single-stage turbocharged engine on a par with its diesel-powered counterpart. At the same time, it sets new standards in terms of environmental compatibility, with CO2 emissions up to 22 percent below those of a diesel engine. Using biogas further improves the carbon footprint.

Virtually soot-free combustion obviates the need for a particulate filter of the kind now customary in diesel engines with the introduction of the Euro VI standard. Exhaust gas after-treatment is by means of a three-way catalytic converter. And another advantage: The natural gas engine has an even lower noise level than the already quiet OM 936 diesel engine. The additional weight compared to diesel drive has been halved to only around 500 kg. This is by virtue of gas cylinders with thin steel walls and a carbon-fibre mantle.

High-tech tools and all-terrain specialists – Unimog and Zetros

The Unimog is appearing as a new implement carrier in two model series: the U 216 and U 218 are the particularly compact entry-level models, while the U 318 to U 530 are the successors to the familiar implement carrier. The new generation not only looks attractive, it is above all even more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and its typical characteristics are considerably further enhanced. For example, the new working hydraulics operate precisely and allow fine control, despite an increase in hydraulic power. The implement carrier brings a new version of hydrostatic drive onto the road by the name of synergetic traction drive: the combination of a hydrostat and manual transmission now allows the driver to switch between systems while on the move.

The new all-terrain Unimog models are even more environmentally friendly and efficient, and just as capable off-road as the preceding series. They have the model designations U 4023 and U 5023. From the cab design and cockpit to the engine and its position, the new generation is fundamentally different from its predecessor. As the most powerful engine ever used in the Unimog, the four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 934 develops 170 kW (231 hp) and a powerful 900 Nm of torque from a displacement of 5.1 l. The engine has been relocated to the rear beneath the cab. Owing to this mid-engine position, the vehicle’s centre of gravity is lower while allowing more ground clearance – another benefit for the outstanding off-road handling characteristics.

When outstanding traction and load-bearing capacity are required in extremely difficult conditions, the cab-behind-engine Mercedes-Benz Zetros comes to the fore. It combines extreme off-road capabilities with a high load capacity. As a new and very important aid to traction, an optional tyre pressure control system with push-button controls in the cab is available. Also new is an extended wheelbase with a larger rear overhang for the two-axle model. Preparations are under way for a further engine to power the three-axle Zetros 6×6: it will become available with the globally successful Mercedes-Benz OM 457 in-line six-cylinder engine. This has an output of 315 kW (428 hp) and a maximum torque of 2100 Nm.

In top form: Fuso Canter with three drive systems

The cleanest technology, whatever the application: Fuso is a pioneer in environmentally friendly drive systems for the commercial vehicle sector. The new Fuso Canter E-Cell represents the state of the art for all-electric, locally emission-free light trucks: an operating range of over 100 km, powerful output of 110 kW (150 hp), chassis payload of around 3.0 t and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.0 t. Eight Canter E-Cell trucks have been undergoing practical trials with customers for a year. The Canter Eco Hybrid has already been available in Europe since the end of 2012. This produces fuel and CO2 savings of up to 23 per cent, and is available at a moderate extra cost. The diesel-powered Fuso Canter is even more economical and cost-effective since the move to Euro VI. The Ecofficiency package included as standard reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to nine percent. Now with a permissible gross vehicle weight of up to 8.55 t, with dropsider and tipper bodies ex-factory as well as the further refined all-wheel drive of the Canter 4×4, the Fuso Canter will present itself in top form at the IAA show.


Sleator Plant secures Northern Ireland’s biggest dumper contract in nearly a decade

Northern Ireland-based Sleator Plant, a specialist capital equipment provider to the construction and material handling sectors, has secured a record-breaking sales order for heavy-duty site dumpers.

The 50+ unit order, which is nearly ten times higher than any other placed in Northern Ireland over the past six years, comes from family-run plant hire specialist CP Hire. The contract will see a mixture of one, three, six and nine-tonne Terex site dumpers manufactured and delivered by the end of April 2015.

Jonathan Campbell, General Manager of Sleator Plant comments: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have won such a huge order, which delivers a massive year-on-year increase in volume for Terex in Northern Ireland. A sign of the recovering economy and the quality of the Terex product, this is a great story for the manufacturing and construction industries.”

Speaking about placing the order, Andrew Hutchinson, CP Hire’s Managing Director, said: “With a wide range of high-quality site dumper models available on short lead times, Terex was the obvious choice for us. Sleator Plant, our local dealer, delivered a hassle-free service and will deliver an excellent backup and maintenance service, across both the UK and Northern Ireland, going forwards.”

The contract will be fulfilled by the Coventry-based UK manufacturing facility headquarters of Terex Construction. Neal Nowick, General Manager, adds: “We’ve invested heavily in our plant and people in recent years and we’re delighted to see this pay off with such a strong order.

“We’ll be working closely with the team at Sleator Plant to ensure that our industry-renowned site dumpers are delivered on time and to specification. We look forward to seeing further Terex product make its way to Northern Ireland over the coming months, as contractors are able to experience their benefits first-hand.”


Mercedes-Benz Vans Continues Record Run

Mercedes-Benz Vans is celebrating another record quarter result, with an increase in registrations by 12%, marking the seventh consecutive record-breaking quarter.

With year-on-year order intake for the end of third quarter 2014 for Citan up at 40%, Vito up at 11% and Sprinter Van up 23%, the star in the Mercedes-Benz Vans range is the Sprinter Chassis Cab, celebrating order intake up 68%.

Out of the nine months so far this year, five have produced best-ever monthly registration figures for Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK – March, May, June, July and August, with July and August registrations returning to pre-recession levels.

Overall registrations are up at 14% compared with the same year-to-date period in 2013, which was itself a record-breaking year.

Service and Parts has continued to exceed expectations in the third quarter, with year-to-date Customer Pay Parts growth of 8.1% over 2013 performance.

Overall workshop hours have grown by 4.7%, driven by an increase of 8.2% in Retail and repair and maintenance hours sold, and Service 24h roadside assistance has continued its class-leading figures, with an overall average attendance time of 58 minutes and a roadside repair rate of 85%.

Continuing the success at Mercedes-Benz Vans, Service Contracts have now surpassed 2013 performance based on 2014 year-to-date figures. Mercedes-Benz Vans has had a total of 6,433 plans activated as at the end of September, in comparison to a total of 6,006 across the whole of 2013.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has also achieved a best ever result in terms of volume financed, funding more than £36 million worth of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the month of September alone. Overall, this result puts Financial Services 9.3% ahead of 2013 year to date, and well on track towards a record breaking year in terms of the number of vehicles funded.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “I am extremely proud to be announcing our third quarter success. Our results really do speak for themselves and it is testimony to the hard work by our colleagues, our products and our overall offering that we are enjoying such a strong performance. Here’s to the next quarter!”