Mercedes Benz announces driver package

The Mercedes-Benz Actros 2660 now comes in a package specifically designed for Australian conditions to meet the power and performance demands by fleet customers and owner-drivers alike.

According to Mercedes, the Actros has seen a steady rise in acceptance by operators in a wide variety of applications, and is now making inroads in the long haul sector as well.

One such example is the Actros 2660. It is a brute of a truck that offers horsepower for the toughest hauls including road train and B-double operations, but has not been overly successful in the owner-driver market as yet. Now all that is supposed to change with a package developed to meet that segment's specific requirements.

Mercedes Benz made a conscious decision to offer small operators a truck delivering more than adequate power, an on-road presence with an attractive amount of ‘bling’ and a list of comfort features demanded by more and more operators involved in long distance haulage.

The Actros 2660 Owner Driver Package is that truck. The 15.9-litre turbocharged V8 under the cab delivers 598hp and 2065lb/ft of torque, driving through the Mercedes Powershift 16-speed automated transmission. The power and torque combination combined with the automated box makes life easy for the driver, reducing fatigue and delivering effortless travel, says the manufacturer. 

“The MegaSpace cab interior offers a high level of luxury and the package also includes black leather, while on the outside LED running lights, chrome air intake vents and mirrors, a chrome light bar at the top of the cab and square tanks sets the truck apart from the rest. Not that the package is confined to the 2660 model, it is also available on other models in the Actros prime mover line-up, but it is the flagship truck where it really stands out on the highway.”

Mercedes-Benz Actros offers an exceptional options package allowing operators to customise trucks to not only meet their individual requirements, but also the application. The 2660 is the ideal B-double truck and a big feature is the safety package that is proving to extremely popular with buyers.

The fact this vehicle has been developed for Australian operation is just another example of how Mercedes-Benz management is addressing customer needs and tailoring trucks for this country, considered vitally important by those in Germany.
Recently three senior executives from Mercedes-Benz in Germany visited Australia to look at our market and its unique needs. The land ‘Down Under’ is regarded by all manufacturers as one of the toughest testing grounds for trucks in the world and its importance and significance is not lost when it comes to building trucks that can last the distance in our conditions.

Taking a close look at our market was Matthais Fritz, Manager Sales and Marketing for Australia and New Zealand and Uwe Dettman, an engineer working in product and marketing management for overseas. Both gentlemen are based at Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Stuttgart in Germany and they were joined by Worth based Gerald Beuchler, also en engineer, responsible for marketing in other tough truck testing arenas, Africa, the Sudan and Pakistan.

The three product management people were keen to investigate Australia’s conditions and particularly the impact of products designed for this country, looking at support and safety and how best to co-ordinate activities.

“Australia plays a very big role in developing tough trucks for tough conditions and we are looking at how it impacts on business here,” said Gerald Beuchler. “Significant product improvements have been implemented to specifically influence our product range including Actros, Axor and Atego. Unimog sales are on the rise here and we are bringing in new models for specific applications such as the Econic for refuse collection.

“Actros is continually undergoing improvement with an emphasis on power and performance coupled with safety and fuel economy,” he said.

Australia’s special requirements were the focus for Matthais Fritz who pointed out operators here require a product unlike any other produced in the world.

“There are many special requirements for the Australian market. For starters the need is for a 6×4 truck offering big fuel capacity and the performance to haul higher gross weights with excellent fuel economy. Couple the higher GCMs and definitely higher road speed and the trucks here are totally different to those produced for Europe,” he said.

“A significant part of our product development is truck testing by customers, they are the people who know what they want and everything we do directly affects their business. We want to be number one in Australia and this can only be achieved by offering every solution for road transporters in this country.”

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