Woman power in the quarry with the new Arocs - Doreen Trabert drives the construction specialist from Mercedes-Benz
- The Thuringia-based transport and excavation company, Luzia Knackert, relies on the new Arocs 1848 for both road and construction site operations
- Increased safety thanks to the MirrorCam, Active Brake Assist 5 and Sideguard Assist
- Intelligent Predictive Powertrain Control cruise control and transmission management system (PPC) reduces consumption and increases driving comfort for driver Doreen Trabert
- Payload friendly alternative to all-wheel drive solutions: Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive (HAD) as an engageable starting-off aid in difficult terrain
Doreen Trabert wouldn't be able to drive up such a steep incline in a dumper semitrailer with only rear-wheel drive. She would have to take a detour and then possibly get in line with all the trucks waiting at the gates. However, her Arocs 1848 has Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive (HAD) on-board, a hydraulic auxiliary drive for the front axle. As a result the heavy-duty construction truck can cope with the steep short-cut at the quarry without a problem: the transmission of the in-line six cylinder engine downshifts. The HAD wheel hub motors bring additional traction to the front axle. And the tractor/semitrailer combination takes on the difficult climb – clearing the way to the waste rock pile where Doreen Trabert has to unload fine grit.
Efficient on the road, confident in off-road terrain
The 42-year old, who is not only an entrepreneur but drives trucks herself, has been using one of the first of the new Arocs to be produced in Wörth for just over a year now. It is a towing vehicle used to pull a dumper semitrailer on a daily basis. "Primarily the vehicle is on the road, but has to master difficult and slippery terrain on construction sites," explains Trabert, the junior boss of the transport and excavation company owned by her mother Luzia Knackert from Vacha in Thuringia. "That's why we ordered the Arocs with the MirrorCam, new Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) and HAD."
Considerably improved all-around visibility thanks to the MirrorCam
The digital MirrorCam replaces the conventional reversing and wide-angle mirrors in the new Arocs. The system provides the driver with more than just a view to the rear – it helps her in various situations with additional information on the displays in the interior of the cab. When overtaking, for example, special distance lines indicate when the Arocs can pull back into the lane. "What I particularly like, though, is that the view through the side windows is now unobstructed because the cameras are attached high on the roof frame," Doreen Trabert explains. "So when you're manoeuvring or driving around tight bends, you have everything in view and are safe on the road!" Trabert also likes that the cameras don't get anywhere near as dirty as the big mirrors used to. "And that increases safety." For the truck-driving company-owner, it's a point of honour that her Arocs is equipped with the new emergency brake assistance system Active Brake Assist 5 with improved pedestrian detection on-board and the most recent generation of Sideguard Assist.
Consumption reduced by up to 5 per cent on cross-country routes thanks to PPC
In addition to safety, it was also the efficiency of the new Arocs that provided the transport and excavation company Luzia Knackert with the decisive argument for buying the truck. The new PPC can now be used on out-of-town roads when travelling cross-country – which is exactly the type of road mostly used by the vehicles of the family-run company and now the new Arocs. On those roads Doreen Trabert now saves up to five per cent fuel when compared to driving without PPC. The reason: the intelligent cruise control and transmission management system not only automatically takes uphill and downhill slopes or crests of hills into account, but also the radius of bends, speed limits and priority rules at junctions.
"Now I can travel cross-country using the cruise control without hesitation," Trabert reports. "In addition to the savings in fuel, what I particularly like is that PPC reduces the truck's speed to 50 directly before I enter a town and then afterwards automatically accelerates to the set speed. That reduces stress and you don't have to worry about driving too fast by mistake."
Strong both on and off-road thanks to HAD
The HAD starting-off aid also facilitates work enormously for Doreen Trabert. The system operates at a speed of up to 25 km/h and thanks to the advantages regarding payload is, as a rule, better suited to construction vehicles which also spend a great deal of time on the road than an all-wheel drive vehicle. As she takes to the difficult terrain, Doreen Trabert activates HAD with a switch in the centre console. The relevant symbol then appears in the primary display of the multimedia cockpit. When HAD is operating, a pump fitted at the engine directs pressure of up to 450 bar to two wheel hub motors at the front axle. This means that up to 40 kW of additional drive power is available at each wheel – the symbol in the display lights up blue.
Maximum traction for a short period, a half tonne greater payload
"HAD is suitable for us, because we usually only need maximum traction for a short period. The system weighs considerably less than a permanent all-wheel drive solution, resulting in around 500 kilogrammes more payload per load," Doreen Trabert explains. "That's hard cash!" For the truck-driving entrepreneur, the HAD also wins any comparison with a lighter engageable all-wheel drive system. "Here, we still have a payload advantage of 350 kilogrammes and when the truck is empty fuel consumption is permanently lower than with an all-wheel drive thanks to the reduced weight of the truck."
The hydraulic auxiliary drive has other advantages too: the HAD high-pressure pump is located at the power take-off of the combustion engine so that full traction is available even while shifting gear – currently, only Mercedes-Benz vehicles are equipped with this solution. Special hydraulic rotary distributors in the steering knuckle protect the hydraulic hoses from twisting when steering and ensure a high degree of durability. Also the oil filter needs only be changed after around 600,000 kilometres.
The whole family is geared to trucks
Doreen Trabert's summary: "Where other trucks get stuck, our Arocs drives on thanks to HAD and doesn't need to be pulled out by the caterpillar, which costs time and money." As far as everyday business is concerned the truck-driving entrepreneur is increasingly chained to the office; 15 trucks have to be scheduled. She usually sits behind the wheel when a driver has to drop out or for transfer journeys. While she works in the office, Peter Wedhorn who has been working for the company for 23 years usually drives the new Arocs. His verdict: "For combined work in road and construction site traffic, the new Arocs is the best vehicle that I have ever sat in. Assistance systems, user interfaces, performance – here the driver can enjoy everything that today's technology has to offer."
By the way, this is also the reason why the new Arocs is used as a demonstration vehicle in the Knackert driving school which is also run by Doreen Trabert's family. There, they like to use Peter Wedhorn to explain things when it's time for the obligatory further training as demanded by German professional driver's qualification legislation (BKrQG). Wedhorn: "Everyone who drives an older vehicle on a daily basis is absolutely amazed to see what is possible nowadays when they get into our new Arocs with multimedia cockpit and all its functions!"
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