Downes Transport, haulage and warehouse specialist based in Amesbury, Wiltshire, recently added a new-generation Mercedes-Benz Actros 2545 tractor unit to its fleet that sports a pearl white cab with special livery to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The exterior also features a roof-mounted light bar, chrome sun visor and grille, welcome light, and Alcoa alloy wheels. The company recently added a used 2548 that previously worked as a demonstrator as well.
All told, Downes Transports operates 15 vehicles, 11 of which are Mercedes-Benz models, including a mix of tractors and rigids. “I’ve been running Mercedes-Benz trucks since I started out, and have stuck with them ever since for their reliability, competitive running costs, and comfort,” says owner Douglas Downes. “They’re always popular with our drivers, and that’s certainly true of our 25th-anniversary unit.”
Safe, Comfortable & Efficient
Downes Transport’s new Actros features a 12.8-litre, 450-horsepower (336-kilowatt) engine and a BigSpace cab. It also has Mercedes-Benz’s MirrorCam system that trades traditional mirrors for cameras and A-pillar-mounted displays that minimise blind spots and improve fuel efficiency by as much as 1.5%. Other safety and visibility features include Active Brake Assist 5 with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, Bi-xenon headlamps, and LED tail lamps and daytime running lights.
The interior of the Actros features the Multimedia Cockpit with a 12-inch instrument panel, leather upholstery, and a StyleLine design with aluminium-like trim. Downes Transport opted to add LED ambient lighting, DAB radio, and a refrigerator as well to keep driver Simon Styles comfortable. He’ll also take advantage of the Predictive Powertrain Control system, which Mercedes-Benz says “employs digital 3D mapping and GPS data to scan the topography of the road ahead, then manages gear changes and ensures that full use is made of the Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission’s Eco Roll function to maximise fuel-efficiency and reduce emissions.”
“We’re delighted with our anniversary truck. It looks fantastic, while Simon has really embraced all of the new technology and, if the fuel returns are anything to go by, is clearly using it to good effect,” says Downes. “Simon’s getting just over 12 mpg from his new truck, which puts it about a mile-and-a-half ahead of our previous-generation Actros. I’ll be a happy man indeed if it continues to perform this well.”
More Mercedes-Benz Actros Details
The fifth-generation Actros, winner of the International Truck of the Year 2020 award, is built for long-distance haulage and heavy-duty distribution. The 18- to 33-tonne truck is available as a rigid or tractor unit with axle configurations ranging from 4x2 to 6x4. There are 17 cab variants in two widths, with roof shape options such as GigaSpace, BigSpace, StreamSpace, ClassicSpace, and CompactSpace. Euro VI engine outputs range from 238 to 625 hp (175 to 460 kW) and from 1,000 to 3,000 newton-metres (738 to 2,213 pounds-foot) of max torque.
The Actros’ Multimedia Cockpit combines ergonomic and connectivity refinements to allow operators to drive and live in comfort. Standard safety features include a driver side airbag and the Mercedes-Benz Safety Package, which includes Active Brake Assist with Proximity Control Assist and pedestrian recognition technology.