Forward Trucking Services’ new Mercedes-Benz Actros 2546 tractor units are ready to work in London. This is down to the recently purchased trucks’ four-star DVS (Direct Vision Standard) rating off the production line, easily achieving current DVS compliance for 12-tonne GVW or greater vehicles while going beyond 2024 DVS requirements (a three-star rating) for safety permits to operate in Greater London. The 21 new trucks also feature Mercedes-Benz’ Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking system with enhanced pedestrian recognition to further protect road users.
“We’re based on the edge of the M25 and a lot of our work takes us into London, so the fact that the Actros came straight out of the box with a four-star DVS rating weighed massively in its favour,” says Forward Trucking Services Managing Director Pete Samuel. “None of the other manufacturers could match it, and some put forward products with only one or two stars.”
Better Fuel Economy, As Well
The new trucks are replacing a batch of five-year-old vehicles from another manufacturer, and when investigating replacements, Forward Trucking Services invited dealers from all major brands to submit demonstration models. Over the two-month trial, the Actros demonstrator delivered superior fuel economy while showcasing major savings on AdBlue.
“The Actros returned 13 mpg and above, whereas the vehicles that had been doing the same work were in the high 10s and low 11s,” says Samuel. “What’s more, I reckon we’ll save around £100,000 over the next five years simply because the Actros consumes half as much AdBlue.”
Forward Trucking Services new Actros feature StreamSpace cabs, a design optimised for low fuel consumption, as well as Mercedes-Benz’ MirrorCam technology that replaces conventional, external mirrors with small cameras built into the roof frame for an unobstructed view in the front. The rear-facing cameras send video to screens mounted inside the cab, and these digital rear-view mirrors also pivot to give drivers a clearer view behind the trailer.
The new 2546s are Forward Trucking Services’ first trucks with MirrorCam, says Samuel, who adds, “There was a bit of nervousness initially, particularly from some of the older drivers. We shared the demonstrator around, though, and once they’d got the gist of MirrorCam, and realised how much better the visibility is, they all came to like it.”
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