By Lance Branquinho
MERCEDES-Benz’s commercial vehicles have a proven reputation amongst South Africa’s long-haul drivers and fleet managers, having been locally assembled since the 1960s.
To celebrate a quarter century of the brand’s Actros model in the local market, Daimler Trucks South Africa (DTSA) has created a production run of 25th Limited Edition trucks based on the company’s Actros heavy-duty range.
Actros is the brand’s powerful over-the-road model, which entered the local market in 1998. Known for its advanced R&D efforts, Mercedes-Benz has debuted several industry-leading features with Actros since 1998, including onboard telematics, automated transmissions, mirror cameras for collision avoidance and advanced driver assistance systems like autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control.
True to the jubilee celebration symbolism, only 25 of these trucks will enter the market, all featuring a backlit Mercedes-Benz star and distinctive silver-grey paint.
Cabin equipment for the 25th Limited Edition Actros trucks resembles Mercedes-Benz’s premium-equipped Actros variants. Occupant comfort is enhanced by a suspension seat on the passenger side of the cabin, reducing fatigue on those long journeys along routes with poorly surfaced roads. Supporting Mercedes-Benz’s comprehensive safety awareness regarding truck design and human-centric ergonomics is a seat occupancy detection sensor, which monitors the passenger seat.
True to the Actros heritage of technology adoption, the 25th Limited Edition trucks feature a 12.3-inch digital cockpit, with superior legibility and sub-menu navigation. Mercedes-Benz’s digitised vehicle information displays and instrumentation binnacles feature screens with luminosity and contrast that are much less vision-fatiguing at night. This is a notable benefit for long-haul truck drivers operating overnight between the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Recognising the Actros range’s over-the-road function in the local market, often hauling between Cape Town and Johannesburg, product planners at Mercedes-Benz have made these Limited Edition trucks as comfortable as possible. All 25th Limited Edition Actros trucks are equipped with the Premium Comfort Mattress option, assisting in off-duty rest and recovery for co-drivers.
The allocation of Actros 25th Limited Edition trucks for the South African market is a single Actros 2663LS/33 25th Limited Edition, and equal distribution of 12 Actros 2645LS/33s and 2652LS/33s.
Beyond the 25th Limited Edition trucks, DTSA customers interested in moving beyond conventional turbodiesel power for their Actros fleets could have exciting new options this year. DTSA wishes to introduce versions of its eActros into the local market, which could represent the opportunity for a huge technology shift for loyal Mercedes-Benz truck customers.
The new eActros 600 delivers 600 kW of power, ideal for demanding South African conditions, drawing energy from an enormous 621 kWh battery pack. Mercedes-Benz engineers have opted for a lithium iron phosphate battery chemistry, providing a claimed range 500 km for the eActros 600.
To support customers considering the transition to EV trucks, Mercedes-Benz provides a battery warranty of 72 months, 720 000 km, or 1 800 charging cycles. With such an extensive battery warranty, eActros 600 could become a convincing early adopted EV truck for DTSA customers with access to robust, high potency recharging infrastructure.