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Right stuff for the white stuff - Mercedes-Benz prepares for action

17th December 2012 Print
Mercedes-Benz Axor

While the UK prepares to wind down for Christmas, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are working harder than ever. They’re operating 24-hours a day to ensure the roads are clear, that the lights remain on, that your last-minute presents reach your door and, most importantly of all, that your Christmas dinner arrives on time.
This week, Mercedes-Benz will give a glimpse of what it takes to keep the UK moving.
It’s led by a range of seven vehicles with a combined output of 2120 hp. Of these, three are all-wheel-drive and two are six-wheel drive. Between them they’re designed to cope with the harshest conditions possible – from flooding to snow drifts, to muddy fields and narrow, icy lanes. In the case of the Actros, it can run between services for up to 90,000-miles and on a three-driver shift pattern, rarely stops moving.
The Snow plough:
4x4 and 6x4 Atego and Axor are purpose-designed double-drive Mercedes-Benz trucks with a gross vehicle weight from 7.5 to 26 tonnes, are the gritting and ploughing chassis of choice for many local authorities and contractors responsible for snow-clearing operations.
Mercedes-Benz is favoured amoung Britains leading  highway maintenance contractors including a fleet of 6x4 Axor 2629s which Carillion uses to ensure the M40 motorway runs smoothly.
Andy Hicks, Carillion’s M40 Contract Manager, said: “If you’re responsible for keeping open one of the country’s major national roads it’s vitally important that your trucks can be relied upon not to break down. Mercedes-Benz gives us that security.”
When all else fails:
The 4x4 and 6x6 Zetros is designed from the ground up to operate on and off road in the world’s harshest conditions, and with single wheels and straightforward technology to keep servicing as simple as possible, Zetros models can be specified as chassis or articulated tractor units. This compact, light turbo-diesel with a displacement of 7.2 litres delivers 240 kW and achieves a maximum torque of 1300 Nm at engine speeds from 1200 to 1600 rpm.
Airports from Gatwick to Aberdeen also rely on Mercedes-Benz vehicles to keep their runways clear. Aberdeen Airport, which typically experiences much harsher winters than those further south, invested in the UK’s first Zetros – a pair of highly specialisted tractors, equipped with state-of-the-art ploughing, sweeping and blowing equipment by Aebi Schmidt.
Bruce Miller, Aberdeen Airport’s Motor Transport Manager, explained: “These vehicles are the result of a collaborative effort between Aebi Schmidt, Mercedes-Benz and Aberdeen Airport, to ensure the equipment we purchased best suited our airport. The primary focus was to provide an improved clearing service to our customers while reducing stress on our operational teams.”
Keeping the lights on:
Popular with utilities companies, the 4x4 Unimog is widely recognised as the most formidable off-road vehicle on the planet. Nationwide the Unimog is in action in a variety of applications: as a rescue and clean-up unit, front-loader, water pump, emergency generator or winch; suitable for deep wading in floods; or as an all-terrain fire engine, ambulance or communications control headquarters. The Unimog’s relatively compact footprint also makes this vehicle ideally suited to gritting and ploughing in narrow urban streets and country lanes. The 24 forward and 22 reverse gears, and ability to drive at speeds from as slow as 0.1 km/h, up to to 89 km/h, ensure that the Unimog keeps moving.
Without fail:
The Actros 6x4 and 6x6. For even more powerful performance, at 26 and 32 tonnes, the mighty Actros is the perfect solution for all types of delivery. Pioneering fuel savings of up to 7% with Euro V and up to 4% with Euro VI, the optimised drive system with very frugal, efficient engines, sophisticated aerodynamics and many further technical innovations form the basis for these.
Making sure your parcels arrive:
A range of Sprinter 4x4 panel van chassis cabs with gross weights of 3.5 or 5.0 tonnes that offer all-wheel drive capability at the push of a button. Raised bodies and specially tuned chassis give improved ground clearance, and increased approach angles to gradients, while the acclaimed locks but with a much lower weight penalty.

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Mercedes-Benz Axor