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Mercedes Arocs (2021) Off-Road Test Drive

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The Mercedes-Benz Arocs now benefits from the advanced cruise and transmission control Predictive Powertrain Control. PPC has thus also found its purpose in inter-urban traffic and the Arocs, which frequently navigates rural roads, is now set to see major progress in the reduction of fuel consumption. In addition to a GPS-based positioning system, the new generation of PPC uses digital road maps that contain data on topography, road bends, the geometry of intersections and roundabouts, as well as traffic signs. Not only is the Arocs always able to find the right gear and appropriate speed for consumption when travelling up- and downhill, but also when navigating the winding roads between cities and towns. This is what makes it so fuel-efficient and as comfortable as possible out on the road.

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs is as individual as the jobs carried out by those in the construction industry. Thanks to the large selection of cabs, efficient engines – closely graded with an output of 238hp (175 kW) to 625 hp (460 kW) – along with drive variants and wheel configurations, it fulfills different requirement profils. Whether bulk goods, building material supply, ready-mixed concrete or transport of the heaviest construction machinery – the Arocs is equipped to deal with all these tasks and more. The Arocs test vehicles on-site are prime examples of the comprehensive programme available for construction traffic.

It doesn't always have to be the heaviest-duty design. The engageable front-wheel Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive (HAD) has considerably reduced the workload for all those vehicles that are largely out on the road, however occasionally find themselves on the difficult terrain found in, for example, construction sites and quarries. The Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive (HAD) works at a speed of up to 30 km/h and creates the necessary degree of additional traction to cope, for example, with even the slippery surface of challenging slopes. There is up to 40 kW of additional drive power available per wheel. Compared to a permanent all-wheel drive system, there are advantages here when it comes to cost, weight and consumption. "HAD is suitable for us, because we usually only need maximum traction for a short period. We have around 500 kg more payload per load with the system," says entrepreneur Doreen Trabert, who is a driver herself. Compared to an engageable all-wheel drive, there is always an advantage of 350 kg.

A literally groundbreaking speciality for arduous tasks is the fluid coupling. A combination of hydraulic start-off clutch and retarder in one shared component, it allows for precise driving and manoeuvring under heavy load and at the lowest of speeds. As a primary retarder, it develops a braking power of 476 hp (350 kW). Together with the up to 646 hp (475 kW) output of the powerful High Performance Engine Brake, the fluid coupling ensures high efficiency. "The automated manual transmission in combination with the fluid coupling makes driving considerably easier," reports driver David Ewan from Scottish company McIntosh Heavy Logistics.

Nothing is impossible is the thinking behind the Arocs. The extensive Arocs programme comprises wheel configurations from 4x2 and 4x4 to the three-axle vehicles in 6x2, 6x4 to 6x6. The four-axle vehicles are available as 8x2 with trailing axle, as 8x4, 8x4 with trailing axle, as 8x6 and 8x8. The range includes steel and air suspension, different frames depending on use, whether mainly on the road or principally off-road, numerous wheelbases, cabs for day trips and long-distance, as well as three all-wheel drive systems. Heavy haulage trucks and special vehicles round off the package. Pre-configured special vehicles make it easier for customers to make their choice. As a two-axle semi-trailer tractor or concrete mixer, the Arocs Loader consistently demonstrates a low unladen weight and high payload. In turn, the Arocs Grounder is an extremely sturdy vehicle for particularly challenging operations. The tractor units of the SLT series with three, four and even five axles excel at the heavy load and high capacity transport of up to 250 tonnes gross combination mass.

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