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Safe on all roads – customers trust heavy-duty trucks bearing the star: Mercedes-Benz Actros with new Active Brake Assist 4 and Sideguard Assist in customer operation

Feb 7, 2017
Stuttgart / Sulingen
  • New assistance systems: Increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Benchmark of active safety
  • SiloNet company fleet to be comprised entirely of Actros models in future

Stuttgart / Sulingen – Mercedes-Benz Trucks is the first manufacturer worldwide to get the new Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4) safety assistance system with pedestrian detection and Sideguard Assist for the Mercedes-Benz Actros on the road. Following its unveiling in late September 2016 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany, the first Actros trucks featuring the new safety system have been delivered since December 2016.

Silo and tank tractor/trailer combinations: All safety systems 100 percent onboard

One of the first customers to put an Actros tractor unit on the road with the full safety pack (ABA 4 with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Proximity Control Assist, Attention Assist and driver's airbag) and Sideguard Assist is SiloNet, a company based in Beckum and Sulingen, two towns in north-west Germany. The business, which was established in 2015 as a 50:50 joint venture between haulage company Gerdes und Landwehr and Holcim Deutschland (Germany's leading manufacturer of building materials), is using the Actros 1843 with silo semitrailer to transport cement, raw materials for cement and pulverised lignite, primarily on a regional basis. On these transport routes containing a high proportion of urban area, the new safety systems provided by Mercedes-Benz Trucks can help to considerably reduce accident figures. The installation of active safety systems in the Actros models is correspondingly high.

Marcus Woldt, Mercedes-Benz truck sales consultant at the company-owned sales and service outlet in Hanover, looks after SiloNet and says: "Safety requirements are extremely high in the silo and tank trucking sector. That is why 100 percent of all tractor/semitrailer combinations will be fitted with our safety pack."

Increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists

Not only can the new ABA 4 automatically brake for vehicles in front or stationary obstacles within system limits, it also issues an audible and visual warning if pedestrians cross in front and, if required, initiates partial braking. This enables the truck driver to respond with maximum full-stop braking or to make an evasive steering manoeuvre.

What is more, new radar-based Sideguard Assist can warn the driver – both audibly and visually – about stationary or moving obstacles on the nearside of the truck. These warnings are based on critical scenarios from accident analysis. The system is specially designed for the turning situation involving pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for changing to the nearside lane. As a result Sideguard Assist offers essential support to the driver when making cornering and turning manoeuvres in unclear situations.

Mercedes-Benz Actros – the benchmark in safety matters

Mercedes-Benz Trucks is currently the only manufacturer in the world to offer its heavy-duty trucks (Actros and Antos) with radar-based Sideguard Assist and Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian detection. It is precisely these two active safety systems which can guard against the two most frequent risks of accident in the haulage sector. The German Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS) in 2015 recorded a total of 15 572 accidents involving personal injury and goods vehicles exceeding 3.5 t (source: DESTATIS report GFK). 8238 accidents occurred in parallel traffic. According to the latest statistics, 3509 accidents listed involved cornering and turning/crossing an intersection.

As Mercedes truck salesman Marcus Woldt reports, the new Actros warns SiloNet about more than just these two risks of accident: "The Actros 1843 is equipped with every assistance system that Mercedes-Benz Trucks provides. In addition to new ABA 4 and new Sideguard Assist, these include Lane Keeping Assist, Proximity Control Assist, Attention Assist, driver's airbag and ESP. With this much equipment, no other competitor comes close to the Actros on safety matters."

SiloNet: Fleet to be comprised entirely of Actros models in future

SiloNet as a company also appreciates this and has already placed an order through Marcus Woldt for five more Actros tractor/semitrailer combinations. Deliveries commence in March. SiloNet's managing director John Henrik Landwehr: "We have ordered our next five Actros models to be equipped with the safety pack, which includes ABA 4, and Sideguard Assist, too. This is because vehicle safety is of the utmost importance to us. We would like to make the roads as safe as possible and for that reason are happy to spend a few extra euros, now and in future. That is why we are planning to switch the present SiloNet fleet of 38 tractor units entirely over to Mercedes-Benz Actros models by August 2017."

Truck driver Herbert Schulz is pleased with his boss's proposed plan of action: "Safety is essential due to the increasing traffic on our roads. Given that the truck is also to support me in my duties and to be a comfortable place to work, clearly I advocate the Actros."

SiloNet's other co-managing director Karl-Heinz Augustin gives another compelling argument in the Actros's favour: "Its economy is unsurpassed, not just with regard to fuel consumption. Thanks to the low kerb weight of our new silo tractor/trailer combination of 10.7 t with Actros loader and the weight-optimised silo semitrailer, we have 1.8 t more payload than with the previous combination."

In summary: for SiloNet, the Actros with the new assistance systems is the absolute benchmark in terms of safety as well as economy in the market for heavy-duty trucks.