Monster Benz makes its own road

Riley Riley

Think Mercedes-Benz and one automatically pictures high-end cars and SUVs.

But Benz has a lof irons in many other fires, including military-style off road trucks for just about every  application.

When a UK company wanted something it could use for laying emergency roll out road base, it turned to Benz which specially modified this 8×8 monster for the job.

The vehicle has been fitted with hook-loading equipment and has a mechanised body capable of laying up to 50 metres of interlocking M150 Trackway aluminium panels over undulating terrain in less than five minutes.

This innovative and environmentally friendly system is designed to ensure mobility for wheeled and tracked vehicles, and aircraft, when operating in adverse conditions such as marsh, snow and sand, and provides access in scenarios such as bridging ingress and egress, and over the shore movements.

The 4.6m wide M150 Trackway is transported on a Spool, then rotated 90 degrees for deployment and recovery.   

A popular choice with defence industry operators worldwide, their Trackway solutions are also well suited to a host of commercial applications including forestry, mining, utilities, and oil and gas exploration.

It has proved its worth, too, in emergency and disaster situations by ensuring rapid deliveries of vital aid.

The all-steel sprung Arocs 4148 chassis is rated at 41 tonnes GVW but plated for operation at 32 tonnes.

Its 12.8-litre in-line six-cylinder engine produces 350kW and is paired with a 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated manual transmission.

The vehicle underwent conversion from standard 8×4 configuration to all-wheel drive by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Custom Tailored Trucks (CTT) division at Molsheim in France.

To ensure the best possible traction, all four axles have differential locks and the wheels are shod with heavy-duty 14.00R20 tyres. 

Factory-painted in Austrian Army Grey with colour-coded bumpers, the truck’s ClassicSpace M-cab is equipped with a full complement of advanced driver aids.

These include MirrorCam, the ground-breaking camera-based alternative to conventional mirrors, and the upgraded interactive version of the radical Multimedia Cockpit dashboard, which replaces switchgear with twin, tablet-style screens, one with ‘touch’ functionality.

commented: “Rapidly laid and requiring minimal manpower, our high-quality, portable land solutions provide access for vehicles needing to tackle challenging terrains in multi-climate environments. We’ll now be shipping our new Arocs to destinations all over the world, to demonstrate this technology to prospective customers at trade shows and in field trials.”

Explaining the rationale behind the company’s decision to base its first, wholly-owned demonstrator on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, FAUN Trackway’s Neil Wigley said the company wanted a vehicle that would offer a turnkey solution.

“The three-pointed star is an internationally recognised symbol of quality and the Arocs has a great reputation for strength and reliability, so it was an obvious choice,” he said.

“Our new truck has fantastic approach and departure angles, and ground clearance across its axles.

“Factor in the 8×8 driveline as well, and it all adds up to a brilliant, high-mobility chassis.”

Back-up was also a key factor for the company because the vehicle could be deployed anywhere in the world.


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