Actros Driver’s First Impressions

Diesel News became part of the trial testing process in the development of the new truck from Mercedes Benz, which was released last month. Here is a Actros driver’s first impressions of the cab fwhen confronted with a new design and an array of buttons and displays.

The cabin on the model tested by Diesel is the biggest one we will see here in Australia. This has a flat floor and double bunks, fitted with the kind of things we expect in a top of the range European prime mover, a slide out fridge and storage drawer, plus well-appointed interior. The bottom bunk is large, in European terms, and comfortable.

This particular truck was designed as part of a second wave of prototypes, after the first wave had been tested and assessed. Adblue tanks are smaller as Mercedes Benz has found the engine uses less than expected.

The cabin interior varies widely from the previous Actros, this is genuinely something completely different. The ignition key is not a key, it is a small device to fit into a slot on the dash, to initiate the systems. Next to this is the start/stop button, which is becoming the norm throughout Benz product, all the way from small cars to the heaviest truck. In case you’re worried, the unit does have a slide out key inside which can lock and unlock the doors, even when the power is out.

Surprisingly, the radio fitted in the test model is quite basic. However, we can expect, when these trucks are fully on sale, to see something akin to the systems we see becoming the standard in trucks like Isuzu, Hino and Fuso. The aircon controls are quite stylish and work well. In cab storage is great with enough different options close to hand to satisfy the most finicky driver.

The driver display directly in front is excellent.The downplayed black and white display sits between the speedo and the tachometer. The screen has a lot of data on display. The basics are there, telling the driver the gear and fuel consumption, then the various setting for cruise control, adaptive cruise and engine braking (the engine braking on the six cylinder engine is particularly effective).

There are six options along the top, and each of these has another five options. It is possible for the driver to keep an eye on anything they choose to. There is also something which is becoming common out of Europe, a system which marks the driver’s performance from the point of view of fuel, safety, etc.

All of this is controlled from the steering wheel, with a serious array of buttons. It has a button which sets the the default screen layout preferred by the driver, this can be returned to by pushing the button at anytime. There is a control to view all of the various menus on the screen. The rest of the array is simple to use, once the driver gets used to it.