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Mercedes-Benz Truck Technician of the Year

The Mercedes-Benz Truck Technician of the Year award has been awarded to a kiwi. New Zealander Matt Gillatt is a 31-year-old from Keith Andrews Trucks service centre in Whangarei, 150km north of Auckland. He emerged the winner in a tight contest of the best Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle technicians in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Mercedes-Benz Truck Technician of the Year
Left to Right: Michael May and Matt Gillatt

 

His prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Germany this September to visit the Benz truck production plant in Worth, attend the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover and visit the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.

 

Iain Dorward, from Daimler Trucks Adelaide, was the runner up when the final points were tallied. The 32-year-old from Ireland did his apprenticeship at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in England before moving to Australia in January 2014.

 

Luckily for Iain, Mercedes-Benz Truck made a last minute announcement the runner-up would also be going on the same trip to Germany.

 

Other technicians who made the final, which was held at the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus training centre in Mulgrave, Victoria, included Bill Gauci and Terry Larkin of Daimler Trucks Sydney, Huntingwood, and Gary Bradshaw of Daimler Trucks Adelaide.

 

These five finalists are our best certified Mercedes-Benz Truck diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, and it was a fantastic effort from all of them to reach the final,” said Michael May, Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Australia and New Zealand Director. “The competition was close and all of them showed great skill throughout the day, but Matt emerged as the winner, which is a great achievement.”

New Electric Truck from Mercedes Benz

A new electric truck from Mercedes Benz has been announced in Germany. The new vehicle is said to be the first fully electric truck for heavy distribution operations. According to Daimler Trucks the market launch of this technology could be at the beginning of the next decade.

 

New Electric Truck from Mercedes Benz

 

The company have already been involved with a fully electric truck in customer trials with the Fuso Canter E-Cell, trialled in Europe since 2014.

 

“Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses at the Daimler Board of Management. “Nowadays costs, performance and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck.

 

“In light distribution trucks, our Fuso Canter E-Cell has already been undergoing intensive customer trials since 2014. And with the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are now electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes. We intend to establish electric driving as systematically as autonomous and connected driving.”

 

New Electric Truck from Mercedes Benz

 

The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is based on a standard three-axle short-radius Mercedes-Benz distribution truck. The entire conventional drivetrain being replaced by a new electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. This is derived from the electric rear axle which was developed for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid bus.

 

New Electric Truck from Mercedes Benz

 

The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules. The claimed range of the new truck is up to 200 km. The batteries are housed in a crash-proof location inside the frame.

 

“With the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are underlining our intention to systematically developing the electric drive in trucks to series production maturity” said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “This means that we will begin to integrate customers, so as to gain valuable joint experience with respect to the operating ranges and the charging infrastructure in daily transport operations. Because we think the entry of this technology into the series production is already conceivable at the beginning of the next decade.”

 

The electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly placed next to the wheel hubs has a maximum output of 2 x 125 kW, with a peak torque of 2 x 500 Nm. In combination with the gearing in place , the torque at the wheel is claimed to reach 11,000 Nm.

 

The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212 kWh. This results in a range of up to 200 km. Depending on the desired range, the modular battery pack can be customised by adding or removing batteries.

 

New Electric Truck from Mercedes Benz

 

The Urban eTruck is connected to the charging station using the Europe-wide standardised Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 connector. Batteries can be charged to 100 per cent in two to three hours, according to Daimler.

Daimler Dealership Ownership Change

This week has seen the announcement of a Daimler Dealership ownership change in the Melbourne area. Automotive Holdings Group, fast becoming a major player in both truck sales and the trucking industry, announced it has agreed to acquire the Mercedes‐Benz Commercial Vehicles dealership in Laverton, Victoria from Mercedes‐Benz Australia/Pacific. Read more

Collusion Fines for Truck Makers

Massive collusion fines for truck makers have been handed down by the European Union. According to the EU the group of manufacturers were found to be acting as a cartel to fix prices of trucks and time the introduction of technologies to comply with emissions rules.

The fines amount to 3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and are said to be the highest ever levied by the European authorities. All of the major suppliers to the European market were included in the decision. Those fined in the case so far include MAN, Mercedes Benz, DAF, Iveco and Volvo/Renault and it was asserted they had been colluding for 14 years, from 1997 to 2011. Scania is still under investigation. Read more

3D Printing for Truck Parts

Mercedes-Benz is introducing 3D printing for truck parts as part of the standard production method in parts departments. Later this year, 30 genuine spare parts will be available for order and supplied at the press of a button from the 3D printer.

 

3D Printing for Truck Parts

 

“In keeping with our brand promise ‘Trucks you can trust’, we set the same benchmarks for reliability, functionality, durability and economy for spare parts from 3D production as for parts from conventional production”, said Andreas Deuschle, Head of Marketing and Operations in the Customer Services and Parts Mercedes-Benz Trucks Division. “However, 3D offers many more possibilities; this is why we shall be rapidly extending the production of 3D printed parts.

 

“We benefit from our extensive experience at Daimler with 3D printing processes in prototype construction. The available spare parts consist of high-quality plastic components. Covers, spacers, spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mountings and control elements are just a few examples of economical spare part production in top quality made possible by using the 3D printing process.

 

The ‘printed’ spare parts are created with state-of-the-art 3D printers based on the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing process. For Mercedes-Benz Trucks the process parameters have been optimised and determined by the Daimler research and development divisions.

 

Every 3D spare part can be ordered by the customer using the special spare part number under which it is recorded in the order code lists and the spare parts catalogues at Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

 

The challenge in the spare parts business lies in securing supply even for model series which are no longer produced and for which there is only a low demand in small quantities every year. Producing them is uneconomical for suppliers, production facilities and tools often have to be retained and maintained for years.

 

Getting the Lowdown on Benz

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has officially launched its dual control low entry truck. The Econic was formally unveiled, this week, in front of waste industry representatives at an event in Melbourne. Mercedes Benz, here in Australia, has developed a world’s first, this is the first time the Econic has been fitted with two steering wheels and controls on both sides of the cabin.

 

EconicLaunch- 136 copy

 

The dual control Econic is produced at the company’s Worth plant in Germany and it has a Euro 6 rated engine, Electronic Stability Program and a low-entry cab design with visibility superior to that of traditional trucks. Benz are keen to point out, no other truck in this class has all three features.

 

“The launch of the dual control Econic represents a win all round for operators, drivers and the public,” said Andrew Assimo, Mercedes-Benz Trucks Sales Manager. “The Euro 6 engine is efficient and produces low emissions, but it is quiet in operation too.

 

“High levels of safety are a big plus for everyone, especially the driver, who also benefits from great ergonomics. There is also the superior vision of this truck, which is of utmost importance given the mixture of pedestrians, cyclists and cars in the urban environments most Econics will operate.”

 

The dual control Econic is fitted with Electronic Stability Program, also Electronic Braking System and an Anti-Lock Braking System all fitted as standard. Optional safety items include adaptive cruise control, Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist.

 

The truck’s cabin complies with the European ECE-R29 crash test regulations and features large panoramic windows for improved visibility. The Econic features air suspension on all axles and a suspended driver’s seat on both sides of the cabin.

 

It uses a 7.7-litre diesel engine putting out 299 hp and meeting Euro 6 emission standards. According to Mercedes Benz, this means it delivers a reduction of emissions and particulate matter by up to 90 per cent compared to the Euro 5 engine. Econic also runs the industry-preferred six-speed Allison fully automatic transmission.

 

“We’ve been developing this targeted product for the local waste industry for three years, so it was fantastic to show the dual control Econic to our customers,” said Michael May, Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Director. “The reaction was extremely positive with customers thrilled to finally see a factory-delivered solution that ticks so many of the boxes when it comes to safety, environment, driver welfare and low operating costs.”

 

Econic Goes Dual

A world first is being introduced onto the Australian market by Mercedes-Benz. This is the launch of the dual control Econic model for use by the waste collection industry. Dual control allows drivers to control the vehicle from the side of the cab closest to the kerb and enables a better view when picking up bins using the side loader system.

 

2016-01-11 10.49.27-003s

 

The truck is sold in Europe with a single steering wheel for use by the waste industry, but Australian operators prefer to go down the dual control route. There are, currently only two players in this market segment, Iveco with the latest Acco and Dennis Eagle with the Elite 2.

 

The new dual control Econic has a Euro 6 rated engine, Electronic Stability Control and a low-entry cab design with a high level of all round visibility. As Mercedes Benz is keen to point out, no other truck in the class has all three of these features.

 

The Econic first appeared in Australia at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne back in 2012. At the time it was only available as a single steer model. Since then, Mercedes Benz has developed the dual control system, specifically to suit Australian operators.

 

The Econic uses a 7.7 litre diesel engine with 299 hp that meets Euro 6 emission standards, linked up to a six-speed Allison fully automatic transmission. Its cabin complies with the European ECE-R29 crash test regulations.

 

The Econic has Electronic Stability Program, an Electronic Braking System and ABS. It features air suspension for all axles and a suspended driver’s seat on both sides of the cabin.

 

2016-01-11 10.11.13-003s

 

“The Econic was already a class-leading vehicle; the only thing missing was dual control,” said Andrew Assimo, Mercedes-Benz Trucks Sales Manager. “We are very excited to introduce a dual control version, which we think ticks all the boxes for Australian waste collection operators.”

 

“There is no other truck in the class that has the full suite of safety and environmental features that are standard in Econic including an Electronic Braking System, Anti-Lock Braking, a Euro 6 rated engine and panoramic vision. We know this will be a big plus for many customers.”

Low revs high torque

New engine technology is claimed to make a new engine the most efficient truck engine in the world. Mercedes Benz has unveiled the next generation of its 13 litre engine range in Europe. The latest iteration of the OM 471 engine is based on the same basic engine block as other 13 litre Daimler engines around the world, including the Detroit DD 13.

 

Shaping Future Transportation 2015, Campus Safety

 

 

This evolution of the OM 471 comes four years after its introduction at the European launch of the new Actros, due in Australia next year. The Euro 6 compliant engine sees each of the various technologies included in the modern engine enhanced for improved performance. The initial launch of the new Actros in Australia will be fitted with the Euro 5 version of this engine, so we can expect to see this latest enhanced technology appearing later this decade.

 

 

Power ratings now go up to 530 hp, the X-Pulse fuel injection system has been improved, a new EGR valve has been introduced, as has an asymmetric turbo system. Mercedes Benz is claiming considerable fuel economy improvements for the new engine and is talking about oil change intervals out to 150,000 km.

 

 

New torque performance has been achieved, as a result of introducing the enhanced technology. The lower powered versions of the new engine will see torque topped up by an extra 200 Nm when the truck is in top gear. This should reduce down changing, thus decreasing fuel use, by enabling the truck to hang on to top gear longer.

 

 

Maximum power will be available from 1450 to 1800 rpm on the new engines and maximum torque, at 2600 Nm (1918 ft lb) on the top power engine, is on tap from 900 to 1450 rpm. Even at idling speed, at 600 rpm, the engine is still producing 1600 Nm of torque.

 

 

X-Pulse injection uses a common rail fuel system boosted with extra pressure by the injectors. Pressure in the rail will now increase to 1160 bar and injection pressure is to rise to 2700 bar, giving more precise control of injection event timing.

 

 

As part of the fuel saving strategy, the new engine is being offered in a truck with a rear axle ratio of 2.533. In this set up, with the truck running at 65 km/h the engine is still below 900 rpm but can use the 2200 Nm of torque to maintain performance.

 

 

The new EGR exhaust valve has been repositioned and can now be used to control both the level of exhaust gas recirculation but also the amount of exhaust gas redirected to the turbo, when a power boost is needed.

 

The engine also uses asymmetric injection strategies when regenerating the DPF. The EGR rate is increased as high as 50 per cent in to increase exhaust gas temperature flowing through the particulate filter. In order to avoid a high level of unburnt fuel, cylinders one to three get reduced fuel while four to six get a full fuel flow. Benz claim this strategy does not compromise power output or emissions levels.

Brisbane premieres

The Brisbane Truck Show opened yesterday with a number of new trucks unveiled and a plenty to talk about for the crowds who filled the halls at the Brisbane Convention Centre. New models unveiled included the next generation Mercedes Benz Actros, the International ProStar, the Western Star 2800, the MAN TGX with the all new D38 15 litre engine and the new shape DAF LF. Read more

New ute brand on the way

The ute market is going to get an unexpected entrant in the next few years. This week Mercedes Benz announced its intention to introduce a ute on the world market in the next few years. The new ute will be handled by the current van section of the global vehicle maker.

MBUTE

 

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. “We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value.”

 

The ute segment of the market is seeing a continuing evolution as they are no longer sold, purely, into the the working section of the market. more and more utes are seen as a leisure vehicle and used as the family car. Mercedes Benz have seen the relative success of the VW Amarok and will be getting on board the ute market ride.

 

“As part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model,” said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

 

The new Mercedes-Benz says the ute will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe.

 

“We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car,” said Mornhinweg. “We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.”