Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3240K - Tipper truck review

George Barrow
June 19, 2019

Jump to: Vehicle specifications, Driveline delight, Highlights, Body parts, In the cab, Looking good.

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs is about to receive a significant upgrade, but is there still life left in the current model? CM takes it for a spin.

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs arrived in 2013 as an Actros for off-road work. Its toughened looks, construction-centred focus and all round go-anywhere-butin- the-comfort-of-a-big-cab-like-the- Actros ethos meant it was elbowing its way to the top of the muckaway and aggregate trees.

Since then newer cabs have arrived, from Renault with its Range C, as well as the much more heavy-duty, but less popular in the UK, Range K. There’s also been the new Scania XT, which has added another dedicated offering to the construction market. While certainly not out of date, they’ve all left the Arocs feeling like it is perhaps on the curve, rather than being slightly ahead of it.

How does a 2013 product shape up then in 2019?

This 8x4 tipper is essentially an entry-level unit and is actually part of Mercedes’ WorkReady programme – an initiative to provide a core spec of vehicles at short notice to customers. What that means in this case is that it is built with the bare essentials in mind and from a working vehicle’s point of view – as if there is any other kind of vehicle in this industry – it is without luxury. A driver’s suspension seat, an exterior sun visor and remote central locking are the “highlights” among the optional extras, but that’s not to say that the standard equipment isn’t already fit for purpose.

Driveline delight

At the heart of the Arocs is a 10.7-litre OM470 engine, producing 394hp and 1,900Nm of torque. There’s a 12-speed automated manual gearbox with Power- Shift3 software that makes for snappy and well-timed gear changes. We first test it at an almost anorexic weight level with a near bone-dry tank before adding close to maximum ballast to get a feel for it with and without a load. While the weight makes a small difference to performance, the gearbox easily makes up for any deficit, maintaining torque and shifting just as seamlessly as before.

Like the Actros, itself a well-balanced and effortlessly easy vehicle to drive, the Arocs also shows considerable dynamic poise. Tight country lanes, the stomping ground of an 8x4 tipper, are actually enjoyable to steer the Arocs around. It holds its line and drives elegantly into corners.

Body parts

Productivity is so important for a tipper that specifying the right body is an essential part of the process. This Arocs was equipped with a Thompsons Loadmaster Lite providing 14cu m of capacity. Although not heavily scrutinising the weight of the chassis and body combination we can’t help but glance at the kerb weight and with some simple maths determine that we could comfortably transport a 19-tonne payload in its current spec. Tipper gear comes courtesy of Binotto with a TFC 145 and there’s a CM 1000 electric sheeting system. Also fitted is a Loadmaster hinge for the manual tailgate as well as slimline LED beacons and front and rear LED strobes.

The Thompsons and Binotto equipment prove to be a reliable combination that work quickly and effectively and the controls are neatly integrated into the truck’s dash.

The rest of the interior is equally as practical, with the super-informative and detailed trip computer providing ample information as well as the settings for the Mercedes-Benz safety systems. These include Active Brake Assist 4 with its emergency braking system that features pedestrian recognition.

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In the cab

Looking good

Overall visibility is still good. The seating position in the Arocs is high, which gives a good view of the road directly in front. But if we are to pick a particular criticism it has to be of the wing mirrors. They’re huge, and while that works brilliantly for seeing backwards it does hamper forward visibility a bit as unlike other models the flat and wide-angle mirrors are contained within a single unit. It means a bit more moving forwards and backwards in the seat, but it’s something you soon get used to. Mercedes’ forthcoming mirrorless camera system MirrorCam will be offered as an option with the latest Arocs, and can’t come soon enough. Nevertheless, the Arocs – while ready for a significant update – still performs and produces and is certainly on par with sector rivals.

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About the Author

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George Barrow

George has been writing about nearly anything with wheels for the past 15 years and is the UK jury member of the International Van of the Year and International Pick-Up Award.

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