This week’s Used Focus turns its attention to the 8-wheel tipper market. The choice of trucks available in this sector has expanded in recent years, with manufacturers offering bespoke off-the-shelf heavy-duty chassis to supplement standard thickness frames.
All seven of the main manufacturers have quality products in this sector, so there is plenty of choice buying new, which subsequently translates to a wide range on the used market.
Tridems are increasing in popularity, both in 8x2 and 8x4 guises. Also becoming more commonplace are sleeper cabs, as operators take on contracts which see them working further afield. However, we have opted for a traditional 8-wheeler, with twin-steering front axles and day cab – basically a traditional British-spec tipper.
The truck we are featuring is a 17-plate (the cherished number plate featured in these images will be replaced) Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3240K 8x4 tipper. The Arocs is Mercedes’ heavy-duty range. But for those operators who do not spend much time off-road, and/or value a lighter chassis, the Actros is also available as a tipper chassis. It goes head-to-head with the likes of Scania’s XT and Volvo’s FMX.
The truck featured has the S day cab, but the M cab (which offers more internal storage space and/or the option of a fold-down rest bunk), and L sleeper cabs, are also available. While the S cab might be compact, it has a small payload advantage over the others and, theoretically, allows a marginally longer body to be fitted.
Under the cab is the Euro-6 OM470 10.7-litre engine in its 394hp form. This is the middle output of five offerings from this straight-six, which is also available at 326hp, 360hp, 428hp and 456hp. The 326hp version is not powerful enough for 32 tonnes, and many would argue that the 360hp version is similarly as underpowered at this weight. So, most Arocs 8-wheelers are specified with the 394hp or 428hp rated engines.
The gearbox is the 12-speed Telligent semi-automatic, and it has single-reduction drive-axles with diff and cross locks. It features steel drive-axle suspension and has disc brakes and EBS/ABS control.
It is fitted with a Thompsons steel tipping body with remote-release single-piece tailgate, which is lifted by a Binotto front-end tipping ram.
A Thompsons Weighmaster on-board weigher is also included.
There are plenty of extras too, including an external sun visor, dual roof-mounted beacon bars, air-suspended driver’s seat, electric adjustable heated mirrors, sunroof, air conditioning, hill start assist, FM radio, CD-player, Bluetooth, reversing camera and cruise control. It is ULEZ-compliant.
Given its low mileage and young age, this tipper will have widespread appeal among fleets that prefer to buy used, letting others take the biggest depreciation hits. It is also ideal for firms that need a bodied tipper at very short notice.
About the Mercedes-Benz Truck Range
In 2012 Mercedes-Benz overhauled its Actros range, launching a new cab in the process. The Actros name was retained (while Axor was dropped), and the trucks were given the MP4 designation (signifying version 4 Actros).
A year later, the Arocs was born. This was essentially a beefed-up Actros aimed at construction, timber, heavy haulage and any operator whose vehicles spent a considerable time off-road. It used the same cab as the Actros MP4, in all its variants. The drivelines were also similar, but the chassis frame width was thicker. The grille differed, with a menacing ‘toothy’ appearance, and the mirrors were sturdier. Protective grilles over the headlights were also an option.