Mercedes-Benz launches Sideguard Assist safety system on right-hand-drive Actros and Arocs

Mercedes-Benz will finally offer its Sideguard Assist safety feature on right-hand-drive Actros and Arocs from June 2021, some four years after its launch on the Continent.

The system, which detects obstacles in a vehicle’s nearside blindspot and alerts the driver of a potential collision, had previously only been available on right-hand-drive Econic. It is as yet unclear whether or not the feature will be offered as standard.

Meanwhile, Mercedes has launched Active Sideguard Assist for most left-hand-drive markets. This superior version not only alerts the driver of a potential danger, but actively stops the vehicle too.

Speaking to Commercial Motor, head of Mercedes-Benz trucks Stefan Buchner said: “It is not available at the moment in the UK or any right-hand-drive markets. But we are working on this, and it will follow.”

Also new next summer is Active Drive Assist 2, which comprises an emergency stop function which can automatically brake the vehicle to a complete halt in case of an emergency. The truck remains in its lane of travel, with the hazard lights illuminated. 

DVSA warns of faulty brake drums

DVSA has issued a warning of seriously defective aftermarket brake drums that have been discovered fitted to Scania P-Series trucks. Its spokesman said “We are aware of two cases where aftermarket drums, which were not manufactured or supplied by Scania, have failed on P400 lorries. Both lorries were left without front braking and were fully laden.

“The drums failed in the same way when the braking surface fractured and separated from the mounting ring. It is believed that this was not due to normal wear and tear.”

DVSA has so far been unable to identify the manufacturer, and requests that any operator who has similar drums fitted on their vehicles, or has information on the supplier, gets in touch by e-mailing .

For Scania, services director Mark Grant, said "These cases bring into sharp focus the need for operators to use only parts sourced from Scania. Our drum brake system has been developed for maximum safety with components developed as individual parts within a complex system to ensure long service life and optimum performance in a vulnerable environment.

"As part of this system, Scania brake drums have been developed for minimal wear and to counteract cracking, even in high temperatures. The material in the brake drum is dimensionally stable, providing consistent performance throughout the entire service life. Scania brake drums, shoes and linings have been designed and thoroughly tested in respect of shape, friction and heat generation, in order to prevent vibration and screeching.

"Regarding brake drums available through Scania’s VRS parts programme for other marques, these are also manufactured and tested to the original equipment manufacturers standard.

"As a safety-critical item, I would therefore strongly urge operators to always contact their local Scania dealer whenever the time comes to replace any component within their vehicles' braking system."