New Mercedes-Benz Arocs makes debut


With the new generation Mercedes-Benz Actros having taken centre stage at last autumn’s IAA show at Hannover, it’s now the turn of its construction sector sibling, the Arocs, to come under the spotlight. The first major update to the Arocs range since its launch in 2013 was displayed at last week’s massive Bauma construction show in Munich.

Arocs features many of the innovations revealed on the new Actros, including the MirrorCam system and the multimedia dual-screen dashboard, which can be used to integrate body control systems. The latest version of the PPC predictive cruise control is standard on all models except mixers, and Active Brake Assist 5 is an option on 2- and 3-axle models with front under-run protection, although it’s likely to be some time in 2020 before Sideguard Assist is available on UK RHD models. Another option of potentially greater value off-road is advanced tyre-pressure monitoring with temperature compensated actual and target temperatures displayed graphically.

The Arocs range of rigids and tractors now includes more variants than we have space to list, but range from 4x2 18-tonne rigids up to 4-axle models with 8x2, 8x4, 8x6 and 8x8 drivelines, as well as tridems and rear-steer versions.

Cabs are equally diverse, all retaining the trademark “toothed” grille. They cover most needs from the compact S-cab ClassicSpace to the big L-cab BigSpace. Both 2,300mm and 2,500mm widths are available in a variety of heights. Inside, two trim options are available, StyleLine and TrendLine, with added chrome, wood and leather.

The four engine capacities – 7.7, 10.7, 12.8 and 15.6 litres – provide 18 boxes available to tick for power output, from 238hp/1,000Nm to 625hp/3,000Nm. The standard transmission is Daimler’s automated PowerShift 3 with 8, 12 or 16 ratios, with an Offroad drive programme option. Manual options are also available.

For tougher going, many models have the option of Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive front axles, although not yet with RHD, while you can have permanent all-wheel-drive with a dual-range transfer box, or the turbo retarder clutch from the heavy haulage range.

  • Tip-Ex Tank-Ex, taking place in Harrogate from 30 May - 1 June 2019 is the UK's must-attend event for operators in the dry bulk and liquid tanker sectors. You can register free on the website.

'Incompetent and ignorant' directors lose licence

A company that operated uninsured vehicles, failed to monitor drivers’ hours, forged records and lacked financial standing for “a considerable period of time” has had its licence revoked.

West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nicholas Denton (pictured) said the directors of Ladywood Furniture Project had been naïve, incompetent and ignorant, although he stopped short of disqualifying the company.

The furniture recycling charity held a standard national licence for five HGVs, but it was only in the days before it was due to appear at a public inquiry that it could demonstrate the finances to run that many vehicles.

The TC said the operator had failed to carry out six-weekly safety inspections and had allowed at least three lorries to be operated while uninsured for several weeks.

Tachograph information had been downloaded sporadically, leading to multiple and very serious drivers’ hours offences going undetected. One driver withdrew his card and drove on 42 occasions to get home early and his card had not been downloaded by the operator.

The TC said transport manager Richard Girling had acquired his CPC in 1994 but had taken no refresher training since then.

He was not up to date with drivers’ hours rules, was unaware that vehicles were not being regularly inspected and did not know about the requirement to specify vehicles on a licence. He also forged driver infringement letters to give the impression that he had been bringing offences to his drivers’ attention.

In a written decision, the TC said: “I am afraid the conduct of the company does indeed merit the closure of the transport side of its business and if that means it has to go out of business altogether, then so be it.”

However, he did not disqualify the company, explaining that it appeared it had not deliberately attempted to flout the law. “But it should be under no illusion about the massive scale of the change in culture and procedures needed before any future application stands any chance of being granted.

“Directors must take responsibility for compliance; at least one director and a manager must have undergone relevant training; new compliance procedures must be designed from the ground up.”

  • Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now