Chemicals supplier Baerlocher UK has hit upon the formula for ultimate road safety, in the shape of its new, range-topping Mercedes-Benz tractor unit.
The Bury-based operator took the opportunity when ordering the 6×2 Actros 2551 from Dealer Ciceley Commercials, to specify an optional Safety Pack. This comprises the remarkable Active Brake Assist 3 system, as well as Proximity Control Assist, a driver’s airbag, and a large, easy-to-read 12.7 cm instrument cluster. Customers for the Safety Pack can make a substantial saving on the price of these items if purchased separately.
The ABA3 system already out-performs the requirements of General Safety Regulations that do not come into force until November 2018, which means Baerlocher UK is a full two years ahead of the game.
Using a combination of radar and cameras, it monitors moving and stationary objects in front and sounds an audible warning when it senses potential for a collision. If the driver takes no action, the system will apply staged braking – and eventually full braking power – to prevent a crash, or dramatically reduce the effects of an impact.
Proximity Control Assist, meanwhile, works in conjunction with the cruise control, intervening automatically to restrict the truck’s speed and maintain a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front.
Baerlocher UK has further underscored its commitment to safety by specifying its new truck with a high-performance engine brake, LED daytime running lights and Bi-xenon headlights with cornering function. The truck was acquired via the company’s transport partner Hanson Logistics, which also supplies trailers as well as dedicated drivers, all of whom wear smart Baerlocher uniforms.
German-owned Baerlocher, which runs operations in 14 other countries, specialises in the production and supply of stabiliser additives to customers, including manufacturers of PVC window profiles.
The Actros hauls bagged and palletised loads in a curtainside trailer, and granulated product in a bulk powder tanker. Its GigaSpace cab is the biggest in the Mercedes-Benz range while its straight-six is the most powerful variant of the 12.8-litre OM 471 LA family – this state-of-the-art engine generates 375 kW (510 hp) and 2,500 Nm of torque, and drives through a smooth and efficient PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
Baerlocher UK’s new tractor unit is also equipped with optional technology designed to make it as fuel-efficient and comfortable for the company’s contracted drivers as possible.
Predictive Powertrain Control, for example, is an innovative cruise control that employs digital 3D mapping and GPS data to scan the road ahead. Armed with this information it manages gear changes and vehicle speed, making full use of the truck’s EcoRoll function to restrict diesel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The list of in-cab additions, meanwhile, is exhaustive: Baerlocher’s drivers benefit from luxurious Home Line interior design with leather Comfort seats and a wood and leather steering wheel, a wide Comfort bed with levelling control, ambient lighting, fitted fridge, microwave oven and TV. There is also a four-way camera system, which displays a view down the side of the vehicle whenever it is turning, while also recording footage that could be used to investigate any accidents.
Other features include a PTO and transmission oil cooler, along with roof-mounted airhorns, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels and a Jost fifth wheel with coupling sensor.
“This truck has a very high specification but we consider the money to be extremely well spent,” said Operations Director Graeme Knox.
“Our primary business is the production of ingredients for the manufacture of plastics, not transport. Nevertheless, our trucks and their drivers are the visible face of our company to many customers and as such they must project an image which reflects our own high quality standards.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “we’re acutely conscious of our Duty of Care to our own staff, employees at the customer sites we visit, and other road users. The contribution that systems like ABA3 can make in preventing accidents means we have no hesitation in investing in this advanced safety technology.”
Baerlocher UK also took delivery recently of an 8×4 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 with hook-load system, which it uses to transport demountable silos to customer premises. The company’s third vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which is assigned to small-scale deliveries.
The new Actros is the subject of a CharterWay contract hire package from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, under which all inspections and maintenance are being carried out at Ciceley Commercials’ Blackburn branch.
“The Dealer’s workshop is open through the night, which means we can drop the truck off at the end of the day and collect it next morning ready to start work again, thus keeping downtime to an absolute minimum,” added Mr Knox.
“This level of back-up, along with the attention to detail that sales executive Matt Riley displayed in helping us to get the specification of our truck just right, is very impressive.”