Mercedes-Benz Trucks recently handed over a specially modified truck designed for heavy-duty transport (SLT) to Viktor Baumann. This remarkable truck boasts a maximum tow capacity of 1,000 tons, setting new standards for heavy-duty transport. In this article, we delve into the features and significance of this exceptional vehicle.
A New Milestone in Heavy-Duty Transport
Mercedes-Benz Trucks has pushed the boundaries of heavy-duty transport with the introduction of the Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6. This truck is designed to handle massive loads, with a staggering 1,000-ton tow capacity. For exceptionally heavy cargo, this vehicle operates in combination with multiple linked trucks, resulting in a total combined weight (known as the Gross Train Weight) that can significantly exceed 1,000 tons. Viktor Baumann GmbH, a company specializing in such extraordinary transport missions, will deploy this unique truck for moving transformers and heat exchangers.
Innovation in the Arocs Series
What sets the Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6 apart is not only its exceptional towing capacity, but also its distinction as the first Arocs model equipped with all-wheel drive and a spacious driver’s cabin. The BigSpace cabin, added during customization, enables a two-person crew to manage long-haul missions comfortably. The transformation process was handled by Paul Nutzfahrzeuge, a significant partner in the project. The successful realization of this vehicle was a collaborative effort, with contributions from RKG TruckService, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth, and the Mercedes-Benz customization facility in Molsheim.
Testimonials from Industry Leaders
Ronald Ott, Head of Sales at Mercedes-Benz Trucks & Fuso Germany, expressed his confidence in the project, saying, “Today, we deliver a vehicle that, after months of transformation, sets new standards in heavy-duty transport. Thanks to the outstanding cooperation of all involved partners, we are certain that this heavy-duty truck will excel on the road and provide the driver with a very comfortable workspace.”
Matthias Kirschner, Fleet Manager at Viktor Baumann, praised the innovative project, saying, “With a truck like this in our fleet, there’s practically nothing that’s too big or too heavy for us. The customization firms have done an outstanding job and accommodated all our wishes.”
Meeting the Challenges Head-On
At Viktor Baumann, heavy-duty missions involve multiple trucks working together to pull a multi-axle platform, such as a low-loader or a semitrailer, from the front. The new Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6 serves as the last tow vehicle, connecting to the trailer, and acts as a vital link in the chain for transporting goods like transformers and power transformers, which cannot be divided into smaller parts.
Transformation Begins at the Factory
The Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6 was already equipped with a reinforced frame and the appropriate powertrain at the factory. To meet the demands of heavy-duty missions, enhancements included retrofitting a leading axle, installing heavy-duty couplings at the front and rear, and adding a heavy-duty sliding device. These adjustments took place at the Mercedes-Benz truck plant in Molsheim. Additionally, a ballast platform by Greiner was installed by Paul, a specialist in special vehicles from Vilshofen an der Donau, to increase wheel pressure and improve traction. The extensive transformation also involved customizing the truck’s cabin to a wider BigSpace version.
A Smooth Transition to Operations
In mid-October 2023, almost a year after the vehicle’s initial production, the specially customized truck returned to Wörth am Rhein. It received TÜV certification through individual approval according to §13 EG-FGV, signifying it was ready for action. The truck commenced its journey along the Rhine River to Viktor Baumann’s headquarters, located between Bonn and Cologne.
The Expertise of Viktor Baumann
Viktor Baumann, with over 130 years of experience, stands as a prominent heavyweight in the German heavy-duty transport industry. The addition of the powerful 625-horsepower Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6 to their fleet will allow for even more ambitious and heavy-duty operations. The company’s meticulous planning ensures that upcoming routes are calculated to the centimeter, focusing on key elements such as bridges, tight corners, and steep inclines. With all the necessary permits in hand, this new heavyweight vehicle will soon embark on its first mission as part of a transport convoy weighing over 1,000 tons.
A Detailed Look at the Transformation
Mercedes-Benz Trucks has an extensive customization facility in Molsheim, France, where the vehicle underwent several key modifications. This included the addition of a leading axle with load relief control, converting the truck into a 8×6 six-wheel drive configuration. Front and rear heavy-duty couplings, including the Rockinger Type 56e coupler at the front and the Rockinger Type RO58 1,000-ton coupler at the rear, were retrofitted. The transformation also included the addition of an SLT framework behind the cabin with an extra cooling system, a 900-liter fuel tank, and a hydraulic system for trailer steering. After approximately 14 weeks, the truck was fully prepared for heavy-duty transport missions.
Paul Nutzfahrzeuge: The Partner in Transformation
Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH played a crucial role in the transformation of the Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6. In addition to replacing the StreamSpace cabin, which is 2.3 meters wide, with the broader BigSpace cabin at 2.5 meters wide, Paul’s team added a smaller engine tunnel of approximately 100 mm to ensure the vehicle’s height did not exceed four meters. To accommodate these changes, several interior components, such as the dashboard, bed, and drawers, were adjusted. Paul also integrated an additional storage tower with compartments behind the cabin and installed the ballast platform. In total, around 9,500 components were either newly installed or replaced. To maintain the distinct characteristics and performance of a Mercedes-Benz truck, the project primarily used components from the Mercedes-Benz Trucks series. This transformation took roughly four months to complete.
The one-of-a-kind Arocs SLT 4463 AS 8×6 from Mercedes-Benz Trucks represents a major advancement in heavy-duty transport, allowing companies like Viktor Baumann to transport the heaviest loads safely and reliably.