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First Mercedes-Benz Actros Titan at work moving construction plant

3 Oct 12 The UK’s first Mercedes-Benz Actros Titan heavy haulage tractor unit to be equipped with a new type of transmission and fitted with a MegaSpace cab has entered service in the fleet of Hampshire operator Chappell’s of Stubbington.

Fareham-based Chappell’s purchased its new flagship from neighbouring dealer Pentagon Commercials. It is now transporting plant and machinery used by customers working in the construction and demolition industries, at gross weights of up to 150t. The truck is capable of operation at 250t gcw.

The 8x4 Actros 4160S is powered by a 600hp, 16-litre V8, which drives through a Mercedes PowerShift automated gearbox that works in conjunction with Voith’s new VIAB Turbo Clutch. This combination replaces the previous manual ’box and torque converter clutch, which required a separate retarder.

The VIAB Turbo Clutch has an integrated retarder for additional braking, so an external retarder is no longer needed. Being both smaller and lighter, it frees up chassis space and increases payload capacity.

The Turbo Clutch is designed to be wear-free, more fuel-efficient, and have finer control characteristics when pulling away and during low-speed manoeuvring under heavy loads. It is capable of handling and delivering some 3,000Nm of torque, significantly more than a traditional torque converter, Mercedes says. 

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The use of the 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission means that operators can now specify a Mercedes-Benz Titan heavy haulage tractor unit with a flat-floored MegaSpace cab.

Director Mark Harris said: “The automated PowerShift transmission with Turbo Clutch is superb, and gives us the best of both worlds. When pulling away and working at low speeds the Turbo Clutch is extremely sensitive and makes the truck very easy to manoeuvre.

“And once you’re up and running the automated Mercedes PowerShift is a lot smoother than a manual, while also leaving the driver free to concentrate on the road rather than worrying about which gear he’s in.”

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