Chatting to the guys from Fuso I got the impression that the trucks and commercial vehicles that this brand produce are aimed more at the small to medium business market. That includes light construction applications, general distribution, truck rental businesses and one which seemed oddly specific baking applications. The idea behind the trucks is customisation, which means that a basic truck can be purchased and built to customer specification depending on the customer’s needs.
The quintessential American truck, or as far as I’m concerned - comes from the Freightliner name. These are the trucks that you see doing long distance hauls across the country. The sleeper cab series is legendary for the size of the rear quarters in which the drivers rest, sleep and even cook. The Freightliner range is also very customisable and comes with a range of Cummins diesel engines ranging from the 500, all the way to the 620 (which stands for the horsepower output). These engines are renowned for their reliability and for their ease of repair with a 90 percent road repair rate.
The media event included the handing over the millionth Actros model produced, which was scooped up as part of a massive deal with the Imperial Group. The fact that one million Actros models have been produced and sold is very impressive.
From what I could gather, the Mercedes-Benz truck range is aimed at overall cost of ownership, as in lower fuel consumption from the powertrain from technologies such as a direct drive gearbox along with a hypoid axle. The brand also works out specific finance deals for each individual owner/company, which factors in things like business needs and period of ownership.
This was perhaps the most interesting brand at the show for me; the Western Star brand brings back the bonneted truck to Africa with its range of recovery trucks. The range of trucks that this brand provides specialises in abnormal load applications with up to a 100-ton gross combination. The trucks are also used in recovery scenarios across Africa. The benefit of their construction is that the trucks are both on and off-road ready with a TufTrac rear suspension system and a reinforced body.