Mercedes-Benz wins selection process with its top-of-the-line Actros
model against three renowned truck manufacturers
Up to 108 Actros with heavily armoured cabs to be delivered to the Canadian armed forces
Mercedes-Benz trucks offer state-of-the-art protection for Canadian soldiers
Worldwide military service concept guarantees maximum availability
The Canadian Defence Ministry has ordered 82 Mercedes-Benz Actros transport trucks, with an option for another 26 units of the same model. The four-axle all-wheel-drive chassis from the Mercedes-Benz Actros model series are fitted with a specially armoured cab that helps to provide an exceptionally high level of protection for the Canadian soldiers from mines, hostile fire and roadside bombs during their UN peacekeeping missions. The "Armoured Heavy Actros" trucks come in numerous body variants and are ideally suited to a wide range of applications in unstable crisis areas.
Since the foundation of the UN in 1949, the Canadian government has supported UN-led peacekeeping missions in crisis areas by deploying over 125,000 Canadian men and women in around 50 countries. Under a UN mandate, such as in Afghanistan, advanced, robust systems have been employed to provide optimum protection for the Canadian soldiers involved in these missions. In keeping with this approach, the Canadian Defence Ministry opted to buy 82 Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy-duty trucks – with an option on another 26.
The four-axle (8x8) all-terrain Mercedes-Benz "Armoured Heavy Actros" is based on the successful series production Actros, of which more than 450,000 are providing reliable service all over the world: in the haulage sector, in heavy-duty construction, as semitrailer tractors and in logistics operations with over 50 armies worldwide.
Advanced drive technology from the series-production version - tried-and-trusted all over the world under all climatic and topographic conditions - also ensures these vehicles can cope with even the most demanding missions.
The economical high-torque engines in the 500 series produce 503 hp (370 kW). The 16-speed transmission and the permanent all-wheel drive with differential locks on all axles also ensure the Actros keeps going however adverse the conditions.
The "Armoured Heavy Actros" is extremely mobile even on very difficult terrain and can cope with uphill gradients up to 70% or a lateral incline up to 30%. The "Armoured Heavy Actros" will even ford water courses with a depth of 750 mm, and even up to 1200 mm with special equipment. Depending on the version, the tyre pressure can be adjusted from the cab to increase traction in desert regions and mud in particular.
Military personnel are increasingly facing conflict situations while on peacekeeping missions. Mercedes-Benz Trucks in cooperation with the South African company Land Mobility Technologies (LMT) has developed a heavily armoured family of cabs for the Actros to provide the best possible protection in such situations. This family of cabs is also fitted to other Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and features in an innovative truck concept due to be launched shortly.
This forward-looking product strategy was the basis for meeting the Canadian requirements in double-quick time. As a result, Canada managed to complete its accelerated competitive tendering process – for this urgent operational requirement to support its troops on the ground. Thanks to their heavily armoured cabs, the ordered vehicles offer state-of-the-art protection against ballistic and blast threats. These cabs minimise the impact of mines, hostile fire and roadside bombs.
Based on its worldwide service organisation, Mercedes-Benz has developed a service concept tailored specifically to military requirements. The solution is Integrated Logistic Support (ILS). Each vehicle is serviced in accordance with a defined maintenance concept that includes training drivers, operators and maintenance personnel, delivery of the necessary tools and parts as well as the required technical documentation. Support covers everything right through to deploying service representatives locally. The system is based on an across-the-board system of information logistics from the areas of development, sales and services, taking into account the field data available and customer requirements. The result is high vehicle fleet availability coupled with optimum overall economy.
The combination of a tried-and-trusted basic vehicle, a compelling protection concept, worldwide parts supply and service backup along with constructive cooperation between the negotiating parties has enabled DaimlerChrysler to put together a unique package.
Hubertus Troska, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, summed it up perfectly: "We knew our vehicle and the associated package was outstanding. To come out as the clear winner in such a highly professional, transparent process - the kind of process the Canadian Army went through - is acknowledgement of a great product and all our hard work."