Black Box Music adds to its Mercedes-Benz fleet: Concert logistics with the star

June 2016
  • Berlin-based event organiser Black Box Music (BBM) relies on "Trucks you can trust" for "The BossHoss" tour
  • Third generation of Mercedes-Benz Actros in BBM fleet stands for absolute reliability
  • Four new fully equipped Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845 LSNRL Euro VIs will guarantee even more "Truck'n'Roll" in future

Eleven cities, more than 7000 kilometres, spread over three and a half weeks – the logistics for the latest "Dos Bros" tour of the well-known country rock band "The BossHoss" is the job of Holger Neumann and four of his driver colleagues from Black Box Music. The internationally active, Berlin-based contractor for event technology and production can look back on 20 successful years in the music industry and has long since been a user of commercial vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz brand. This is doubly true in the case of "The BossHoss", because, firstly, it was almost ten years ago that the band was accompanied on a truck show by Neumann as driver and a Mercedes-Benz Actros with trailer as a stage on wheels. With the then title song "Truck'n'Roll Rules" now enjoying cult status, the band has since won countless fans, not just from the truck scene. Secondly, the tour, with stops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, is a very special example of just-in-time logistics – which means that reliable vehicles are an absolute must.

"Trucks you can trust" – a promise of performance and service

"A breakdown is nothing short of a disaster. Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz Service24h has so far always been of great assistance in those rare emergencies – including abroad," says Neumann. As one observes the typical sequence of events, such as for the show in the Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, it's easy to understand how critical it would be if one of the trucks was suddenly to be out of action. With the clock coming up to 11 p.m. and the enthusiastic audience yelling out for a third encore from the band, the five tour truckers are already preparing for their own "performance". In less than an hour, they drive their Actros-towed semitrailers directly into the arena and begin loading the equipment. As soon as the concert is over and all the spectators have left, the crew, along with dozens of helpers, immediately set to work taking down all the technical systems and dismantling the entire stage set before packing it away ready for transport. All the equipment needs to be taken the same night to the next venue – which, on this occasion, is Munich. The procedure is the same from one concert location to the next.

It is vital that every semitrailer arrives safely at its destination, at the right time. If a single truck drops out, it throws out the entire sequence. Speakers, amplifiers, instruments, mixing desks, stage parts, pyrotechnics, cables, lights and steel arches from which they are suspended, as well as countless other components are packed onto the trucks according to a sophisticated system. Weighing around 70 tonnes in total, the equipment must always be so packed that it can be unpacked and efficiently set up in the correct sequence at the next venue – just a few hours later, at seven o'clock the next morning. Despite the hectic activity in the arena, every operation is done with a sure hand. While constantly ensuring that the right parts end up in the right trailer, Neumann and his driver colleagues also see to it that the cargo is carefully secured. That's because, apart from anything else, some of the equipment is highly delicate and extremely expensive. However, the professionals from Black Box Music have a wealth of relevant experience and are an established team. "If everything goes to plan, which it usually does, it takes us two and a half hours to get out on the road," explains Neumann.

The "The BossHoss" convoy is made up of four proven Mercedes-Benz Actros MegaSpace trucks, a new Mercedes-Benz Actros Euro VI GigaSpace and five high-volume trailers. Neumann is impressed by the tractor units: "The Actros is a fine truck. My current one has so far been a loyal companion. It's fast and reliable. And that's what counts in our line of business."

Black Box Music is responsible for around 1000 shows each year. In the past, these have included world tours by stars such as Cher, Sade, Rammstein and Mark Knopfler, who were on the road with technology, know-how and manpower from Berlin. For events within Europe, such as with Korn, Marilyn Manson, Adele or "The BossHoss", the company's fleet of currently twelve Mercedes-Benz Actroses is on the road across all parts of the continent. In the peak season, the firm sometimes even resorts to renting vehicles from Mercedes-Benz CharterWay.

BBM fleet manager Enrico Schimmel: "Depending on the routing, the trucks occasionally go as far as Moscow and beyond. The reliability of the vehicles needs to be the least of our worries. Which has so far been the case, and that's why we're very happy with our "stars"."

Four new Actros Euro VIs added to the fleet

In future, another four Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845 LSNRL Euro VI LowLiners will make sure that the tours of Black Box Music really rock. The black grey tractor units with 2.5-metre-wide GigaSpace cabs feature the exclusive SoloStar Concept equipment line, which offers the driver an exceptional amount of living space when on the road. The Comfort Pack Top comes with 16 comfort features as standard, including a 36-litre refrigerator and automatic air conditioning. The second-generation OM 471 engine (330 kW/450 hp), Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission and GPS-based Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) guarantee that the Mercedes-Benz Actros delivers optimal performance in combination with total fuel efficiency. When it comes to driving safety, the four new additions to the fleet also offer the full programme, the driver being assisted by ABS, ASR, ESP, Lane Keeping Assist, Roll Control Assist, Attention Assist drowsiness detection, Proximity Control Assist, Active Brake Assist 3, bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps and a host of other aids. Ready for the next tour!



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