The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4163 tow truck with Masterlift body.

Pure strength: the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4163 tow truck.

With its Masterlift body, amazing strength and powerful torque the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4163 is able to tow any truck.

Photos: Jan Potente

Power and technique in one.

Daniel Beyersdorf has just passed the signpost that announces the town of Nürtingen, when he presses his horn. A man on the pavement turns towards the road, grins and waves up to the driver’s cab. “That was my truck driving instructor. He’d never have dreamed that I’d one day drive a thing like this”, he says.

The “thing” is an Arocs 4163. With 460 kW of pure power and a hydraulic lifter arm at the rear with two massive cable winches – it boasts enough power and technology to pull a 100-tonne vehicle out of a ditch and tow it away.

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4163 on the road.

On the road to success since the 1950s.

Daniel Beyersdorf’s employer has a logo in red capitals on both sides of the special Arocs: “Gross”. The company was set up in the early 1950s as a petrol station with a fitter’s workshop, in the small town of Köngen near Stuttgart, and has now grown to a major corporation group with around 400 employees at 23 sites. The fleet comprises almost 340 trucks and transporters, almost all manufactured by Mercedes-Benz.

The Masterlift body from special manufacturer Brechtel.

Transporting cars plays an important role. Gross’s business is to transport test vehicles for manufacturers and vehicles for film productions, all over Europe.

Daniel Beyersdorf hooks up a stranded truck.

5,000 trucks on the hook.

They also carry out transfers for major car showrooms. An even more important task is recovery and towing. Roughly 250,000 vehicles is the number that the company towed away or loaded onto transporters last year. As Arocs driver Beyersdorf says, the “supreme discipline” is rescuing and towing trucks – after a breakdown or collision, or if they have gone off the road in the winter. The experts rescue up to 5,000 trucks and their drivers from tricky spots.

Giants with 15.6-litre displacement.

The breakdown fleet for trucks consists of ten heavy Masterlift trucks. The basic vehicle of choice for the two most recent members of the team is the Arocs 4163 with the most powerful engine variant, the 15.6-litre, six-cylinder in-line engine. “These are giants with amazing strength and powerful torque”, says Rainer Petermann, owner of Gross.

Owner Rainer Petermann (left) and managing director Bruno Noce in front of the two most powerful vehicles in Gross's fleet.

Owner Rainer Petermann (left) and director Bruno Noce in front of the two most powerful vehicles in the Gross fleet.

Thanks to the Turbo Retarder Clutch, even if the tow trucks have to recover a “monster”, they can start moving effortlessly and without wear or tear. Read more on RoadStars.

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