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  • “20 Years of Actros” – Limited anniversary model.
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    “20 Years of Actros” – Limited anniversary model.

    20 years after the Actros was first introduced, Mercedes-Benz has produced an anniversary model of which only 200 trucks have been built.

    Photos: Michael Neuhaus

An iron in the fire.

Detlef Jurack's company Dirostahl in Remscheid managed to obtain one of the 200 special anniversary models. “The best truck which I have ever sat in!” says Detlef. He also made sure he was the one to pick it up from the factory. The 59-year-old took his son and his brother with him for the trip to the factory in Wörth. “When I saw it for the first time, both of them had big smiles on their faces. The truck was parked behind a glass pane. I was pacing up and down in front of it like a little kid,” explains Detlef.

Fire and metal.

Dirostahl has been making high-quality forged parts for generations. The company has grown to become a leading family-run business in the field of open die forging and ring rolling. The near 500 staff use cutting-edge technology to produce forged parts up to 15 metres in length and seamlessly rolled rings up to 3.5 metres in diameter. The largest shafts and rods can easily weigh up to 35 tonnes. In the forge, the smell of fire and metal rises up into one's nostrils.


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1,200 degrees centigrade.

At the edge of the shop floor, there are unmachined parts measuring several metres. The steel has stopped glowing but, even at several metres distance, you can sense that it is still hot enough to pick up some serious burns: during the forging process, the steel is heated to up to 1,200 degrees centigrade. The real action, though, is happening at the centre of the shop floor.


That’s where the men of Dirostahl are in the process of working on a 12-tonne block made of yellow-orange glowing steel. Four flanged shafts will come out of the hydraulic forged press. Again and again, glowing parts fly off into the air from the enormous block. The men take every opportunity they can to put some distance between themselves and the heat.


Flagship.

Detlef’s “20 years of Actros” edition is one of a current total of 15 trucks which Dirostahl has in service for local and long-distance routes – and it’s Detlef’s second Actros: “Years ago I drove a second-generation Actros. For a period of nine years and over 900,000 kilometres, I never really had any problems.” His hand reaches for the switch of the roof hatch lighting, which is also an extra feature of this truck. The 138 LEDs, which light up the Actros’ GigaSpace cab in blue, go out; the day has dawned. A look in the rear-view mirror and then he briefly presses the accelerator. The Actros 1853 rolls off the forecourt. The anniversary model is a real eye-catcher.

See more at RoadStars.