Focus on the payload.
The production rhythm at the assembly hall of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth is dictated by the whirr of electric screwdrivers and the clattering of torque limiters. Aligned compactly over a length of one kilometre, the assembly stations allow the specialists to produce up to 400 trucks every day.
That includes the particularly light models for a particularly high payload – like the Actros Loader that is due to be assembled here next. It all begins as normal at station No. 1 with two parallel chassis side rails. The differences start with the third component to be fitted: the end cross member.
Every detail counts.
No. 1 with two parallel chassis side rails. The differences start with the third component to be fitted: the end cross member. “You can tell immediately that its weight has been optimised,” says Thomas Kiefer from Team Engineering. The lightweight construction is manufactured from thinner sheet metal and has several cut-outs. As it has been designed for vehicles without a trailer coupling, the omitted material has no bearing on the strength of the component. As a result, this end beam member provides a weight advantage of several kilogrammes.
At the end of the day, these weight savings translate into additional payload for the Actros on each of its trips. “The Loader trucks have been systematically trimmed to a lower weight without any compromise whatsoever in terms of quality,” says Kiefer. This measure is just the first of many. Ultimately, they succeeded in providing far more capacity for even more economical transport compared with a vehicle operating in a sector that is not payload-sensitive. Watch the Loader being assembled from the shell structure to the finished truck. The video clip can be viewed at RoadStars.