Over ten percent consumption advantage.
From northern Finland to southern Italy, from the most westerly point in Spain to the most easterly corner of Romania, the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Duel is held in numerous European countries. The first fuel comparison test took place approximately five years ago in the Netherlands. The conditions haven’t changed since then: a Mercedes-Benz Actros takes on the tasks of a competitor vehicle in a logistics company fleet and drives with its load and route for two weeks. The driver is thoroughly trained beforehand and is initially accompanied by a professional trainer or an experienced Mercedes-Benz Trucks salesperson.
The driver then carries out the usual tasks unaccompanied in the Actros, supported by the FleetBoard telematics system.
Over 2,000 comparison tests.
The vehicles have now taken part in approximately 2,100 Fuel Duels against the most important European competitors – a total of approximately 9.8 million kilometres (as at March 2016). The Mercedes-Benz Actros has been the clear winner in over 90 percent of these duels. The consumption savings compared with the competitors average 10.6 percent. Martin König, who is responsible for truck sales at the Mercedes-Benz Centre in Hildesheim, recognised the opportunities for carrying out the Fuel Duel at an early stage. He is behind four of the fuel consumption comparison tests that have been held in Germany.
“The Fuel Duel provides the unique opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of the Actros in an objective way. At the same time, the driver can check how cost-effective their driving style is and improve on it”, he says.
The Actros has also competed in the Fuel Duel in Germany. The 1,000th comparison test took place at Spedition Kreykenbohm in Holzminden, Germany. Willi-Ingo Kreykenbohm runs the family company which was founded in 1924 and has 22 trucks in the fleet – not one of which is a Mercedes-Benz. On average, each Kreykenbohm truck covers up to 120,000 kilometres per year. Without the Actros, the fuel consumption is an average of 29 litres of diesel for every 100 kilometres. This value had to be beaten in the Fuel Duel. And the Actros 1845 LS did it again: with an average total fuel consumption of 26.5 litres, it completely outpaced the competition. For an annual distance of 120,000 kilometres, this means a saving of at least 3,000 litres and a CO₂ reduction of 7.9 tons.
Driver achieves “very good” FleetBoard result.
“On average, my truck achieves a fuel consumption of 29 litres for every 100 kilometres”, says Christian Krukemeyer. The 36-year-old has been driving trucks for eight years and covers between 100,000 and 120,000 kilometres per year for Spedition Kreykenbohm. “I was very excited about the Fuel Duel, to see if the Actros could beat this value”. Krukemeyer’s conclusion after two weeks: “A consumption level of 26.5 litres with the Actros. That is a reduction of over two litres!” As a result of the Fuel Duel, not only the Actros 1845 LS but also its driver receive plenty of praise. The FleetBoard evaluation shows economical gear shifting in 89 percent of all cases. Which is why it is not surprising that Christian Krukemeyer scored 9.67 out of 10 on the FleetBoard rating scale.
Second generation of the OM 471.
The Fuel Duel Actros with a StreamSpace cab is equipped with the whole range of fuel-saving features. These include aerodynamically optimised components, reduced weight and highly efficient driver assistance systems. The truck is made more streamlined by the side skirts, the door extensions, the underbody panelling, the radiator shutter and the air horns under the cab, for example. Technical refinements such as the tyre pressure monitoring system, the two-stage air compressor, the two-stage water pump, Mercedes PowerShift and Predictive Powertrain Control reduce fuel consumption still further. And in future, the result may be even more marked. Because since autumn 2015, Actros trucks with the second generation of the OM 471 engine on board have also been taking part in the Fuel Duel. This has demonstrated a further reduction in fuel consumption of up to three percent!