40 tonnes plus in long-distance haulage – Mike Schmies is pleased with the support provided by the assistance systems on his Actros 2548.

On the safe side.

40 tonnes plus in long-distance haulage – Mike Schmies is pleased with the support provided by the assistance systems on his Actros 2548.

Photos: Michael Neuhaus
  • On the safe side.

  • Mercedes-Benz I.D.M.C. Actros 2548 in Wallenhorst.

    On tour.

    Best view, sparse traffic – Mike Schmies can use main beam. The A30 motorway ahead of him is almost deserted in the early dawn light. This early in the morning, most people’s alarm clocks haven’t even gone off yet. “These are our times, I’m well used to it by now. I even actually always look forward to the really early trips,” he says with a laugh. “I am wide awake!”

    Fully concentrated.

    Tiredness and lack of concentration are out of the question for the 48-year-old. His loads bring the vehicle/trailer combination up to the 40 tonne limit – and over, as the I.D.M.C. freight forwarding company that he drives for specializes in transporting construction elements. An accident could have disastrous consequences, especially on the motorway.

    Mike's working environment is long-distance haulage – always with a heavy load.
    Mike's working environment is long-distance haulage – always with a heavy load.

    This must be avoided: “Ever since safety and assistance systems have been available in Mercedes-Benz trucks, we have had our vehicles equipped with them,” says Markus Schwarz, general manager of I.D.M.C. in Wallenhorst.

    Extremely wide and extremely heavy.

    A few kilometres before the Dutch border, Mike reaches his first destination: a carpenter’s workshop that manufactures its own prefabricated elements. Mike’s job is to deliver wooden walls for a construction site between Osnabrück and Bremen. But first, he has to wait while the carpentry employees prepare the walls for transport and lift them onto the semitrailer using a crane.

    Mike uses the waiting time to talk to the dispatcher.

    After an hour of waiting, the house walls are on the semitrailer. Now it is time to secure the load. He uses tensioning straps to lash down the wooden walls. Mike completes a thorough departure check before leaving the carpentry yard.

    Mercedes-Benz Actros with Active Brake Assist 3.

    As safe as on rails.

    The road is straight, the countryside flat and the area quiet. “You have to concentrate, always make sure you are in your lane and keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front.” Here, Mike is supported by Safety Pack Top, which makes his Actros one of the safest Mercedes-Benz lorries ever. The lorry is fitted with a driver’s airbag as well as systems such as Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Proximity Control Assist and Active Brake Assist 3. Video on RoadStars.

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