Weighing in at 129 tonnes and measuring 49 metres, the Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes underwent the final endurance test. The verdict was: the druck sets new benchmarks.

The final test.

The new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes on its final endurance test before the official presentation.

Pulling away with utmost precision.

'Damn,' muttered Sven Waselin. At a roundabout, a few hundred metres short of the destination in Aldenhoven near Aachen, a road sign stopped the heavy load from continuing. Waselin climbed down the five steps of the new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes. With a worried expression, he looked at the fifteen axles of his 129-tonne, 46-metre-long articulated vehicle.

A few car drivers started to pap their horn. After the road sign had been removed, Waselin got behind the wheel again. He carefully pressed the accelerator. Slowly, the Actros SLT started moving. Without one tyre losing its grip, the truck freed itself.

Ready for the toughest of tasks: transporting part of a wind turbine tower.
Travelling in comfort: the air-sprung cab helps the driver to work with concentration.

First heavy-duty truck with turbo retarder clutch.

This is all thanks to the turbo retarder clutch. Combined with a maximum torque of 3000 Newton metres, which is available from engine speeds as low as 1100 rpm, this also enables sensitive, wear-free pulling away at low speeds when towing the heaviest of loads. The new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes is the first heavy-duty truck to be fitted with this technology.


“At the presentation I was really impressed by the new truck. This situation shows that the Actros SLT definitely fulfils my high expectations,” said Eckart Balmer, owner of the Balmer haulage company. The company, based in Holthusen in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, specialises in heavy and special loads.

Wind turbines as ideal test loads.

The most important loads the haulage company transports: wind turbines. This extremely heavy equipment, which can be up to 65 metres long, is a really tough challenge for both driver and truck. It is therefore ideal for testing the new Actros SLT to its limits. In this way, Mercedes-Benz gets practical feedback and the haulage firm itself can test the qualities of the truck. “That was why we said yes straight away,” said Balmer.


Initially, Waselin did not share this enthusiasm. “For heavy haulage, you have to know your vehicle precisely. Also, I’m perfectly happy with my tried-and-tested Actros.” That was why he was sceptical at first when his boss told him he had to do the next trip from Chudrim in the Czech Republic to Aldenhoven in the new Actros SLT. His load: a 20-metre-long tower section of a wind turbine.

Roomy: the Actros SLT is available with GigaSpace and BigSpace 2500-millimetre-wide cabs.
Power on tap: the SLT is powered by an OM 473 Euro VI engine driven by up to 460 kW.

Five percent climb handled effortlessly.

After a kilometre, his worries had vanished. “In Chudrim there is a road with a five-percent climb and lots of bends from left to right,” said Waselin. The truck towed the load up it effortlessly. He didn’t need to use the “heavy” driving mode of the OM 473 Euro VI engine, whereby the gears are maintained for a longer period of time and shifting occurs in a much more dynamic way. What’s more, he was also considerably faster than on his previous trips. “I was convinced by the new Actros SLT straight away,” said Waselin, who drives regularly between Chudrim and Aldenhoven.  

Reduced fuel consumption meets environmentally friendly EURO VI Technology.

On the rest of the journey, a good 1200 kilometres, this first impression was confirmed. Haulage contractor Balmer pronounced a thoroughly positive judgement: “With the new Actros SLT our fuel consumption has reduced considerably. Also, it fulfils the Euro VI requirements. That really is a big step into the future.” Waselin entirely agreed: “Thanks to the air suspension, you don’t notice every bump on the road any more. Also, the Mercedes PowerShift 3 automatic transmission together with the 16-speed gearbox works very precisely.”

The SLT even maintains its grip on access roads to building sites – even with the heaviest loads.

Handing back the keys to the new Actros SLT for loads of up to 250 tonnes after the journey, the driver explained that there's only one thing that needs changing on the truck: 'The number plates are wrong. Mine should be on it!'!

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