Up high, down below.
Finally, sometime during the night, the rain above Basel stops. Nevertheless, the potholes in the road leading to the gravel pit are still brimming with water. Mustafa-Kerim Aktas changes the driving mode of his Arocs 4463 to the off-road setting. “It’s a good job you’ve already taken some photos of the truck because in a few moments, it’s going to get dirty”, grins the 21 year old. Now it’s time for the steep downhill descent to the base of the pit where a wheel loader will load the truck.
“In the two months in which I’ve been driving the Arocs, I’ve already covered more than 10,000 kilometres. And on almost every journey we reach the 40-tonne gross vehicle weight limit”, explains Mustafa.
The high weight combined with the tough terrain of the gravel pit are, however, not a problem for the vehicle. “I love driving. But you have to watch out when the truck is empty and the wheels are covered in mud; it can get quite slippery”. Having said that, Mustafa only very rarely drives away from the gravel pit empty-handed. Upon arriving, a wheel loader starts loading up the tipper with wall gravel – an unsorted mix of sand and stone. Mustafa will transport the load to a stone crusher which will turn it into gravel for construction sites in the Basel region. The mountain which Mustafa descended so elegantly earlier now stands tall before him and his fully-laden Arocs.
Pull away problem-free.
It starts climbing smoothly. The 10×4/6 tipper confidently works its way up the loose road surface. Thanks to the Turbo Retarder Clutch, the full power of the Arocs is available from the low rev range. When manoeuvring in the gravel pit or when pulling away on an incline, the power is transferred to the ground with ease. Before Mustafa reaches the top, another tipper comes driving towards him – he needs to stop and let the colleague past. “No problem. I’ll still get up that”. Mustafa slows down, keeping his foot lightly on the accelerator pedal before the vehicle comes to a standstill on the slope.
Mustafa is now holding the truck in position using the accelerator pedal. The service brakes are surplus to requirement here. As soon as the path is clear again, Mustafa depresses the accelerator pedal a little more firmly and the Arocs begins to move. The 6-cylinder in-line engine serves up 460 kW and 3,000 Newton metres of torque to bring the tipper up the incline in a steady manner. “Using the accelerator pedal allows me to balance the truck on the hill such that it comes to a standstill and can then pull away again wear-free. This would be unthinkable with a normal clutch”.