NDL Transport hails its handful of new Actros trucks

Date: 05.10.2020

North Queensland operation bolsters its sugar cane haulage fleet

One of the new units with specialised tipper

NDL Transport gains five new Mercedes-Benz 2646 Actros trucks for its sugar cane haulage fleet in Brandon, North Queensland. NDL's order comprises the 2646 new-generation Actros model, which runs a 455hp version of the 11-litre six-cylinder OM470 engine teamed with a 12-speed automated manual transmission. The trucks haul sugar cane from pads at the edge of local cane fields to railway sidings.

Both ends of the special cane trailers tilt up and the cane drops down into the middle before being pushed-out on a conveyer and into bins, delivering to any of the four mills in the Burdekin region. "We chose the Benzes because of their low tare weight, which gives us an additional 500kg payload for every single load," NDL Transport operations manager Luke Zarb says. "With five trucks running all day every day, that extra 500kg on each run really adds up."

Zarb says the trucks, which have been on the road for three months, have been well received by the drivers.

Our recent review of the Actros 2663 Solostar, here

"The guys reckon they are the smoothest and most comfortable trucks they have ever driven and many of them have been driving for 30 years," he adds.    The new Actros models also have a multimedia cockpit consisting of two large customisable tablet screens, giving the driver more control and information in a clear manner. The new generation Benz AMT features a crawler function, which makes easing up to docks or bins easier than ever.

Like all Mercedes-Benz truck engines, the 11-litre unit meet Euro 6 emission standards, which are far stricter than the existing Euro 5 standards that are currently mandated in Australia. "The fact that these engines are Euro 6 rated is a really big plus for NDL Transport," Zarb says. "It is quite a simple way for us to reduce our impact on the environment."

The Australian sugarcane industry has been working to reduce its environmental impact in recent years, making the Euro 6 Mercedes-Benzes an appropriate fit, Zarb notes. The cane harvest season started in the first week of June and will run through until the first week of December. Zarb says the workload has not dropped off at all despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

"Sugar is something that really is essential, so it really hasn't been affected at all," he says.

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