Truck Show Outtakes: The Mercedes-Benz Actros – The S-Class Of Their Heavy Vehicle Product Line

Three Mercedes-Benz Actros 4x2 tractors from Germany - 1

Mercedes-Benz is the leading brand of Daimler Truck AG, the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy trucks and tractors. The others rolling under Daimler’s umbrella are Freightliner, Mitsubishi-Fuso, Western Star, BharatBenz, Setra (buses and coaches) and Thomas Built Buses.

The company’s Actros comprises an almost endless range of rolling chassis configurations and tilt cab choices. Anything from 18 metric tons GVWR to an 8×4 heavy haulage tractor, rated at a GCW of 250 tons.

An interesting collection of heavy Actros tractor units was on display, last September. Like a trio from the German Borken region, given the letters BOR on their license plates.

Three Mercedes-Benz Actros 4x2 tractors from Germany - 2

Three seemingly identical 4×2 tractors in a row. In the background a 1963 (19 tons GVWR, 630 hp), the middleman is a 2163 and in the foreground an 1853.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Actros 2563 tractor - 1

The current series was introduced in 2018 and is generally referred to as the Actros 5. The Dutch Mercedes-Benz organization configured this 2021 halo-demo-tractor, an impressive Actros 2563 Powerliner (a reused, classic Benz designation) with the GigaSpace tilt cab.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Actros 2563 tractor - 2

Air suspension on all axles plus many other technical and optical goodies, that includes the absence of mirrors. The upper side of the frame is fully covered with diamond plate, often seen on owner-operator tractors. One can say the whole project resulted in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class of the trucking line.

Mercedes-Benz OM 473 engine

The tractor is powered by the mighty OM473 turbocompound diesel, the biggest Mercedes-Benz truck engine available. A twin-turbo inline-six with a displacement of 15.6 liter and 626 DIN-hp for the most powerful version. Ein großer Block, for sure.

Daimler’s Detroit division in the US also offers a 15.6 liter engine, known as the Detroit DD16. Logically, both engines share the same block design.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Actros 2563 tractor - 3

This it how the Powerliner looks with the doors closed. The 6.46 m (21’2”) long -yet short- tractor can swallow 860 liter of diesel fuel, 680 liter in the main tank and another 180 liter in an auxiliary tank.

Mercedes-Benz Actros entrance

You just can’t hop in a high-end truck cab with a flat floor (like the Actros GigaSpace), you’ll have to climb it first. No sweat though, thanks to the four steps and the long handles on both sides of the door opening. Cheers!

Mercedes-Benz Actros interior

An inviting, utterly comfortable, top-notch workplace. Something that truck makers and hauling companies simply must offer these days, considering the chronic shortage of professional drivers.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Actros 2745 tractor

A 2014 Actros 2745, owned by the Van der Vlist Transport Group. It’s powered by the 12.8 liter OM471 engine. Unlike the Powerliner further above, this tractor has standard-sized tires on its liftable and steering pusher axle.

2017 Mercedes-Benz Actros 1945 tractor

No number on the doors of this 2017 Actros, but given its specs, it must be a 1945. And it’s driven by a lady, obviously.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Actros 3358

A 2017 picture, but it blends in nicely now. This 2015 Actros 3358 with a 6×4 drivetrain and the big OM473 engine is a perfect workhorse for heavy and special haulage jobs.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Actros 3358 tractor with Nooteboom semi-low loader

And evidently, that’s exactly what it does for a living. Wherever you live, there are plenty of road transport activities that require more grunt than a run-of-the-mill 12 to 13 liter engine can offer. And if it’s not required, you can have it anyway. Many small hauling companies and owner-operators configure their personal halo ride and put it to work, all over the continent.