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First introduced in 1995, the Mercedes-Benz Actros line of heavy tractors handles capacities ranging from 18 to 44 tonnes. Intended for the long haul, the Actros is available in four different engine displacements and 16 power ratings ranging from 238 HP to 625 HP. It is available in 4x2, 6x2, 6x4, and 8x4 axle configurations and as a tractor unit or rigid. Cabs available include the ClassicSpace, StreamSpace, BigSpace, and GigaSpace.
The Mercedes Actros engine range includes the highly efficient six-cylinder OM 471. Engine limitations include modest straight-line acceleration and limited pulling power on hills. If speed is more important to you, then the Scania R and Volvo FH are alternatives to consider. The Actors engines are smooth, however, and they are matched with the Powershift G211 transmission or G281 12-speed box, both of which are excellent. The Actros also provides an extremely comfortable ride, with four air-suspension points cushioning the cab and weight-optimised steel suspension units providing top performance.
The Mercedes Actros has an excellent build quality and outstanding cabs. Along with the Volvo FH, the Actros is considered the most reliable lorry in the 44-tonne sector, and Mercedes’ extensive warranty has made the truck popular with operators focused on reliability. In addition, the Actros has won first place in the International Truck of the Year award four times between 1997 and 2012, and took third place in 2017.