Haulier MSL Scotland has been operating an all-Mercedes-Benz fleet for four years now – but its latest trucks represent a step in a new direction.
The three Actros tractor units supplied to the Broxburn-based operator by near neighbour Western Commercial are its first with the revolutionary MirrorCam system.
MirrorCam is the most highly visible of a raft of technological updates on the latest Actros range. It replaces traditional door mirrors with rear-facing cameras that relay their images to screens mounted inside the cab, on the A-pillars.
As well as enhancing safety by providing much-enhanced all-round visibility, not least through the elimination of forward-facing blind spots caused by conventional mirrors, the system cuts diesel costs by an estimated 1.3% because the cameras’ compact, streamlined housings create less aerodynamic drag.
MSL Director Dave Sharp recalled: “Western Commercial supplied a demonstration unit with MirrorCam, which I assigned to one of our experienced drivers. He’d never seen anything like it and was initially apprehensive, but within a few miles was fully converted.
“Everyone who has since tried the system – myself included – has reached the same conclusion: once you’ve seen the improved visibility it offers, especially down the blind side when making tight turns, you would not want to go back to old-style mirrors. MirrorCam is definitely the way forward.”
MSL acquired its first Actros tractor units in 2013, and within three years had converted its entire fleet to Mercedes-Benz. It now runs 18 trucks. Most are tractor units, but the line-up also includes three 26-tonne curtainsiders with rear-mounted forklifts.
The new tractor units have range-topping GigaSpace cabs and, as 2548 models, are powered by 350 kW (476 hp) 12.8-litre in-line six-cylinder engines. They are the subject of a competitively priced contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Finance.