Anglesey-based manufacturer FAUN Trackway has taken delivery of a specially-built eight-wheeler Mercedes Benz Arocs to help showcase its ground stabilisation technology to international audiences looking for solutions to negotiating challenging terrain.
Supplied by local dealer Star Truck & Van, the vehicle is fitted with hookloading equipment by Hiab UK and has a mechanised body capable of laying up to 50 metres of interlocking FAUN M150 Trackway aluminium panels over undulating terrain in less than five minutes.
The innovative system is designed to ensure mobility for wheeled and tracked vehicles, and aircraft, when operating in adverse conditions such as marsh, snow and sand.
The 4.6m wide M150 Trackway is transported on a spool, then rotated 90 degrees for deployment and recovery.
The company’s Trackway solutions is aimed at defence sector as well as forestry, mining, utilities, and oil and gas exploration companies, and has been used in emergency and disaster situations, ensuring rapid deliveries of vital aid.
The all-steel sprung Arocs 4148 chassis is rated at 41 tonnes GVW but plated for operation at 32 tonnes. Its 12.8-litre in-line six-cylinder engine produces 350 kW (476 hp) and is paired with a 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated manual transmission.
The vehicle underwent conversion from standard 8×4 configuration to all-wheel drive by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ custom tailored trucks (CTT) division at Molsheim, in Alsace, France.
To ensure the best possible traction, all four axles have differential locks and the wheels are shod with heavy-duty 14.00R20 tyres.
Factory-painted in Austrian Army Grey with colour-coded bumpers, the truck’s ClassicSpace M-cab is equipped with a full complement of advanced driver aids.
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These include MirrorCam, the camera-based alternative to conventional mirrors, and the upgraded interactive version of the multimedia cockpit dashboard, which replaces switchgear with twin, tablet-style screens, one with touch functionality.
FAUN Trackway product support manager Neil Wigley said: “Rapidly laid and requiring minimal manpower, our high-quality, portable land solutions provide access for vehicles needing to tackle challenging terrains in multi-climate environments.
“We’ll now be shipping our new Arocs to destinations all over the world, to demonstrate this technology to prospective customers at trade shows and in field trials.”
Explaining the rationale behind the company’s decision to base its first, wholly-owned demonstrator on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, Wigley said: “We wanted a vehicle that would offer a turnkey solution. The three-pointed star is an internationally recognised symbol of quality and the Arocs has a great reputation for strength and reliability, so it was an obvious choice.
“Our new truck has fantastic approach and departure angles, and ground clearance across its axles. Factor in the 8×8 driveline as well, and it all adds up to a brilliant, high-mobility chassis.”
Wigley said aftersales back-up was also important for FAUN Trackway. “This vehicle could be deployed anywhere in the world so we also needed to know that we could call on the support of a truly global network,” he explained.
FAUN Trackway previously relied on partnerships with various truck builders to demonstrate its products. “Essentially these were loan agreements, so the manufacturers always retained ownership of their chassis,” Wigley said.
“By purchasing the Arocs, though, we’ve ensured that we have complete control over where and when it is sent,” he added.”
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