Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK has launched a new driver engagement initiative, the Truck Challenger series, which is open to current and prospective drivers of trucks bearing the three-pointed star.
The opening event, which was staged at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Experience and Operations Centre in South Yorkshire, gave visitors the chance to see the limited-edition Actros Edition 1. Further events are planned for next year.
A competitive theme is key to the TruckChallenger concept, and this was embraced by the 30 drivers who were able to experience a broad range of Mercedes-Benz trucks.
An agility challenge tested their manoeuvring skills with the new Actros and its MirrorCam system, while the Eco Challenge provided an opportunity to get behind the wheel on the roads around the 70-acre complex.
Delegates were also able to have some fun in a pair of eight-wheeled tippers – one from the new-generation Arocs range – and pilot a Unimog over Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ demanding off-road course. A fun, truck-based ‘pub quiz’ added extra spice to round off the day.
Throughout the event, the best-performing delegates competed for top honours in the various challenges. The overall winner was Chris Broughton, who works as a driver-trainer for Lineage UK Transport, in Heywood, near Manchester.
Lineage UK Transport driver-trainer Chris Broughton was presented with his prize of a branded Mercedes-Benz watch by Ross Paterson, of Mercedes-Benz Trucks
“We have some new Actros on order and I was looking forward to trying the MirrorCam system,” he said. “It’s very different and will take a little bit of getting used to, but I was certainly impressed with the technology.”
He continued: “I thoroughly enjoyed driving the tipper too, as it made a nice change. Mercedes-Benz Trucks has put a lot of effort into this and I’m sure I speak for all of those who attended when I say that I’ve a great day out.”
Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ head of product and marketing, Ross Paterson, said: “Mercedes-Benz Trucks is proud to offer industry-leading products that appeal every bit as much to drivers as they do to operators.
“It was only logical, therefore, that we should invite some of those who drive Mercedes-Benz trucks for a living, as well as others who have not yet had an opportunity to do so, to see and experience some of the very latest technology, including the magnificent Actros Edition 1, that we have to offer.
“The competitive aspect added an extra dimension to the day’s proceedings. Much of the driving we witnessed was of an exceptionally high standard, and a lot of fun was had by all. We’re now looking forward to the next Mercedes-Benz TruckChallenger events in 2020.”
The subject of major investment over the past couple of years, the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Experience and Operations Centre covers some 70 acres and is also home to the manufacturer’s demonstration fleet, used truck sales operation, Truck Training facility and remarketing workshops. It recently started offering HGV licence acquisition in addition to Driver CPC training.