Safety was its priority and, after trialling five Actros since last year, Ocado specified its latest acquisitions with Active Brake Assist 3, Proximity Control Assist, additional cab windows for improved visibility and Spraydown mud flaps to limit road spray.
The vehicles have StreamSpace cabs and are powered by 430bhp straight-six engines, driving through PowerShift 3 automated transmissions – specified in Fleet mode for economy.
Most are 4x2 1843LS variants, but the line-up also includes some 6x2 2543LS 44-tonners which collect product from suppliers.
The new trucks are the subject of CharterWay contract hire agreements from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, as were the Axor units which they have replaced – these vehicles were stood down up to 18 months ahead of schedule, so Ocado could get the Actros on the road as soon as possible.
The trucks are specified with Predictive Powertrain Control – a feature Ocado first tried on one of the five trial vehicles and found it to be highly beneficial.
“We retrofitted PPC to one of them to measure its effectiveness,” says Ocado’s fleet services manager Graham Thomas.
“That vehicle showed a 3% improvement in fuel efficiency. Given that our 4x2 tractors are covering 180,000km a year, there was a clear economic benefit with a quick return on investment, as well as a reduced environmental impact.”
Thomas adds: “Our Mercedes-Benz Axor tractors have been exceptionally reliable, but these new Actros take us to another level in terms of safety, fuel efficiency and driver comfort.”