Even among the broad range of series-production trucks available from Mercedes-Benz, you may not always find the precise vehicle needed for a specific transport requirement. This is where Mercedes-Benz Custom Tailored Trucks (CTT), based in Molsheim/France, steps into the breach.

For ten years now, on occasions working in cooperation with specialist partners, they have provided a ‘one stop shop’ for special-purpose vehicles. In time for the IAA, CTT is broadening its range with four vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Atego.

New: Actros Lowliner with steered leading axle
Key among the new products from CTT is an Actros that, at the same time, serves to explain the business principle behind CTT: at the IAA, Mercedes-Benz Trucks are launching an Actros as a Lowliner semitrailer tractor with 22.5-inch tyres and a particularly low coupling point height of just 1020 mm. To complement this, CTT provide a three-axle version with a steered leading axle, which is built in conjunction with conversion partner Paul Commercial Vehicles and designed specifically for the transport of particularly bulky or odd-shaped loads, such as wind turbine blades. The use of the extremely robust HL7 planetary axle also allows a gross combination weight of 68 tonnes for extra-heavy loads. The vehicle on display at the show, an Actros 2548 LSNRL with 6×2/4 axle configuration, features the spacious Megaspace cab.

Mercedes-Benz Actros with crewcab
If a complete fire crew needs to travel to an incident, CTT now has an Actros crewcab version ready. Made of steel, it is 1680 mm long and has four additional seats in the rear section. Doors on both sides with steps up into the cab make getting in and out quick and easy. This cab has been designed in cooperation with our new Italian partner BAI.

An unusual cab is also the key feature of a further new arrival, based on the Mercedes Atego 1518: a truck with half-cab. This conversion is in demand, amongst other things, as an airport catering vehicle. Despite the reduced width of the cab, there is still just room for a folding passenger seat. This model, developed in conjunction with the German company Bickel-Tec GmbH in Rheinau, is available in both left and right-hand drive versions.

A particularly tricky combination of payload and volume is required when it comes to car transporters. And it is specifically for this application that CTT has added a liftable leading axle to the two-axle chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. The third axle runs on 215/70 R 17.5 tyres and increases the permissible gross vehicle weight to 22.8 tonnes. The wheel ends and brakes are the standard-production versions for Mercedes-Benz trucks. The conversion is undertaken at the plant in Molsheim. The frame height of the series-production chassis with 315/60 R 22.5 tyres remains at the same low 882 mm.

Full-range expertise from consultation and development through to worldwide service
These new products and features enable Mercedes-Benz Custom Tailored Trucks to demonstrate the expertise available for individual conversions. These can range from the repositioning of a fuel tank to a complete extra-heavy truck. The demand for specialised vehicles is on the increase: even in 2009, a difficult year for the truck industry, CTT converted around 9000 vehicles from right across the model range – from A to Z, from Actros to Zetros – to meet very varying customer requirements. Following the recent expansion of capacity in Molsheim, Mercedes-Benz is therefore currently in the process of setting up a new development centre there. CTT has the advantage of being able to offer a full range of expertise from qualified technical advice and single invoice transaction handling through to a full Mercedes-Benz guarantee, worldwide guaranteed services and replacement parts.

Source: Daimler AG