Mercedes-Benz Zetros press trial drive
Wörth
Mar 30, 2010
Areas of application – tons of work, no roads
  • Construction and energy industries
  • Firefighting and emergency services
  • Disaster relief and peace missions
  • Surface mining and exploration
Construction industry: an all-wheel drive vehicle is the number one choice for difficult applications on construction sites where loose ground comes into play. From an economic point of view, as a single vehicle the Mercedes-Benz Zetros benefits from a high load capacity as well as potentially shorter round trip times, and also safer trips, thanks to its excellent off-road qualities.
Furthermore, when it comes to applications involving particularly low silo loading bays for example, or which require low headroom clearance, the Mercedes-Benz Zetros is also highly recommended. With an overall height of less than 2900 milli­metres (to the top edge of the standard specification driver's cab), it has an extremely low profile.
The Zetros makes light work of towing low loaders or other trailers back and forth over difficult terrain, as well as on the road: the two-axle cab-behind engine vehicle has a gross combination weight of up to 30 tonnes, while the three-axle variant has a limit of 40 tonnes – and these approvals apply to the Zetros when fitted with single tyres. When fitted with twin tyres, the Zetros benefits from an even higher gross combination weight.
Construction site supply services are yet another line of work for which it would seem the Mercedes-Benz Zetros has been tailor-made. Whether put to use as a tanker or service vehicle, it powers through thick and thin, able to reach all types of building machinery, even on difficult-to-access terrain.
Surface mining: on soft ground, as often found in the surface mining industry, all-wheel drive is a must for trucks if they are to avoid frequently becoming inconveniently stuck, or even grinding to a halt. The single tyres of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros are another plus point when driving on soft ground, because the wheels of the rear axle(s) can follow in the track created by the front wheels without building up any unnecessary driving resistance - a hazard which is unavoidable with twin tyres. In extreme cases, a particularly useful additional feature on soft ground is the tyre pressure control system, which can be operated from within the driver's cab to reduce tyre pressure and thereby generate additional traction reserves.
Whether used as a service truck, transport vehicle, mobile workshop or moistening truck (to prevent fires breaking out), firefighting vehicle, all-terrain crew vehicle or testing truck: the all-wheel drive cab-behind-engine Zetros is able to meet a broad spectrum of application requirement in the surface mining industry.
Energy industry: the energy industry is an example of a sector with a wide field of applications suitable for the cab-behind-engine vehicle - from emergency inter­ventions (torn-down power lines caused by snow or ice damage), through to general overhead power line construction as well as maintenance and repair work on power line routes. In Finland, for example, the Zetros is already being put to use by an energy company for just such an application.
The special task faced by its crew involves threading the power lines through the masts – this is achieved with the aid of a crane with an extremely high reach and fitted with a convenient elevating work platform, enabling the work to be completed more conveniently and safely by the staff than climbing up the masts. It is precisely in the area of overhead power lines that the Mercedes-Benz Zetros, when fitted with an elevating work platform, is able to undertake a wide variety of tasks for which a complex and costly operation involving the use of a helicopter would otherwise have to be considered.
For pipeline construction companies and operators, the cab-behind-engine Zetros is highly suited both for routing construction and location work, as well as subsequent service work. Additionally, the Mercedes-Benz Zetros is tailor-made for applications using drills, since the low profile of the vehicle enables the drilling mast to be transported conveniently over the top of the cab when driving to and from locations. Crude oil exploration is yet another typical application sector in which the all-wheel drive Zetros benefits in the field from its maximum all-terrain capability, high payload reserves and compact vehicle profile.
It is precisely the slimline dimensions of the Zetros which have predetermined its use in the underground mining industry, such as for the construction of mines, salt domes and tunnels, where a low profile combined with a high load capacity are required. Again, thanks to its low overall height, the cab-behind-engine truck is ideal for airports, where it is used as a towing vehicle for tank semitrailers. In agriculture, the Mer­cedes-Benz Zetros is an excellent choice, in a somewhat modified form, as a heavy-duty tractor on account of its high tractive power.
Firefighting services: vehicles for firefighting services come in a wide variety of variations, and in many places have been standardised. In addition, there is also a huge range of non-standardised firefighting vehicles. Use of the cab-behind-engine Zetros for firefighting services is always worthwhile in off-road situations. Typical missions include heath or forest fires, for example.
On sandy ground, the traction advantages of 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 vehicles really come into their own. The cab-behind-engine Zetros copes easily with uneven terrain, and is also quicker than an equivalent cab-over-engine truck, thanks to its excellent ride comfort. And on forest trails or sunken roads, the Mercedes-Benz Zetros benefits from its compact contour which has the added advantage that it is less likely to make a nuisance of itself by getting in the way compared with an equivalent cab-over-engine vehicle.
The Mercedes-Benz Zetros is particularly suited for use as a crew vehicle for firefighting applications, such as when called upon to act as a gear and tool carrier, rescue vehicle with hydraulic platform, pump water tender or hose and equipment truck (with three-man crews in each case). The Mercedes is also ideal as the basis for a command centre vehicle, fitted with an appropriate body, from which various measures can be coordinated. Furthermore, thanks to its low cab height, the cab-behind-engine Zetros also fulfils the ideal criteria as a base vehicle for a turntable ladder or telescopic mast. Featuring a good body-mounting ability, the design of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros is also suitable as a swap body vehicle for standardised containers.
Emergency services and disaster relief: the list of truck variants called on to undertake emergency services and disaster relief work is a long one. It ranges from equipment trucks, multipurpose trucks and dump trucks, as well as mobile cranes, trucks for equipment containers or crew trucks, to snow-clearing vehicles and trucks for supplying power or drinking water.
Just as with firefighting, speed and off-road capabilities are also the highest priorities when it comes to emergency services and disaster relief. In this sector, the compact dimensions of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros once again stand it in good stead, for example in remote areas in which the infrastructure has been destroyed: the more compact the profile of the vehicle, the less likely it is to get stuck somewhere en route.
It regularly guides the emergency and disaster relief services on missions through almost impassable terrain. Whether applications resulting from storms or snow disasters, floods or torrents, earthquakes, shortages of drinking water or cata­strophic droughts in general - in all these cases the cab-behind-engine Zetros proves to be a particularly quick, safe, and exceptional all-terrain vehicle which, in cases of doubt, can also be transported over long distances – it fits the required profile for transportation by train and airfreight perfectly. Aid organisations in general are also able to benefit from these special features of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros, such as the Red Cross, development aid organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGO) or appropriate organisations of the UNO, for example, to name just a few.
Peace missions: the Mercedes-Benz Zetros is particularly suited to applications involving peace missions in crisis areas. The vehicle can easily be fitted with special reinforcement to provide specific protection for the crew, for example against mines or threats from other weapons.
The Zetros model series is also an excellent choice as a recovery vehicle, as well as generally for all types of breakdown applications. Winter service operations and municipal applications are further examples of classic applications for the cab-behind-engine vehicle, which of course also forms the ideal basis for functioning as an expedition vehicle or all-terrain mobile home.
General off-road applications: wherever extreme all-terrain credentials, exceptional off-road performance and high payloads are required, the Mercedes-Benz Zetros is in its element.
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