Minus temperatures and icy roads, short days and poor visibility: Winter presents both the trucks and their drivers with a particular challenge. Finnish transport company Vähälä has 65 of their own trucks and is putting their trust in the new Actros for their daily routines in the extreme conditions of Finland which are unmatched across the rest of the continent. The Finnish winter has days that start with temperatures slightly above freezing, which will then reach minus 40 by the time drivers arrive at the northern provincial capital of Rovaniemi in the evening, having travelled a good 900 kilometres from the south of the country to get there. “We’re delighted with the new Actros,” says Ville Vähälä who is at the helm of the family business, now managed by the third generation. The 42-year old was one of the first customers in Europe to have used the vehicle as part of long-distance road testing. The vehicle has since become an integral part of the company fleet. Operated on a multi-shift basis, the annual mileage is an impressive 250,000 to 300,000 kilometres.
Operation as a “high-capacity truck” – not a problem thanks to the MirrorCam
Vähälä uses the Actros 2663 as a “high-capacity truck” with two semitrailers. Trailers like these, reaching up to 34.5 metres in length and weighing 76 tonnes in total, have only been permitted in Finland since the start of 2019. And the new Actros appears to have been perfectly designed for this role. Finnish law dictates that any towing vehicle with a train length of 28 metres or more must have a digital camera system – something the new Actros includes as standard with the MirrorCam.
The MirrorCam has replaced the main and wide-angle mirrors on the outside of the truck with two compact, streamlined camera arms on the roof frame. The images captured are transmitted to displays on the A-pillars in the driver’s field of vision. The system thus provides assistance when navigating bends, for example, whereby the image of the curve inner moves in accordance with the vehicle’s own movement. The driver thus always has the end of the trailer in their sights. Plus, the large display switches to a wide-angle mode when reversing, thus providing the driver with a better overall view.
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