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Art logistics specialist Mtec has taken delivery of a new generation Mercedes-Benz Actros to deliver sculptures to artists, galleries, museums and private collectors. Based in Ware, Hertfordshire, the firm has depots in Cambridge, and Larkfield, Kent, and secure storage facilities in Venice and Antwerp. It operates a fleet of 20 trucks which are regularly dispatched to continental Europe.
Supplied by S & B Commercials, the 530hp 6x4 Actros 2653 has a gross combination weight of 80 tonnes and is fitted with a StreamSpace cab and a 50-tonne/m PM 50.26 crane. Central Hydraulic Loaders built the dropside body and also fitted the crane and the VBG drawbar coupling for the tri-axle Chieftain beavertail trailer. It can be used with a low-loader semi-trailer or fitted with a demountable body to pull a drawbar trailer.
The Actros is its fourth heavy haulage unit and joins a number of other Mercedes trucks with GVWs of between 15 and 26 tonnes, including a box-bodied Atego 15-tonner supplied by S & B Commercials last year. "Manoeuvring a tractor and trailer can be a challenge at places like Kew Gardens, and some of the stately homes we visit," said Mtec MD David Williams. "It's obviously not an option for the heaviest sculptures, which can often weigh in excess of 50 tonnes.
But for smaller pieces the demountable body and drawbar configuration allows us to crane the item off the trailer and then take it in on the truck itself.
It's a highly practical solution that's already working very well."
"I drove one of S & B's Actros demonstrators before ordering our new truck, and was hugely impressed with MirrorCam, particularly the way the camera pans to keep the rear of the trailer in view at all times, including on roundabouts and tight bends."